Madam Ban Soon-Taek is the First Lady of the United Nations. She has been involved in activities over the past 40 years to advance the cause of children, women and senior citizens. Madame Ban also helped launch the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)/Avon Products public/private partnership project. The project’s goal is to promote women's empowerment and end violence against women. She is actively involved in the “Women for Peace” initiative which raises funds to support one young woman from each of the five continents to attend a graduate program at the University of Peace in Costa Rica. The event was launched in the General Assembly Hall in March 2008.