[Congratulatory Remarks (16.6.8)] Ehwa Women's Univ. 2016 International Conference on Girls’ Health
Congratulatory Remarks at
Launching Ceremony of “2016 International Girls’ Health Student Writing Competition and 2016 International Conference on Girls’ Health”
June 8, 2016 (Wed)
By In-Shik Kim, President of KOICA
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I would like to say ‘thanks’ to President Choi Kyung Hee of Ewha Womans University for creating this meaningful and timely opportunity.
I also thank everyone here today, especially all the high school and undergraduate students from 14 countries who have come to Korea to join this event.
This conference is a truly important opportunity for us to promote global awareness for girls’ health in developing countries, and to discuss creative solutions to enhance the well-being of girls.
In order to achieve the world’s forward-looking Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030 (twenty-thirty), it is very important to focus our attention on the well-being of girls.
This global agenda aims to provide adolescents, particularly adolescent girls, with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities.
However, in many developing countries, girls and boys are not given the same opportunities in education. Many girls have no voice, no rights, and have been forced to stay at home for generations.
Furthermore, in some countries, more than half of all girls are forced into marriages where they have no rights or freedom to make reproductive choices.
A girl’s unwanted pregnancy shows the failure of her community to protect her rights.
Every girl has a right to be protected from abuse.
Every girl has a right to be educated so that she can have opportunities in the future.
Every girl has a right to sexual and reproductive health services and information.
In order to respond to the needs of girls, and to guarantee their basic human rights, we must have active and meaningful participation from our younger generations.
I am sure that today’s conference will play an important role in raising awareness for girls’ health in developing countries, by engaging students worldwide.
Governments, international organizations, and international civil society organizations will be able to devise creative solutions to improve the well-being of girls through the voices and participation of younger generations, including all of you here today.
Distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen,
At the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, President Park Geun-hye pledged before the international community to implement the “Better Life for Girls” initiative to promote the health and education of girls.
By investing in the education and health of young adolescent girls, and reducing unwanted early marriage and pregnancy, a girl will be given greater opportunities to find a way out of poverty, lead a healthier life, and become an asset to her family, community, and society.
In the future, KOICA will continue to work with our partners, including Ewha Womans University and Save the Children, to make positive and meaningful contributions for young girls.
Thank you for inviting me today and I congratulate all of you for joining in this important conference.