UN Women Appoints Joyce Azzam as its National Goodwill Ambassador for Lebanon
Beirut, 28 January 2023, (UN Women) - Today, Joyce Azzam was announced as UN Women Lebanon National Goodwill Ambassador. The elite mountaineer, motivational speaker, and activist is a role model for women in sports and a symbol of hope and strength for women around the world. In partnership with UN Women, she will be supporting efforts to advance gender equality and women's rights in Lebanon.
The announcement was made during a ceremony after Joyce led a group of young women, women’s rights actors, women in sport, ambassadors, government ministers, and UN officials on a guided walk in the Chouf mountains.
UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka congratulated Ms. Azzam on her appointment as UN Women goodwill ambassador. “As demonstrated by her life, achievements, and proven commitments, I have no doubt that Joyce will keep working to advance gender equality in Lebanon. Women’s role in promoting, serving and empowering other women is key to raise awareness, advocate for gender-sensitive and inclusive behaviors and build sustainable changes in our societies”, the Special Coordinator said.
For his part, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Imran Riza, warmly welcomed Ms. Azzam thanking her for the inspiration she provides as a role model for youth in Lebanon and elsewhere. “Our work on women’s rights, gender equality and women empowerment will benefit greatly from her support”, Mr. Riza said.
“We are delighted to have Joyce join us in our pursuit to achieve equality between men and women in Lebanon. She is an inspiration for a generation of girls who want to climb to new heights in their personal and professional lives. We look forward to two years of action and achievements with Joyce - something that she has always shown us – to inspire and drive change for equality and equal rights”, says Rachel Dore-Weeks, UN Women representative in Lebanon while announcing the partnership.”
Born with Hypermobility Syndrome during Lebanon Civil War, Joyce Azzam was the first Lebanese woman, and one of only a few Arab women, to climb all Seven Summits of the world. She is currently working to undertake the full Explorers Grand Slam in its long-distance version, something only a handful of women have achieved.
“I am grateful and honoured to be appointed as UN Women’s first National Goodwill Ambassador for Lebanon. This appointment shows UN Women’s continued commitment to women and girls in the country and across the region and world, and I am very proud to play a part in furthering this work”, says Joyce in her statement during the event.
Talking about her plans Joyce adds, “In my role I intend to connect with different communities across Lebanon, advocating to influence people to support women and girls, and to promote women’s rights. Together with UN Women, I will draw attention to the priority issues for women’s empowerment and gender equality both in sports and in other sectors. I invite the Government of Lebanon, and others from both civil society and the private sector, to join us in our journey towards a more equitable society for that is the way toward progress and prosperity.”