Joint Statement on International Day of the Girl Child of the Group of Friends of Youth and Security
As prepared for delivery by Mr. Juan Armando Andrada-Wanderwilde Parada,
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Spanish Delegation to OSCE,
on behalf of the Kyrgyz Republic and United States of America
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
October 21, 2021
Thank you, Madam Chair.
On behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Youth and Security, Spain welcomes the opportunity to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child.
Girls are vital participants in securing our common security. Through the contribution of their unique perspectives, States are better able to address the greatest security challenges of our time, including the areas of concern outlined by OSCE’s Perspectives 20-30 Core Group of Experts, namely: building peace, addressing the impact of new technologies, addressing the climate crisis, and ensuring the advance of human rights, and equality for all.
Efforts to attain these goals must recognize the unique challenges girls face to achieving their full potential, including unequal access to education and healthcare, the threat of violence inside and outside the home, and comparatively less economic security than their male counterparts. Sadly, many of these challenges to girls achieving their full potential have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OSCE plays a valuable role in advancing States’ commitments to young women and men. Through inclusive, sustained, and meaningful initiatives such as the Junior Professional Officer program, youth advisory groups, scholarships, trainings, and engagement through national program delivery, and those opportunities advanced by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, the OSCE provides girls with a variety of options for their meaningful participation in shaping decisions which affect them.
But more can always be done. We invite delegations to approach Group Co-Chairs to discuss ways in which we can use the OSCE and its participating States to advance the peace and security agendas across our region. We also invite you to join the next meeting of the Group on October 29th , when Kyrgyzstan will lead a discussion on Investing in Education for Safer Societies. I am confident that, through a range of efforts, we can remove the barriers to girls’ aspirations and in so doing build societies which are safer, more secure, and more prosperous.
Thank you, Madam Chair.