03/11/2014 05:51 EDT | Updated 05/11/2014 05:59 EDT

Kellie Leitch Addresses UN, Says Canada Devoted $2.85 Billion To Help Girls And Women Worldwide

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Canada's minister responsible for the status of women addressed the United Nations on Tuesday to highlight Canada's record on helping women and girls around the globe.

Kellie Leitch focused on Canadian efforts to end forced marriages in her address at the 58th meeting of the UN's commission on the status of women.

She was part of a delegation from Canada that included six youth delegates.

This year's UN meeting is concentrating on the implementation of the so-called Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.

The eight goals range from providing universal primary education to curtailing the spread of HIV/AIDS. They've been agreed upon by all the world's nations.

Leitch touted Canada's commitment to maternal, newborn and child health, saying the Conservative government has devoted a total of $2.85 billion to the cause over five years.

She told the UN that Canada has also emphasized the need to put the poorest and most vulnerable, including women and children, at the core of the post-2015 development agenda in order to fully meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Promoting gender equality, health, women's economic empowerment and investing in girls will all remain a priority, Leitch said.

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