Ki-Moon urges international community to stand by Chibok girls
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday reiterated his call for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, more than 100 days after.
Ki-moon expressed his full support for the worldwide vigils which took place yesterday.
“I stand in solidarity with all those taking part in vigils today to demonstrate that the world has not forgotten the girls who were so cruelly abducted from their school 100 days ago,” said Mr. Ban in a message.
“I repeat my call for their immediate release and for an end to discrimination, intimidation and violence against girls whose only wish is to gain an education. Only by shielding them from harm and enabling them to realize their full potential can we usher in a better future for all,” he added.
Vigils were held yesterday around the world to demonstrate solidarity with the girls and their families. Supporters in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States organised a series of campaigns, including lighting the candles, under the banner #BringBackOurGirls to maximize the visibility for continued global concern.
A wide coalition of organisations, including A World at School and its network of Global Youth Ambassadors and Girls Not Brides leaders, were spreading the campaign’s message. In Abuja, multiple events were organised by the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ group.
In New York, at 5:30 p.m., supporters paid tributes to the girls by walking from Nigeria’s UN Mission to the world body’s Headquarters. A World at School also encouraged people to show their support for the initiative by signing a new online petition which calls for the safe return of the girls.
The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, is expected to send the petition to President Goodluck Jonathan. The Chibok girls’ families are also expected to sign the petition and offer their full support for the Safe Schools Initiative.
That $23million dollar programme is designed to pilot 500 safe schools in Nigeria, while bringing the country’s Government and business leaders together with the international community to ensure safe education for all children.
“Girls’ rights should be taken seriously and they should be at school free of intimidation and violence. We will mark the 100 days by pledging to rebuild their Chibok school, and by calling for international support for safe schools across Nigeria,” stressed Mr. Brown.
The UN envoy urged the international community to stand in solidarity with the kidnapped schoolgirls and “never to abandon them”, while “reminding people that we are in the midst of a global civil rights struggle”.
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