Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

The United Nations in Timor-Leste reaffirm its commitment to end gender-based violence

Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dili, Timor-Leste — As part of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Based Violence in 2017, the United Nations Country Team in Timor-Leste endorsed 5-points committing to joint efforts toward eliminating violence against women and girls. These actions align with the UN's high standards of integrity and professionalism with respect for the dignity of all people. The commitment was signed by representatives of UN agencies present in Timor-Leste: UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UN Women, FAO, ILO, WFP, WHO, Human Rights Advisory Unit, and IOM.

Representatives of UN agencies present in Timor-Leste: UNFPA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UN Women, FAO, ILO, WFP, WHO, Human Rights Advisory Unit, and IOM. Photo: UN/Natalie Davis

Signed on the 8 December 2017 during the UN Country Team Retreat, Acting United Nations Resident Coordinator in Timor-Leste and UNFPA Representative, John M. Pile, stated that the "UN needs to uphold its own responsibility, as a role model, to prevent any form of violence against women and girls and to uphold 'zero tolerance' on sexual exploitation and abuses that occur in the workplace-including our compound".

The commitment consists of 5 concrete actions that will be taken by United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste in 2018 under leadership of the inter-agency Gender Theme Group, co-chaired by UN Women and UNFPA. This includes developing a resource manual for UN Personnel and their families affected by domestic violence and promoting the UN's 'zero tolerance' policy on gender-based violence in the UN compound; making available access to counselling to UN personnel and dependents who experience or are at risk of abuse; ensuring that all personnel complete basic training on gender equality, given that gender inequality and discrimination are underlying causes of gender based violence; helping raise the awareness of the media and general public on issues of gender inequality and gender-based violence through existing media partnerships; and developing joint UN programming to address gender-based violence.

The United Nations commitment in Timor-Leste recognizes that gender based violence is a global pandemic that transcends individual countries and institutions. As such, through its commitment in Timor-Leste, the UN Country Team is stepping up to transform the harmful social norms that perpetuate gender inequality as part of its contributions to inclusive and sustainable development in Timor-Leste, working together, to 'leave no one behind''.