UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth Statement on UNIFEM’s “Say NO to Violence against Women” Campaign

New York City, NY

April 22, 2008


Megan Rabbitt

“The United Nations Foundation joins UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman in encouraging citizen participation in UNIFEM’s Internet initiative, ‘Say NO to Violence against Women.’ We have been delighted to support this important campaign, which urges an end to violence against women and encourages support for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

“In January 2008, the UN Foundation issued a challenge grant that donated $1 for each of the first 100,000 signatures to the online petition campaign that is run by UNIFEM, the UN Development Fund for Women. At that time, 18,000 people had signed the petition. Today, about 210,000 people worldwide have added their voices to the campaign. We are very pleased to cut our check to the UN Trust Fund. But more work still needs to be done.

“Recent research has demonstrated the shameful scope of violence against women around the world. According to World Bank data, women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, motor accidents, war and malaria.

“The international community must work together to stem this appalling level of violence. In February 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a multi-year campaign that aims to secure political will and increased resources to end violence against women and girls, and to galvanize world public opinion to ensure action by policy makers at the highest level.

“We all must play a part. UNIFEM’s “Say NO” campaign allows people everywhere to go on record and stand up for a world free of violence against women. Taking the simple step of signing on to this campaign sends the message that enough is enough, and that the cycle of violence must stop now.”


The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations’ causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations. Through new and innovative public-private partnerships, advocacy and grantmaking, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.