On 23 March, during her official visit to Ethiopia, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, took part in the Women in Parliaments Global Forum Summit 2015, held in the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Held under the theme “New Leadership for Global Challenges”, the Summit took place in the presence of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the EU Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation, Mr Neven Mimica, the Founder of Women in Parliaments and former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Mr Carlos Lopes and more than 400 female members of Parliaments and Governments.
“Girls and women are already pioneering change across the world, in schools, in communities, in parliaments – we must recognize this role and multiply it ever more,” said the Director-General, highlighting the importance of placing education and gender equality at the heart of the global sustainable agenda States are shaping this year.
“This is essential for human rights – it is the foundation for inclusive societies – it is a force for sustainable development,” declared Irina Bokova.
“Let me underline here the importance of the parliamentary voice in crafting the new agenda, to strengthen its link to the aspirations or citizens in every society,” she continued. “As women parliamentarians, I believe you know the importance of this message more than anyone, I wish thank each of you for your leadership, and, in this hall, I pledge that I will do everything to empower girls and women, everywhere, in every society.”