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High level launch of the Council of Europe campaign to stop sexual violence against children - Rome, Italy, 29-30 November 2010
Closing speech by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio,
Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe 


30 November 2010

Minister Carfagna,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear young people,

We have reached the end of our launching conference.

We shared some very powerful and moving moments.

There were times when I felt like the weather, willing to cry all tears out of a dark cloud.

However, I am an optimist by nature and can already see the rainbow teetering in the distance. We do not need to see the sun to feel its energy and the wonders it makes possible. I felt your energy in this room and I am convinced that your expertise, determination and creativity will be the power of the important engine we have put in motion during the conference. An engine that can change the lives of millions of children in Europe and beyond. My dearest dream is that the result of our work can contribute to the success of the important mandate of the UNSG Special Representative on violence against children, Marta Santos Pais.

I want to thank most warmly Minister Carfagna and her team for all the efforts invested in the organisation of this event and the launching of a national campaign in Italy. We are looking forward to the results of this important awareness-raising effort as we are convinced it can inspire and motivate many countries in Europe.
My thanks go also to all the speakers and participants. I would also like to thank the members of the Council of Europe team who have been working really hard over the past six months.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take the plane very often. There is a special moment I like, when the plane goes through the clouds over Strasbourg and reaches the clear sky. I have always been amazed by the way they look, thick as a mattress.

Sexual violence is like these heavy clouds above us. When you take your plane back home and look at the clouds that have accompanied us in Rome, please think that they are just made of water vapour. It is possible to break through… we just need to do it.

Have a safe trip home and let’s keep in touch!