Vienna, 25 November 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: “The protection of women is at the top of the Austrian human rights agenda“

Vice Chancellor on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Vienna, 25 November 2011 – “Millions of women continue to fall victims to violence around the world every day. We must intensify our efforts to effectively put an end to this severe humanitarian problem“, said Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2011.

“As a member of the UN Security Council, we were able to achieve significant progress towards the implementation of resolution 1325 aiming at a greater protection of women in armed conflicts and their involvement in peace processes. We now continue this commitment in the UN Human Rights Council, in which Austria became a member for three years as of last June“, stressed the Foreign Minister.

“Women belonging to a minority are often exposed to a particularly great risk of falling victim to violence. The Forum on Minority Issues of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, initiated and co-financed by Austria, will therefore focus during this year’s meeting on 29 and 30 November 2011 on the rights of women belonging to minorities, and in particular on the issue of violence against women and their access to justice“, said Spindelegger. “The Forum on Minority Issues will address recommendations both to individual states and to the United Nations on how to improve the situation of this specially vulnerable group of women.“

“In many regions of the world, women repeatedly become victims of targeted violence once they become involved in political processes. Unfortunately, this has been confirmed once again during the “Arab Spring“ in many of the countries affected“, said Spindelegger. Therefore, Austria is also involved in this particular area, including its support for a project by the UN agency for women’s affairs (UN Women) to promote the political participation of women in the democratic transition process in Egypt. In addition, Austria is engaged in efforts geared toward the termination of gender-specific violence by supporting the UN Secretary General’s “UNiTE to End Violence Against Women” initiative and through contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213