Nicole Kidman: “Welcome to a vast global team of new Goodwill Ambassadors” / Signatures to be presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
For immediate release
Date: 25 November 2008
Oisika Chakrabarti, Media Specialist, UN Women Headquarters, +1 646 781-4522,
United Nations, New York — A total of 5,066,549 people worldwide have joined UNIFEM’s Say NO to Violence against Women campaign and added their names to a call to make ending violence against women a top priority for governments worldwide. UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman will present the signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today during a ceremony at UN headquarters to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Launched one year ago, the Say NO campaign is an Internet-based awareness raising and advocacy initiative that UNIFEM designed to feed into the campaign of the UN Secretary-General on the same issue.
“I want to thank you for raising your voices,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Social mobilization is the spark that ignites action. I am delighted that governments, civil society organizations and the private sector have come together through the Say NO initiative.”
“Through Say NO, people in the farthest corners of the world have become engaged. This is a large new constituency that we will continue to involve and mobilize in the years to come,” said UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi.
“I am delighted to welcome a vast global team of new Goodwill Ambassadors on the issue,” said UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman, who has served as the spokesperson of the campaign. “As long as one in three women and girls may be abused in their lifetimes, violence against women must be everybody’s business.” Violence against women is probably the most pervasive human rights violation. Women are abused at home, trafficked across borders or victim to widespread and systematic sexual violence in conflict.
The Say NO campaign also received high-level governmental support. Heads of State and Ministers representing 60 governments added their names as a public expression of commitment to the issue. More than 600 Parliamentarians from over 70 countries also signed on. “This high-level support for the issue is crucial,” said Inés Alberdi. “Without strong political will, there will be no decisive action,” she added. Ms. Alberdi urged governments to use the momentum created through the Say NO campaign to implement laws and policies to protect women and adopt accountability frameworks with minimal standards of protection and response, including prompt police response, health and legal services, shelters and safe options, national hotlines, an accountable judiciary, and national action plans.
Since resources are urgently needed, the Say NO campaign has also called for support to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women that UNIFEM manages on behalf of the UN system. This fund awards grants to innovative initiatives in the developing world. Since its inception in 1997, it has awarded more than US$40 million in grants to 286 projects in 115 countries. UN Trust Fund grantees have worked to stop human trafficking, put an end to honour killings and provide services for survivors. A particular focus lies on supporting the implementation of laws and policies on violence against women.
The Say NO campaign was developed for UNIFEM on a pro bono basis by the London offices of advertising agency Leo Burnett, with additional pro bono support by Arc, an associated Internet company.