FULL REALISATION OF THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO ACCELERATE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT-PRESIDENT LUNGU

YOUR EXCELLENCIES:
THE EMPOWERMENT OF, AND INVESTMENT IN WOMEN AND GIRLS, AS WELL AS THEIR FULL PARTICIPATION IN DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THEM, IS A KEY FACTOR IN ELIMINATING CHILD MARRIAGE, BREAKING THE CYCLE OF GENDER INEQUALITY AND DISCRIMINATION, VIOLENCE AND POVERTY.
THE FULL REALISATION OF THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IN OUR EFFORTS TO ACCELERATE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.
THE SUCCESS OF THE 2030 AGENDA, WHICH CALLS ON ALL MEMBER STATES TO LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND, WILL BE MEASURED BY HOW WELL WE COLLECTIVELY BUILD A CONTINENT IN WHICH WOMEN AND GIRLS HAVE NO LIMITS ON THEIR ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE AND FULFILLING THEIR POTENTIAL.
WE KNOW THAT KEEPING GIRLS IN SCHOOL INCREASES THEIR ABILITY TO NOT ONLY ESCAPE CHILD MARRIAGE, BUT ALSO REALISE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL IN ALL ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES.
LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS PROFOUND GRATITUDE TO ALL OF YOUR EXCELLENCIES AND REPRESENTATIVES OF HEADS OF STATE FOR PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT. THIS MEETING PROVIDED US AN OPPORTUNITY TO DELIBERATE ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT THAT THREATENS THE PROSPERITY AND FUTURE OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.
YOUR PRESENCE AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS DISCOURSE GIVES CONFIDENCE TO THE GIRL-CHILD ACROSS THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA THAT THEIR FUTURE WILL SURELY BE FREE OF THE VICE OF CHILD MARRIAGE. THIS GATHERING ASSURES THE GIRL-CHILD ON THE CONTINENT THAT ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES ARE GOING TO BE GUARANTEED FOR A PRODUCTIVE FUTURE THAT DIGNIFIES HUMANITY, ESPECIALLY OF THE FEMALE GENDER.
I AM GLAD TO NOTE THAT THE SPECIFIC EXPERIENCES SHARED BY MEMBER STATES, THE SUCCESS STORIES AND BRAINSTORMING CONTRIBUTIONS, HAVE ALL ENRICHED THE RESOLUTIONS OF THIS MEETING.
I HOPE THAT WE WILL FIND THE KNOWLEDGE SHARED HERE WORTHWHILE TO AUGMENT NATIONAL INTERVENTIONS TO END CHILD MARRIAGE. LET ME ALSO COMMEND OUR COOPERATING PARTNERS WHO HAVE COMMITTED TIME AND RESOURCES TO JOIN OUR GOVERNMENTS TO FIGHT THE SCOURGE OF CHILD MARRIAGE.
SUCH PARTNERSHIPS SHOULD BE PROMOTED AND ENHANCED FOR MEMBER STATES TO SCALE UP RESOURCE MOBILISATION AND EXPERTISE NECESSARY TO END CHILD MARRIAGE. AND THIS STARTS WITH MEANINGFUL INVESTMENT IN THE EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF THE GIRL-CHILD.
LET US ALL CONTINUE LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER, WORKING TOGETHER AND SPREAD DIALOGUE BEYOND THIS PLATFORM SO THAT WE CAN MAINTAIN THE MOMENTUM AGAINST THIS SCOURGE.
LET US ALL SEEK THE MOST EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS TO END THE CHILD MARRIAGE ON THE CONTINENT.
MAY I END BY STRESSING THAT ZAMBIA IS READY TO FOSTER BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL PARTNERSHIPS TO ENSURE CHILD MARRIAGE IS ELIMINATED BY THE YEAR 2030.
I THANK YOU!
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA TUESDAY, 31ST JANUARY, 2017

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