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June 4, 2018 (TORONTO, ON) – Plan International Canada welcomes both The Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development and The Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women and Girls In Humanitarian Action. We are particularly thrilled with the Declaration on adolescent girls, as it signifies a critical investment in the most vulnerable, yet the most powerful population on the planet. Heralding a new way of doing business, this Declaration champions a more effective approach to eradicating global poverty and empowering women.

The move to put people, particularly girls, at the centre of aid and development, rather than siloed issues, marks a game-changing shift. Adolescent girls don’t live single issue lives, so we can longer work with them in a single-issue way.

This Declaration was the result of the unprecedented meetings that took place in Whistler between global development Ministers and adolescent girl advocates from Canada and around the world. For the first time in G7 history, the distance between decision-makers and those impacted by their decisions was closed when adolescent girls joined the government representatives in dialogue.

The ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to leave no one behind. In Whistler, Ministers heard directly from those most left behind - adolescent girls, including Hannah from Wiikwemikoong, a Canadian Indigenous girl who told the leaders “Don't leave us behind."

These girl advocates challenged the Ministers to take their commitment to the SDGs seriously, and to commit to turning words into action on the ground. The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, listened to this message and responded by with a Declaration that places girls at the centre of Canada’s actions.

“The case for investing in girls’ rights couldn’t be stronger and the girl advocates that traveled to Whistler from Ontario, Jamaica, South Africa, Benin, Mali and Lebanon, are its fiercest proponents.” said Caroline Riseboro, Plan International Canada CEO and President. “They have shown the world what can change we you invite girls to speak and exercise their power, and truly listen to what they have to say.”

About Plan International and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

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Media contact:

Leah Siversky
Plan International Canada | T: +1 416 920 1654 ext. 350