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COVID-19 has led to ‘shadow pandemic’ of violence against women, girls, says Secretary-General, in anniversary message for United Nations Trust Fund

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SG/SM/20989
25 OCTOBER 2021

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message to the event marking the twentieth anniversary of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women:

Excellencies, dear friends:

The many crises facing our world today, from conflict to climate disruption and the COVID-19 pandemic, are linked to rising violence against women and girls. Events from Afghanistan to Haiti are increasing insecurity for women. Everywhere, COVID-19 has led to a shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls.

For 25 years, the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women has played an important role as the only global grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to eradicating this scourge. I congratulate you on your record of support for over 600 initiatives led by civil society, in 140 countries and territories.

This is a testament to the commitment of all those concerned, including Member States, civil society and particularly women’s rights advocates and organizations. We must build on this work to strengthen multilateral partnerships and increase support and funding for civil society, so that every woman and girl can live free from violence.

Thank you, and I send warmest wishes for a successful anniversary event.

For information media. Not an official record.