Remarks by the United Nations Resident Coordinator at the GLOW conference, Papauta Girls College

Nov 10, 2015

It is such an honour and a pleasure for me to be here. 

First of all, I would like to thank the Peace Corps Volunteers who have been working hard for organising the conference and this very extensive learning programme. I want to thank the teachers who play such a crucial role by providing quality education for these young women throughout the year. And a special thank goes to these 32 girls for your talent, your academic achievements and your willingness to succeed. 

We are very proud of all of you. 

I have already heard so much about GLOW and the tremendous impact that this ground-breaking programme is having in Samoa and in other countries around the world. I am also happy that this year, three United Nations agencies - UN Women, ILO and UNDP - are supporting GLOW and therefore these girls to develop their potential, acquire new tools and improve their capacities to be positive examples within their peers.  

Quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development around the world. Although access to education, enrolment rates and literacy skills have improved notably for women and girls, bolder efforts are needed to achieve universal education goals. 

Also, gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but is core for building a peaceful and prosperous future. While under the Millennium Development Goals major progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment have been achieved, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. 

The United Nations work relentlessly around the world to provide women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes. 

Today, your being here illustrates how important it is to give young people a chance to come together, to grow and learn new skills that will last a lifetime.

This evening we are here to talk about opportunities, to dream big, to talk about change.

Empowering you, giving you the tools to be effective leaders will make a tremendous difference not only in your families and communities but also in the Samoan society at large. 

We are here to recognize how important it is to be well prepared, to work hard, to try to make a better future.

Maybe we should add in something personal…make a reference to your experience as a Peace Corp Volunteer or to your role models (your mother, your sisters?)

So, this is my message for you: we believe in you. We believe that you will make a great difference. 

The Peace Corps, the United Nations as well as all others organizations involved in this conference are here to supporting you. We are here to make sure that you can go as far as you can in education, that you will have the chance to build a good life for yourselves and your family and that you can have access to good jobs, be part of decision making just as much as boys.

I’m very excited about what you will accomplish in the future. 

So thank you for your very warm welcome I hope to see more young women alongside young men as the new leaders of this country in the near future.

Faafetai. 

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