UN NEW WOMEN'S AGENCY CREATED.
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FORMER CHILEAN PRESIDENT BACHELET TO HEAD NEW HIGH-PROFILE UN WOMEN'S
AGENCY New York, Sep 14 2010 12:05PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today
appointed former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United
Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the
world body's programmes aimed at promoting women's rights and full
participation in global affairs.
The new body - which will become operational next January - will merge
four UN agencies and offices: the UN Development Fund for Women
(<"http://www.unifem.org/">UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of
Women (<"http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/">DAW), the Office of the
Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the UN International Research and
Training Institute for the Advancement of Women
"UN Women will promote the interests of women and girls across the
Mr. Ban told reporters in announcing the appointment. "Ms. Bachelet
brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership,
highly honed political skills and uncommon ability to create consensus
and focus among UN agencies and many partners in both the public and
"I'm confident that under her strong leadership we can improve the lives
of millions of women and girls throughout the world."
Ms. Bachelet, Chile's first female president who prioritized women's
issues throughout her tenure and since leaving office has been working
with UNIFEM to advocate for the needs of Haitian women following
January's devastating earthquake, was chosen over two other candidates.
The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at least $500 million,
double the current combined resources of the four agencies it comprises.
"As you know the creation of UN Women is the culmination of almost four
years' effort and today's announcement has been made possible thanks to
the hard work of the Member States and the many partners who share our
commitment to this agenda, and this has been a top and very personal
priority of mine," Mr. Ban said.
He stressed that at next week's UN Summit on the Millennium Development
Goals (<"http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/">MDGs) women and children
will be "at the very core of our final push" to realize the ambitious
targets for slashing extreme poverty and hunger, maternal and infant
mortality, rampant diseases, and lack of access to education and health
services, all by the deadline of 2015.
"We have a little more than three and a half months," Mr. Ban said. "I
will discuss this Sunday, when I appoint her formally, how we can make
the process very speedy, so that we can appoint and recruit staff and we
have to have our agendas. Basically we have all these structures in
place. Now it is a matter of how we can speedily implement these
structures and policy and visions."
"I ask all the Member States and civil community leaders, and
governments, and business communities, to render their full support and
Today's announcement follows a unanimous General Assembly vote on 2 July
to create a dynamic new entity merging the four offices focusing on
gender equality. One of its main goals will be to support the Commission
on the Status of Women (CSW) and other inter-governmental bodies in
It will also aim to help Member States implement standards, provide
technical and financial support to countries which request it, and forge
partnerships with civil society. Within the UN, it will hold the world
body accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.