Uzra Zeya
Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
As prepared for delivery
Washington, DC
March 20, 2014

(Also see remarks by Under Secretary Sewall and Deputy Secretary Burns.)

Good morning and welcome to the Ben Franklin Room, which is an appropriate setting for an inventive and electric crowd. A special thank you to Vital Voices and Avon, whose generosity and support made it possible for us to host all of you here today. To Alyse Nelson and Sheri McCoy, this initiative we launch today would not have been possible without you.

I’d also like to thank our NGO and international partners here who have played a vital role in creating this initiative: Promundo-U.S., the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, and the International Organization for Migration. Thank you also to our terrific slate of panelists from this morning’s sessions, and moderators Margaret Brennan and Candy Crowley.

It is my distinct privilege to introduce to you the Deputy Secretary of State, William J. (Bill) Burns., who is not only the most influential diplomat of his generation, but also embodies equality, fairness and decency in everything he does.

Please join me in welcoming Deputy Secretary Burns.

[Deputy Secretary Burns, President and CEO of Vital Voices Alyse Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc. Sheri McCoy, and Avon Foundation for Women Global Ambassador Fergie deliver remarks.]

Thank you again for joining us today, thank you to Kat Fotovat, Pat Davis, Barbara Paoletti, Doreen Mullady, Betsy Bramon, and the entire Global Programming office for terrific work making today’s event possible. We look forward to working closely together with all of you to advance efforts to combat gender-based violence worldwide.