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Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Watson bring star power to UN

Leonardo DiCaprio stressed on "climate change is perhaps the most important issue of our time."

By: Press Trust of India | United Nations |
September 21, 2014 3:22:11 pm

Star-power was on full display at the UN here with Hollywood actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Watson joining hands with the world body and lending their support to issues of women’s empowerment and climate change.

Oscar-nominated actor and the new UN Messenger of Peace DiCaprio, on Saturday met United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the world body’s headquarters where he stressed that “climate change is perhaps the most important issue of our time” and tackling it will be “no small task”.

“His global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge,” Ban said on Saturday.

UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Watson, renowned for her lead role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, launched the UN Women ‘HeForShe’ campaign with Ban that calls on men and boys worldwide to raise their voice for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

DiCaprio is expected to join the Secretary-General at the Peoples’ Climate March in New York today where around 100,000 people are expected to come, demanding more action over climate change ahead of UN Climate Summit on September 23.

At the summit, more than 120 Heads of State and Government are expected to announce their visions and commitments for reaching a universal and meaningful climate agreement in 2015, and to demonstrate actions that will reduce emissions, enhance resistance to climate change and mobilise financing.

Over the next 12 months, the ‘HeForShe’ campaign intends to mobilise one billion men and boys as advocates and agents of change for gender equality.

Referring to her role as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, Watson said many in the audience might ask: “Who is this ‘Harry Potter’ girl and what is she doing speaking at the UN?” while admitting that she had asked herself the same question since being named UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

“All I know is that I care about this problem and want to make it better. I feel it is my responsibility to say and do something. I am reaching out to you because we need your help. We want to end gender inequality and to that we need everyone involved,” Watson said.

“The reality is, that if we do nothing, it will take 75 years before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work…and at the current rate, it will 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education.

“I want men to take up this mantle. So that their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice, but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too – reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves,” Watson said.

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