Ban Ki-moon on the responsibility of African leaders to intervene in the conflict in Ethiopia, and how factors such as conflict, COVID-19 and poor leadership hinder gender equality.
Below is the official message of Chairman Ban Ki-moon
The world is experiencing unprecedented challenges – from climate change and widening gender injustices, to the continuous fight against COVID-19 and unfolding violent conflicts. Poor leadership at national and global levels intensifies these problems, leading to alienation among citizens, and making it harder to develop credible and sustainable policies for the future.
The appalling situation in Ethiopia, in particular, demonstrates the importance of ethical leadership. A year after this destructive conflict began, is now escalating at an alarming rate, exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the region.
The African Union and the UN Security Council must push for a ceasefire, and take immediate steps to address the humanitarian and human rights crises in Ethiopia. This is needed not just by the Ethiopians suffering from the fighting, but to save the region from the consequences of conflict spilling over Ethiopia’s borders.
One example of the horrific scenes going on in Ethiopia right now is the use of rape and sexual abuse as a means of war. This highlights not only how gender injustice is compounded by conflict, but also how far we still have to go to achieve gender equality.
Looking forward, Human Rights Day on 10 December serves as a good reminder that women’s rights are human rights, and that access to justice for women and girls must be a part of advancing gender equality and a freer, fairer world for all.