Secretary-General’s Campaign “UNiTE to End Violence against Women, 2008-2015”
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The United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women (UNiTE Campaign) was launched in 2008. The overall objective of UNiTE Campaign was to raise public awareness and increase political will and resources for preventing and ending violence against women and girls. With the campaign, the former Secretary-General launched a broad-based call to governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, artists, the media, the entire United Nations system, and individual women and men, to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. In 2017, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres decided to link UNiTE to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, re-naming the campaign to UNiTE by 2030. UNiTE by 2030 is guided by a vision of focusing on activities to help achieve SDG Goal 5 and the target on ending violence against women, while attending to “leaving no one behind”. Secretary General Guterres sought to provide a collective platform for large-scale global mobilization and to link a wide range of stakeholders’ initiatives to the Secretary-General’s efforts.
The UNiTE Campaign is currently active in all world regions, and in 2017, recorded activities in 85 countries. One of the signature activities of the unite Campaign is the lighting of landmark buildings in the color orange during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence between 25th November and 10th December every year.. In 2017 the Parliaments in Bangladesh, Liberia, and Morocco, Rio’s iconic statue of Christ, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the City Hall in Bogota, the Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, the New York City Hall, the City Hall of Bunkyo-city in Japan, Municipal Palace and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Guatemala; The European Commission (Berlaymont Building), the Parliament (Station Europe) and Hotel de Ville of the Grand-place in Brussels were lit up in orange in honor of 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Areas of Focus
As per Policy Committee Decision No. 20007/31, the three key areas of focus for the Secretary-General's campain UNiTE to End Violence against Women are global advocacy, UN leadership, and strengthening efforts and partnerships at the national and regional levels.
In March 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women (UNiTE) launched its call to action for the 16 Days of Activism, ‘Orange the World: End Violence against Women and Girls’. The theme of prevention of violence against women and girls was selected as a focus to provide opportunities to highlight the need for greater investment in ending violence against women and girls at global, regional and country level in the particular context of the new SDG framework with a focus on prevention as a long term solution.
In Africa, training sessions were organized in 2013 and 2015 under the auspices of the UNiTE campaign for representatives from the Defense Forces, Police institutions and Correctional Services. Participants received training to enhance the capacity of Africa Security Organs to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.