Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very happy to be with you here and to join your march again. This year we are very proud to be partnering with UN Women for Peace in organizing their March for a second year in a row. For that, I would like to thank UN Women for Peace and my wife, Chairperson Muna Rihani for their dedication and resilience in their efforts to End Violence Against Women. I would also like to applaud Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, patron of UNWFP for her work and devotion to this cause.
I look around and I see all these remarkable women around today and I feel very proud to be part of their March. Because yes, I do agree with what my wife just said, that this is not a women issue , it is a human issue. I stand here as a husband and as a father.
This is a challenge that we all have to stand up for and speak out against.
We have to teach young boys and educate them that they should raise their voices against this crime. If we don’t change attitudes and perceptions, this crime will continue to happen.
The issue of “the woman” is one that is inherently close to the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. It is not just a women’s rights issue, but a humanitarian one as well. Besides the obvious parallel of education as a key priority, fighting differences to achieve equity falls naturally within our line of activity. The UNAOC aims to improve understanding and foster mutual respect among nations and peoples, overlooking their innate differences.
Our rights, our lives, our dignity, should not be dictated by any of these diversities—including gender. On behalf of the UNAOC, we applaud UNWFP for their work and contribution to the UN Trust Fund to provide educational and economic opportunities to these women, supporting them on the way to a decent life.
I am proud to support UNWFP’s endeavors and its fight to end violence against women and girls. I sincerely hope we can count on all of you for your support as well.