United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed “deep sorrow” over the death of a young Indian woman who was gang-raped in a bus in the city of New Delhi earlier this month, according to his spokesperson.
“He offers his sincerest condolences to her parents, family and friends, and utterly condemns this brutal crime,” the spokesperson added in a statement issued on 29 December 2012.
The 23-year old student had been gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in the Indian capital on 16 December. Subsequently, she had been transported to a Singapore hospital where she was being treated for severe injuries, and where she was reported to have died on Saturday.
In addition, the attack reportedly sparked widespread protests about gender attitudes in India, as well as calls for changes to relevant national laws.
“Violence against women must never be accepted, never excused, never tolerated. Every girl and woman has the right to be respected, valued and protected,” Mr Ban's spokesperson said in the statement.
He noted that the UN chief welcomes the efforts of the Indian Government to take urgent action on the matter and calls for further steps and reforms to deter such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice.
“He also encourages the Government of India to strengthen critical services for rape victims,” the spokesperson continued, adding that the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and other parts of the UN system stand ready to support such reform efforts with technical expertise and other support as required.
Established in July 2010 with the aim of accelerating progress on meeting the needs of women worldwide, UN Women works for, among other issues, the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development and human rights.