UN Women for Peace Association’s Annual Awards Luncheon and March in March in celebrations of International Women’s Day and Ending Violence Against Women
March March 4, 2016
Luncheon, March 5, 2016

United Nations Headquarters & Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza


Opposite Photo: Dionne Warwick



The UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA) Annual Awards Luncheon, was held in celebration of International Women’s Day, on March 4th 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and the next on Saturday, March 5 UNWFPA hosted their annual rally and march to end violence against women at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.

The Annual Awards Luncheon honored four inspirational individuals and one very deserving foundation: Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Eugenio López Alonso, Francine LeFrak behalf of the Same Sky Foundation; and UNWFPA’s Patron, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek.

The Luncheon Chair was Sana H. Sabbagh and Uma Pemmaraju once again was the luncheon’s Emcee.

Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, received the Leadership Award.  He was unable to attend and the award was accepted by his wife UNWFPA’s Patron, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, who also received the Peace Award for her tireless work to support women and children’s causes around the world. In a video message, the Secretary General thanked the UNWFPA for the honor, and stressed the importance of continuing to push for gender equality saying, “We have to fight injustice. We have to battle for equality. We have to put women at the center of the 2030 agenda for sustainable de elopement and the Paris agreement on climate change.”

Dayle Haddon and Muna Rihani Al-Nasser

Eugenio López Alonso (the first latin American to be honored by UNWFPA) received the International Philanthropy Award for his work with his foundation, Fundación Jumex, which supports education. Same Sky Foundation, represented by Francine LeFrak, was awarded the Achievement Award. Same Sky is a jewelry initiative that provides training and employment to women survivors of the Rwandan Genocide who are living with HIV/AIDS and gives scholarships to women and girls studying STEM. HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies received the Humanitarian Award. The Princess is involved in many different charitable activities, which include opening “Family House” for women with HIV and their children, the “Sensorial Garden” for elderly women with Alzheimer’s, and has raised fund to combat women’s cancer.

Olivia Jordan and Kat Graham

On Saturday March 5, the non-profit hosted their annual rally and march, “March in March.” The rally was held at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 47th Street between First and Second Avenues and then supporters marched to 42nd and First Avenue where. The event was in celebration of International Women’s Day. Journalist Lisa Daftari emceed the rally. Grand Marshall, Dionne Warwick led thousands in a march to end violence against women. The 40 members of Brooklyn’s own Christian Cultural Center choir marched with the crowds and sang What the World Needs Now Is Love. 

Patricia Kluge, Princess Camilla Duchess of Castro,
Dionne Warwick and Muna Rihani Al-Nasser

Warwick received the 2016 the Voice of Peace Award, she said “I am grateful to have been asked by this most incredible group of ladies to be an honoree, and moreover, to be the Grand Marshal too. What greater honor could there be! I truly am beside myself with joy and look forward to being a part of this most prestigious event.”

Chair and Co-Founder of UN Women For Peace Association, Muna Rihani Al-Nasser opened the rally by saying “It is 2016 and still nearly 5 million women and girls are living in slavery, victims of human trafficking. 60 million more are child brides, and 140 million live with the pain of enforced genital mutilation.  ISIS is selling women and girls for less that $25, this is less than a pair of shoes. Even here in the United States, every 9 seconds a women is assaulted or beaten. Nearly 20 people per-minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. Crimes against women are crimes against humanity. It’s not only a women’s issue, it’s a men’s issue as well. It is the responsibility of each one of us. Just by being here today you are making difference.”

Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes said “Just because the word violence is proceeded by the word domestic it does not make the violence any softer, it does not make the violence any less.”

Actress Kat Graham energized crowd by saying “I’m proud to be here with the United Nations Women For Peace Association, an organization of women FOR women, that takes the opportunity to shine a light on the violence perpetrated against women all over the world and says “Enough is enough!”  Women from all corners of the globe, no matter if they face the horrors of war as far away as Syria or if they are the target of sexual violence right here in the United States, Women for Peace says no woman should endure such hardships and will do all they can to put an end to their suffering.  We have to continue to send the signal to these women that they are not alone.”

Guests that attend the Annual Award Luncheon included: Dionne Warwick, Miss Universe (Pia Wurtzbach), Miss USA (Olivia Jordan), Kat Graham (actress), H.R.H. Prince Carlo of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro, Muna Rihani Al-Nasser (UNWFPA Chair) and Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes, Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, Carole Haarmann Acunto, Edgar Batista, Geoffrey Bradfield, Sharon Bush, Charles & Rema DuPont, Rick Friedberg, Susan Gutfreund, Dayle Haddon, Cathy Hardwick, Yaz Hernandez, Jana Jaffe, Bushra Khayat Jomaa, Patricia Kluge, Latifa Kofta, Don Eugenio Lopez Rodea (Eugenio Lopez Alonso’s father), Mary McFadden, Bona Valbona, Ana Nitze, Emily Panasci (Miss USA), Luiza Petre, Laurice Rahme. Paola Bacchini Rosenshein, Gregory Schnackel, Princess Maria Chiara of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Bruce & Barbara Winston (UNWFPA Vice President), and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Pia Wurtzbach (Miss Universe) and Nassrin Iromloo Zahedi.

Speaker at the 2016 March in March included: Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, Chair of UNWFPA; Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, Patron of UN Women for Peace Association; Dionne Warwick, singer; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukva, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Executive Director of UN Women; HRH Princess Camilla of Bourbon Two Sicilies; Francine LeFrak, Founder Same Sky; Bushra Khayat Jomaa, UNWFPA special envoy; Rosemary DiCarlo, Former Ambassador to the United Nations, Commissioner Cecile Noel, Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence; Deputy Chief Juanita Holmes, Commanding Officer of NYPD Domestic Violence Unit; Kat Graham, Actress; Rita Cosby, New Anchor; Shandra Woworuntu, Co-Founder, Mentari, Appointed by President Obama to United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, and survivor of human trafficking, Jennifer Singleton, Managing Director, Women's Prison Association; and Ms. Nam Hee Kim, Chairwoman, International Women's Peace Group (IWPG).

UNWFPA believes violence against women and girls is a criminal act that should not be tolerated. Yet, as you read this, five million women and girls across the globe are suffering from forced sexual exploitation or are victims of human trafficking. More than 60 million girls have no access to - or are being deliberately excluded from - primary and secondary school. One in three women experience violence from an intimate partner or sexual violence from a stranger in their lifetime. UNWFPA was founded in 2008 under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Ban Soon-taek. UNWFPA aims at raising awareness about these horrible crimes. We seek to promote and advance the goals of UN agencies that provide opportunities for women through social, cultural, educational and empowerment programs within the framework of the global peace-building process. All our proceeds go directly to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. The Fund, which aims to prevent and end violence against women and girls, provides services and programs to those affected by violence and supports the implementation of laws and policies conducive to ending violence against women.

























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