Statement at the Launching of the Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 07.12.2020
At the outset, I would like to thank UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed for being with us today and extending her support to this important initiative on one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world.

I would also like to extend our appreciation to the EU Delegation for leading the efforts to establish this Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. Turkey is a proud member of the Steering Committee of this Group.

As a country that considers eliminating all violence against women a priority matter, Turkey has established a solid legislative framework and carries out extensive practical protective work. While there are still challenges ahead to eradicate the problem, we are resolved to strengthen our efforts and actively take part in international initiatives towards this end. This is clearly a global issue and we need to work altogether to turn our commitments into action.

Turkey, along with the other core group members, has acted upon the Secretary-General’s appeal of April this year to end gender-based violence, in particular domestic violence during COVID-19 and mobilized the support of 146 UN Member States and Observers to the Secretary General’s call.

Since then, we observe that many countries took measures to address this issue and to ensure that women are included in response and recovery decisions in the fight against the pandemic. This is also part of our overall commitment to eliminate violence against women.

Today we are launching this Group of Friends to coordinate our actions, identify shortcomings, and share best practices as a follow up to the Secretary-General’s call. The Roadmap of the Group is already shared with all of you and we hope that this very concrete basis for the way ahead will prove useful for our collective endeavours.

Finally, we are pleased to see that as of now 78 countries from all regions of the world have joined the Group. We welcome them and express our readiness to work with them together with other Steering Committee members with a view to end this “shadow pandemic”.