President Halonen addresses the 4th UNI World CongressDecember 20, 2014 | Cape Town, South Africa

Task Force Co-Chair President Tarja Halonen addressed the UNI World Union on the closing day  of the 4th UNI World Congress in Cape Town, South Africa on December 10, 2014. She called for inclusive economic and social policies that promote equal and meaningful participation of all, especially women and youth. She pointed out that “women are confronted with numerous obstacles that limit their capacity as citizens, producers and leaders. In economy, unleashing women’s capacity, talent and innovation has the potential to yield great benefits.”

President Halonen also talked about her role as the Co-Chair of the High-Level Task Force for the ICPD and stressed the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights in building sustainable and prosperous societies: “In that work it has become evident also from a sustainable development perspective that if people cannot decide for themselves on their most intimate matters, be it whom and when to marry, or how many children to have, or what one’s sexual identity is – how can we expect them to take care and feel responsible for their communities and the environment.”

Read President Halonen’s full speech here: