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US to join UN group on ending gender violence

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US President Joe Biden’s UN envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield. AFP

US to join UN group on ending gender violence

The US is planning to join an informal UN group on curbing violence against women and girls, Washington’s envoy to the world body announced on Monday 8 on International Women’s Day.

President Joe Biden’s UN envoy Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: “We all believe and understand that when women do better, countries do better – communities, families. Not just the women, everyone.”

The veteran diplomat said the administration of Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris – and the country as a whole – “care deeply about gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls around the world”.

Thomas-Greenfield was speaking at an informal UN Security Council meeting dedicated to the participation of women in peace processes, organised to mark International Women’s Day.

The US will join the UN Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, which was set up last year and is presided over by the EU.

Under Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, the US was at odds with its traditional allies on women’s issues. At one point, Washington threatened to veto a draft proposed by Germany on reproductive rights in conflict zones.

Harris will deliver the US speech on March 16 at the 65th Commission on the Status of Women, Thomas-Greenfield announced – a move that highlights the importance given by the Biden administration to the issue of women’s rights.

The event usually brings thousands of women to the UN headquarters in New York every year, but this year, as in 2020, the meeting will be held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The United States is back at the UN and we are resolute in our support for the women, peace and security agenda,” the US ambassador to the UN said.

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