“From Vulnerable to Protagonist”: AVSI at the UN

Date 26.09.2018

From Vulnerable to Protagonist _ Empowering Women against Human Rights Denial Committed For Her Own Good”. This is the theme of the panel organized by AVSI in partnership with the Italian Mission to the UN and the non-profit advocacy organization No Peace without Justice (NPWJ). The event will took place at the United Nations during the UN General Assembly on September 25th.

The topic of discussion was the specific programming priorities for development that intersect Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality and Empowerment of all Women and Girls) and Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace Justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions) and require high level advocacy and support.

This side event raised awareness about the structures and dynamics of sustaining gender inequalities and oppression, and about good practices and stories of change, based on two different approaches. AVSI, an NGO born in 1972, shared its direct experience on the ground developing projects that had a successful impact, and NPWJ based its testimony on decades of advocacy at the highest international institutions and campaigns to raise awareness on the issue.

AVSI contributed its years of experience, both in general remarks and through witnesses of the process of empowerment from delivered directly by two Ugandan women: Teddy Bongomi (Social Worker with AVSI’s long-term partner Meeting Point International, via video conference) and Felicity Acan, Program Officer for AVSI’s SKY project in Uganda.

Watch the video podcast

Watch Teddy Bongomin's video:

Felicity Acan speech


Human rights are not subsidiary to any other goal we might pursue. Without keen attention to gender equality in our efforts to realize human rights, we will fail in the most fundamental aspect of our common responsibility.

Felicity Palmira Acan

Giampaolo Silvestri speech

Giampaolo Silvestri Onu 2018

The achievement of each of the women we meet is our achievement

Giampaolo Silvestri

Speakers included:

  • Enzo Moavero Milanesi (Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs),
  • Stefano Manservisi (Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development - DEVCO)
  • Emma Bonino (senator, human rights activist and founder of No Peace without Justice),
  • Giampaolo Silvestri (AVSI’s Secretary General),
  • Mabel Van Oranje (human rights activist and founder of Girls Not Brides);
  • Victor Ochen (SDG16 UN Goodwill Ambassador),
  • Isatou Touray (Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Gambia)
  • Mohammad Naciri, (UN Women’s Regional Director for the Arab States region),
  • Marie Laurence Ilboudo/Marchal (Minister of Women, National Solidarity and family of Burkina Faso)
  • Sika Bella Kaborè (Premiere Dame, Burkina Faso)