GLO.ACT participates in special events to mark United Nations Day


Vienna, Austria - 31 October 2017 - Every year the United Nations (UN) marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being. Consequently, 24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. Therefore, to help celebrate UN Day, GLO.ACT contributed to, and participated in, a series of events held in Vienna on 24 October 2017.

The first event was the launch of UNODC Annual Report for 2016 at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). Testimonies of human trafficking victims, gathered by GLO.ACT for their "Hear their Voices. Act to Protect" exhibition recently held in Brussels to mark EU Anti Trafficking Day, were also on display.

Addressing the audience via video link, Mr. Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director, said, "The Annual Report shows how we are aligning our programmes to the efforts of Member States. UNODC is providing assistance on the ground to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies." The report provides an overview of UNODC's comprehensive support to Member States, highlights cooperation with UN partners to deliver in the field, and details efforts to promote results-based management and a culture of evaluation.

Also addressing the event where Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, H.E. Willem Van De Voorde, Permanent Representative of Belgium, Mr. Ozark Henry, UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Belgium and Ms. Margaret Akullo, GLO.ACT Project Coordinator. During her speech, Ms. Akullo spoke about the testimonies and pointed out that they are truly moving. She reminded participants that these are real stories, which speak to the suffering that these victims have endured, but also to their courage and resilience. She quoted EU Anti Trafficking Coordinator, Dr. Myria Vassiliadou, by saying, "These testimonies make the invisible visible in order that we hear their voices and act to protect them." Ms. Akullo concluded by saying, "On UN Day, let us measure our successes by how we treat our most vulnerable."

The event was followed by a performance of Mr. Henry, who, since his appointment, has used his talent and fame to raise awareness and to encourage his audience to join UNODC's Blue Heart Campaign against human trafficking. Earlier in the day, UNODC's Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section briefed Mr. Henry on the work the Section is currently doing. During the briefing Mr. Henry said that "It is important to be emotionally involved with what human trafficking victims go through." The meeting also gave staff members the opportunity to express their views on the importance of the work of Goodwill Ambassadors. This rare opportunity for staff to directly interact with Mr. Henry was arranged by the Goodwill Ambassador focal point Ms. Valerie De Vuyst, UNODC Brussels.

In the evening, Mr. Henry gave a benefit concert in support of human trafficking victims. All proceeds from this event went to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. GLO.ACT's "Hear their voices. Act to protect" exhibition was also on display and enabled concert participants to read the moving testimonies of victims of all ages from across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The Belgian Permanent Mission to the UN and IAEA sponsored the concert, with the kind support of ORF Radiokulturhaus and UNODC. For GLO.ACT, UN day concluded with the headquarter team attending a reception hosted by the Belgian Permanent Mission at the Belgian Embassy.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to assist to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including assisting victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

External links:

UNODC Marks UN Day with Special Event

UNODC Marks UN Day with Special Event (photos)

Ozark Henry Benefit Concert (photos)

Testimonies by victims of human trafficking from around the world


For more information, please visit:


Twitter: @glo_act