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UNSG message on World population day/ Message du SG des Nations Unies pour la jJournée Mondiale de la population

The international community has committed to a new sustainable development agenda built on the principles of equity and human rights.  A central objective of the Sustainable Development Goals is to leave no one behind.

Despite significant gains made in reducing poverty and improving opportunity and well-being for many people around the world, hundreds of millions remain desperate for a chance of a better future,  Among those least served by previous development initiatives are girls, particularly those in their formative teenage years.

Just when girls should be in school and imagining the possibilities ahead, too many are held back from pursuing their ambitions by social and cultural traps.  While a boy’s options and opportunities tend to expand when he becomes an adolescent, those of a girl too often shrink.  Half of all sexual assaults worldwide are committed against girls aged 15 or younger.  In developing countries, one in three girls is married before she reaches 18.  And teenage girls are less likely than teenage boys to start or finish secondary school.