Launch of Africa-UNiTE
“Africa-UNiTE to end Violence against Women and Girls”, the Africa component of the Secretary General’s campaign was launched on January 30th in Addis Ababa.
In a strong message read on his behalf by the under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission of Africa, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, the United Nations Secretary General Mr. BAN Ki-moon emphasized the need for taking concrete steps to end impunity for violence against women and girls.
He called on African leaders to listen to the voices of survivors of such violence and to show strong political leadership in their response. The Secretary-General made reference to his recent launch of the Network of Men Leaders and stated his strong belief that men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women – and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardroom.
The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Liberia, Ms Olubanke King-Akerele, said Liberia has adopted a National Plan of Action to preventsexual and gender -based violence. The actions focus on 5 main thematic areas: psychological, economic empowerment, justice, protection and coordination responses.
UNDP has supported the Africa-UNiTe campaign technically and financially and has helped to build Liberia's action plan.
The launch was witnessed by high ranking officials of AU members States, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Minister of Women Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Deputy Minister of Women of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the Deputy Executive Director of World Food Programme, representatives of other UN agencies as well as the Diplomatic corps, members of civil society a representative of the African Commission on Human & People’s Rights, and the First Lady of Malawi.
In a symbolic act of commitment, a political map of Africa was revealed in the Conference Room and representatives of Member States present were called to approach the stage and light up each of their countries by an electric switch, as a sign of willingness to be part of the campaign Africa UNiTE to end violence against women and girls