The brutal gang rape and death of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi, which had sparked outrage across India, figured prominently during discussions at the United Nations on Wednesday, with the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Executive Board calling on governments to commit themselves to end violence against women and girls everywhere.
“We heard tragic news from India that ignited public outrage in that country, which echoed around the world. We also heard of the case of a gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, which is going to trial. And we remember the tragic shooting in Pakistan of education activist Malala. This senseless violence, wherever it takes place, must be condemned and perpetrators must be brought to justice,” Michele Bachelet, under-secretary general and executive director of UN Women, said at the first regular session of UN Women Executive Board that began on Wednesday.
“So far, 16 governments have announced new commitments and I encourage all governments to do the same. UN Women will keep pushing, as a priority, to end violence against women in all its forms. We look forward to the upcoming 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, where this will be a priority theme, as it should be,” she said.
India had last week made a US$1 million contribution to the core voluntary budget of UN Women for the financial year 2012-2013 as part of New Delhi’s multi-year pledge to provide five million dollars to UN Women’s resources.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Puri assured that the Indian government will ensure that the culprits are brought to speedy justice and the sternest possible message is sent out by giving them the punishment they deserve.
"The government of India shares the collective anguish of all Indians, on this most horrific incident, and today's report of Justice J S Verma's Committee has suggested ways to initiate a series of steps to ensure that such crimes do not happen again,” Puri said.
He said that for the Indian government even one incident of violence against any woman or any girl is an incident too many and simply unacceptable.
‘It is absolutely reprehensible that such a horrific tragedy happened on Indian soil. While it would remain a blot on the strong feminist credentials of the Indian societal fabric, the incident indeed shook the whole conscience of our nation at its very roots,” Puri said.