New York

24 November 2014

Secretary-General's Remarks to Lighting Ceremony at the Empire State Building for the UNiTe to End Violence Against Women Campaign

Mr. Jean-Yves Ghazi,
Ms. Teri Hatcher,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honour to be here at the Empire State Building to launch the campaign, Orange Your Neighbourhood.

New York City is the United Nations’ neighbourhood, so we are turning the Empire State Building and the UN building orange to raise awareness of the very serious subject of ending violence against women and girls.

I thank Mr. Jean-Yves Ghazi and Ms. Teri Hatcher for their support for this important campaign.

Every year, we mark 25th November with events to raise awareness of the global pandemic of violence against women. But still it continues, affecting at least one woman in three worldwide.

This year alone, more than 200 girls have been kidnapped in Nigeria, and we have seen graphic testimony from Iraqi women of rape and sexual slavery during the conflict there.

Here in the United States, there have been high-profile cases of sexual violence involving sports teams and on university campuses. But we know that many other cases go unreported and unpunished.

This is outrageous, and it must stop.

It is up to everyone to play their part; women’s rights are not only women’s business. Men and boys are finally taking their place as partners in this battle.

We must change the everyday experience of women and girls.

We must challenge discrimination and oppression.

We must put a stop to the mindsets and traditions that encourage, ignore or tolerate violence.

Together, we must end this global disgrace.

Thank you. With your commitment and all of us working together, we can make this world better, with no violence against women and girls.