Canada and Zambia lead on UN resolution to end child, early and forced marriage


November 15, 2022 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“Today, the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a resolution to end child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). Canada is proud to have joined Zambia in leading this resolution, which received broad support from a total of 125 co-sponsors from around the world, reaffirming the vital importance of this issue. The resolution highlights the urgent need to reach the poorest and most marginalized girls and women—those who are the hardest to reach—while calling upon the international community to step up efforts to accelerate progress to end CEFM, including for girls and women in vulnerable situations.

“CEFM is a violation of human rights and prevents girls and women from reaching their full potential. Too often, it results in an end to girls’ education, jeopardizes their health and exposes them to discrimination, abuse and violence, including sexual and gender-based violence. It also limits their ability to fully contribute to the development of their families, communities and countries.

“Despite the progress made in reducing CEFM over the last decade, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises are putting more than 13 million additional girls at risk of CEFM over the next decade. This is the fifth time that Canada and Zambia have co-led the resolution at the UN General Assembly. The resolution sets out key actions to help achieve Target 5.3 of Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aims to eliminate all harmful practices, such as CEFM, by 2030.

“Canada is committed to working with partners and the international community to end this harmful practice and to protect girls and women from its harmful effects. Ending CEFM and upholding the rights of girls and women mean a fairer, more secure and more prosperous future for us all. We cannot afford to see hard-won progress slowed down or set back.” 


Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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