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Government Should show leadership on Abducted Girls

Media Release 13 May 2014

Government Should show leadership on Abducted Girls, says UN Women National Committee

The National Committee for UN Women New Zealand is calling on the government to pull out all the stops to help rescue the 200 innocent girls who are being held hostage in Nigeria by the Boko Haram militants.

“New Zealand should be showing leadership on this issue, and actively supporting the efforts of the international community to rescue the abducted girls and bring them back to their homes, schools, communities and families,” Sue Kedgley, President of the National Committee for UN Women New Zealand said today.

“Instead, the government’s efforts to date appear to be weak and half-hearted,” Ms Kedgley said. “The Prime Minister appears to be offering excuses for inaction, claiming that “other countries are better placed to help,” and that there is little the government can do except to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation.

“The capture of the girls is a watershed event which could set back the educational opportunities for girls in many parts of the world, and that's why its important that our government does everything it can to help release the girls.”

Ms Kedgley pointed out that the government had pledged, as part of its campaign for a seat on the Security Council, to engage more closely with Africa and broaden our engagement there.

“Yet at this moment of crisis, New Zealand does not appear to be taking any leadership role on this crucially important issue, or engaging with Africa.

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