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United to end the violence against women
. Ban Ki-moon
"Break the silence. When you witness violence against women and girls, do not sit back. Act."
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary - General

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

The UNiTE Campaign launches ‘The brave are not violent’ initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean

On Wednesday 12 July, the UNiTE Campaign launched the initiative “The brave are not violent”, in Quito, Ecuador. The initiative is a joint communications campaign which is being launched by the UNiTE Campaign with support from UN Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, PAHO and WHO, in partnership with MTV. The regional launch follows national launches earlier this year in Cuba in April and Argentina in May.
The initiative aims to involve youth in the campaign, encouraging them to become part of the solution to prevent and end violence against women and girls. It calls on young people to take a stand against violence against women by carrying out simple actions in their day to day realities such as in their homes, schools and communities to challenge macho behavior and attitudes.

The launch event took the form of a party organized with the support of the Municipality of Quito, Ecuador. During the ceremony, the MTV DJ Mauricio Parra launched a contest asking young people in the region to submit proposals to contribute to preventing and ending violence against women in a range of fields, including sport, theatre, music and social media. The winning project will be highlighted in a profile of MTV Agents of Change.

The launch was attended by UN Women Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, Moni Pizani, who addressed young people "courage makes the impossible possible, and so we ask you: show us your bravery, be our agents of change, help us to change those terrifying statistics of the thousands of women and girls victims of violence," she said.

UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bernt Aasen, stressed that to end violence against women, not only does the current generation of men and women need to be reached, but also children and adolescents. "To prevent and eliminate such violence requires involving men from childhood to change their perceptions and stereotypes," he said.  He supported the idea that "young boys are essential so that girls and women can live in a world that guarantees them exercise of their rights without any discrimination."

The Regional Director of UNDP for Latin America and the Caribbean, Freddy Justiniano, also emphasized the role of youth when examining the current data in the region showing that levels of violence against women and girls are high in Latin America and the Caribbean. He told young people "We know it is you, the young men and women, who can make a radical change to this situation and build a nonviolent and egalitarian future society. The world has seen that you have the power to change society. And the region needs you”.

The Director of the Regional Office of UNFPA for Latin America and the Caribbean, Marcela Suazo, noted that "diverse international agreements, including the Programme of Action of the ICPD (1994) establish that preventing and addressing violence against women requires the participation of adult men, adolescents and children as allies in promoting individual and collective attitude changes, beliefs and behaviours that reinforce violence as an indicator of masculinity and sexual risk taking as an indicator of ‘manliness’.”

The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, was also convinced that "the youth of our region and each one in particular, can play an essential role in the prevention and reduction of violence in all Member States".

UNiTE Ecuador
DJ Mauricio Parra at the campaign launch in Quito, Ecuador

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