11 February 2021, New York - Statement delivered on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly on the Adoption of the resolution on the Extension of the preparatory period preceding the graduation of Angola from the least developed country category
9 February 2021, New York – European Union Statement at the UNICEF Executive Board Meeting on Agenda Item 2: Opening statements by the President of the Executive Board and the Executive Director of UNICEF - Oral question
8 February 2021, New York – European Union Statement delivered by Ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the Organizational session of the Preparatory Committee for Fifth United Nations Conference on LDCs
In some parts of the world, girls under 18 are circumcised and assumed ready for marriage. Ester recalls that she was very excited and agreed to this “BUT when the day came and already cut, oh God I was like half dead,” she cried. Female genital mutilation is a crime and a violation of human rights. It cannot be justified as a cultural or traditional practice. The practice has been around for more than a thousand years, and continues to persist until this very day, further impacted by the shadow pandemic, disrupting efforts for its elimination. But change is possible, and it is happening.
No woman or girl should suffer from violence. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe violation of human rights and an act of violence against women and girls. It is estimated that more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have suffered from FGM. In Europe, at least 600,000 women and girls are living with the consequences of FGM, often severely affecting their health and well-being, even endangering their lives. COVID-19 has disrupted prevention programmes, seriously undermining progress towards reducing this heinous practice. Any backward step puts thousands of women and girls at risk.