New York, 25 November 2008 - Secretary-General's remarks at "United To End Violence Aganst Women Campaign" event (as prepared for delivery)Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here. I thank UNIFEM for organizing this event, and for its outstanding leadership in addressing the absolutely critical problem of violence against women.
I go to many meetings at which participants try to raise awareness about the terrible devastation caused by gender-based violence and abuse. But tonight was really special. What a powerful performance.
I sincerely appreciate the Tiyatroglobal theater ensemble for developing and performing the play “Mika” in response to my campaign. I wish that policy-makers and women everywhere could see it.
The creativity and dedication we have seen here this evening are part of a rising chorus of activism around the world to stop violence against women.
Some of these voices may not be loud, but they are strong. Together, they are sending a resounding message to the world: violence against women can never be tolerated.
Just last week, there was a little-noticed news report about women marching in the town of Bor in Southern Sudan. About one hundred of them paraded with a simple plea: “Bring an end to violence against women and let women contribute to develop the nation””
That is my point exactly. And this is true not only in Sudan but everywhere. When you eliminate violence against women, you safeguard an individual's human rights. You also free up the greatest tool we have to spur progress in society: women.
This is as important in developing countries ravaged by war as it is in rich nations that have enjoyed decades of peace. Violence against women occurs everywhere. When we stop it, entire societies will benefit.
When we leave here tonight, let us carry forward the message of Tiyatroglobal.
Let us amplify the outstanding work of UNIFEM.
And let us remember women on the march everywhere -- and men, too – and join this growing movement to help individuals, communities and nations around the world.
Statements on 25 November 2008