New York, 23 November 2010 - Secretary-General's Remarks at the Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against WomenThank you miss Hyunju Chang for your participation,
Your Excellency, Ambassador Joseph Goddard, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the United Nations,
Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women,
Grammy Award Nominee Debi Nova,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us all thank the wonderful Empire City Men's Chorus for that beautiful presentation. Thank you very much.
And thank all of you for joining me for this important commemoration.
Of course, this is much more than a commemoration. Today is a call to action – action to eliminate Violence against Women.
There has been real progress. Across the world, people are mobilizing to stop the abuse of women and girls. This is no longer just the concern of women's organizations. More and more people realize that gender-based violence is everybody's problem ? and that everybody is responsible for stopping it.
This year's observance highlights how business leaders can contribute. Just this morning I met with a number of corporate partners.
CEOs who are creative...
Company presidents who are committed?
Corporate executives who care about the health and safety of the world's women and girls.
They are finding new ways to address violence against women? from the pages of fashion magazines ? to the interactions between cosmetic salespeople and their clients.
We welcome what these energies and ideas are doing to advance the goals of my UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.
The problem is complex and widespread. But the solutions are within reach.
There are simple steps we can take to get counselling to victims?
To raise awareness that violence is a crime?
To be sure that it is always punished?
To free young girls enslaved by traffickers...
And to enable all victims of violence to overcome their struggles and realize their potential.
Debi Nova is a wonderful example. She personally knows the harm caused by violence against women. And she is using her star power to fight back.
There are so many others like Ms. Nova. Talented, intelligent women ? who are ready to do their part.
And men ? the fathers and brothers who are so important to this campaign ? they are coming forward to join us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today's observance is an important day on the UN calendar.
This year, I wish to use it not only to continue our efforts to raise awareness, but to announce a call for proposals.
The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is ready to hear your ideas. Its annual call for proposals starts now.
We are inviting governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as UN Country Teams to apply for funding to support innovative projects that will help end violence against women.
We know you have the ideas ? the Trust Fund can transform them into actions.
That is one way we can take this campaign forward. Today you will hear about many others.
Our challenge is to keep advancing after today. To make new plans. To start new projects. To gather our forces. So that we can meet again next year to discuss our successes? what we have learned from them? and how to ensure they can have global impact, for no country is immune from this problem.
United, we can end violence against women.
Thank you very much.
Statements on 23 November 2010