Read exclusive excerpts of the Vice President’s speech to the United Nations’s Generation Equality Forum in Paris.

In 1995, at the United Nations’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton famously proclaimed, “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.” It was (somehow) a very revelatory statement at the time, and the one message that Clinton said she wanted to echo forth from the global gathering.

Decades later, at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing conference, that message will echo around the world once again as Vice President Kamala Harris declares in her virtual opening remarks at the United Nations’s Generation Equality Forum in Paris on Wednesday that she knows “without doubt, gender equality strengthens democracy.”

As the leader of the U.S. Delegation to the gathering, which runs from June 30 to July 2, Harris will make the case that democracies function best when everyone participates, and that they suffer when people—namely women—are left out.

The speech is the third time that the Vice President has addressed gender equality on the global stage; earlier this year, on International Women’s Day, Harris spoke before the European Parliament, urging nations to “build a world that works for women.” And Harris also led the U.S. Delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women last March. It was the first time in history that a vice president—or a president—led the U.S. delegation to the commission.

After the VP’s speech on Wednesday, the Biden Administration will announce several initiatives to further gender equality in three key areas: gender-based violence, economic justice, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Read exclusive excerpts of Harris’s speech below:

Around the world, democracy is in peril.
As we witnessed at the G-7 Summit just weeks ago, world leaders are uniting against the threat of autocracy. World leaders are uniting behind the principles of democracy. I believe, resolutely, that if we want to strengthen democracy, we must fight for gender equality.
Because here is the truth: Democracy is strongest when everyone participates—and it is weaker when people are left out.
So, I know, without doubt: Gender equality strengthens democracy.