Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Mira Sorvino urged an end to violence against women at a concert Wednesday night to support the U.N. agency that promotes equality for women and an end to attacks against millions of women and girls.
General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar brought the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra to the U.N. to celebrate his leadership of the 193-member world body this year and dedicated the concert to supporting UN Women, which came into existence in 2010.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the crowd that “more than half of all women will be victims of violence in their lifetime — beatings, sexual abuse, even murder.”
Al-Nasser said U.N. member states have committed to raising $100 million by 2015 for its trust fund to combat violence against women.
He announced that already this year “generous donations” have been made by Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, and Switzerland.
But Michelle Bachelet, the former Chilean president who heads U.N. Women, said the fund can only meet 5 percent of the more than $1 billion requested to support life-saving programs around the world.
Sorvino, the U.N. goodwill ambassador to combat human trafficking, told hundreds of concertgoers that even in the “civilized” United States, “one out of three women will be raped or assaulted in her lifetime — and I personally believe this number to be conservative because of the shame admitting to sexual and physical abuse brings.”
Kidman said in a video that until she became the goodwill ambassador for UN Women, she had no idea about “this gross violation of women’s human rights.” She said she has since met women who have suffered horrific abuse.
“Yet what has inspired me time and again is how they set their goals to overcome the trauma and help others,” she said. “My message today is your support counts. Let survivors of violence know that they can count on you.”
UN General Assembly cultural event will spotlight efforts to end violence against women
The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, is hosting a Special Cultural Event in the GA Hall on Wednesday, June 6th, featuring the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO), with the aim of promoting UN Women and specifically boosting support for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.
The President of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and UN Women Executive Director Madame Michelle Bachelet will all speak at the event. UN Goodwill Ambassadors Mira Sorvino and Nicole Kidman will also make contributions.
It is estimated that as many as six out of ten women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, and UN Women, the youngest member of the UN family, manages the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women. The fund provides grants to local initiatives around the world to help address this pandemic of violence. This year it is focusing on supporting efforts to help women and girls in conflict, post-conflict and transitional settings.
UN Women also coordinates the UN Secretary-General campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women to raise global awareness and affect policy change. The President of the General Assembly is calling for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address this problem.
Qatar Foundation, chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nassser, who is co-sponsoring the event with the State of Qatar, is working tirelessly to improve the lives of women around the globe, through education, empowerment of women and by addressing issues ranging from human trafficking and sexual exploitation to the eradication of poverty and hunger faced by rural women.
The occasion will also serve as a celebration of the Sixty-Sixth Session of the General Assembly under the presidency of H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, whose tenure has witnessed critical and historic events in the Middle East and North Africa, as well efforts to boost global economic recovery and promote a better sustainable development agenda for our planet.
For further information on this special event, please contact:
Nihal Saad (Ms.), Spokesperson for the President of the GA: saadn[at]un.org, Cell: 646-416-4594 or
Ben Malor – Communications Adviser: malor[at]un.org, Cell: 917-842-7275
For more information on the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, please visit: http://www.unwomen.org/how-we-work/un-trust-fund/