Watch the High-Level Event launching the EU-UN Spotlight initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls.
Day: Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Time: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations, New York
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Mr. Guterres has worked tirelessly to condemn gender-based violence in all its forms, and made ending violence against women and girls a priority to achieve gender equality. “We must move with all deliberate speed towards greater equality, especially in terms of violence against women, conflict-related sexual abuse, trafficking and related exploitation and the pervasive discrimination that deprives millions of women of education, economic resources and reproductive rights”
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General
Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development. Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission
She has been the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs from February to October 2014 and a Member of the Italian Parliament (Chamber of Deputies), where she was elected for the first time in 2008. "Gender equality is not simply a moral duty, and a matter of social justice, of equal access. Granting the same rights to men and women makes our societies richer and more secure. It is a matter of development, and a matter of peace and security, not purely a matter of principles."
Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
Neven Mimica set out as his priority the promotion of gender equality and women's rights and empowerment, as a key driver of sustainable development and a cross-cutting objective vital for tackling other challenges, including poverty, inequality, food security, health and education. He is the initiator of this initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
H.E Michelle Bachelet
Michelle Bachelet Jeria is the current president of Chile and the first woman to hold the prestigious office in the country. This is her second term, her first being from 2006-2010. During her hiatus from the presidency she served as the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. TIME magazine ranked President Bachelet as the world's 15th most influential person in 2008.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
Having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.
Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake (Sri Lanka) was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.
Malala Yousafzai, Messenger of Peace
Ms. Yousafzai became an international symbol for girls’ education after she was shot in 2012 for opposing Taliban restrictions on female education in her home country of Pakistan. In 2013, Malala and her father co-founded the Malala Fund to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls' education and to empower girls to demand change. In April 2017, Secretary-General António Guterres designated Malala as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador
Best known for his starring role in HBO’s Game of Thrones, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Denmark) is passionate about ending discrimination and violence against women and girls everywhere. As a father of two girls,he uses his influence as an actor and advocate to draw attention to critical issues such as gender equality and climate action to encourage people to be agents of change.
Ashley Judd, UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador
Acclaimed humanitarian, writer and actor Ashley Judd is fiercely committed to social justice. In particular, she believes that the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women, iis at the heart of poverty eradication and sustainable development. She is a passionate advocate for the right of every girl and boy to enter adulthood safely and empowered, and to ending all forms of gender-based violence, including in the United States.
Inna Modja, Activist
Inna Modja is a Malian-French singer, model, and anti-FGM activist. Modja spoke about her experience as an FGM survivor, having undergone the surgery as a teenager and without her parents’ consent, at the UN headquarters on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in 2016. Ms. Modja has used her music as a platform to speak out against violence against women, featuring different depictions of marital violence in her recent video for "La Valse de Marylore".
Priyanka Chopra, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Priyanka is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and has been a National Ambassador to India for 11 years. She is also a United Nations Foundation Girl Up Champion, and is involved in a number of efforts to protect children’s rights and promote the education of girls in India, including her namesake charity The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education.
Zain Verjee, Founder
Zain Verjee is one of the world’s most respected and recognized journalists, with 14 years of experience at CNN as an anchor, reporter and profound interviewer. Zain invests her personal time and inquiry in understanding people around the world. She is Kenyan born and passionate about Africa today. She was recently appointed a UNICEF Children’s Advocate for ‘A Promise Renewed’ promoting child survival globally.
Amadou Diop, Chairman, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States’ Committee of Ambassadors
Berta Zúñiga Caceres, Women’s rights activist
Kathryn Relang, Women’s rights activist
Dina Smailova, Women’s rights activist
Gloria Steinem, writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer
Madeleine Tolno, Women’s rights activist
Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund Co-founder
For more information on the Spotlight Initiative, contact:
Olga Aleshina, Head of Programme Management Unit, Spotlight Initiative, +1 (212) 906-6155
Christopher Matthews, Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer at European Union Delegation to the UN +1 (212) 421-3550
Follow us on Twitter: @Spotlight_VAWG