Secretary-General's statement on the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize
New York, 7 October 2011 - The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize honours three inspirational women of uncommon courage, strength and commitment - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and social activists Tawakkul Karman of Yemen and Leymah Gbowee of Liberia.
With this decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sends a clear message: women count for peace. It is a testament to the power of the human spirit and underscores a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter: the vital role of women in the advancement of peace and security, development and human rights.
Across the world, we recognize that women are the cornerstone of family and community. Overwhelmingly they are the educators, the health care providers, the weavers of our social fabric.
Throughout North Africa, the Middle East and beyond, we hear the voices of women calling for justice and democracy.
As this prize attests, they are increasingly taking long-overdue leadership - as economic actors; political activists; local, national and even global decision-makers.
Today, as we salute these three remarkable leaders, we at the United Nations reaffirm our determination to advance the cause of women across the full spectrum of our work. That is why we created a dynamic new UN agency, UN Women - to drive this change. The eradication of sexual violence in conflict and the full inclusion of women in building peace and democracy is not an option. It is a necessity for creating a better future for all of the world's people.