15 SEPTEMBER 2010
|DR. BACHELET TO HEAD NEW U.N. WOMEN AGENCY
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named 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 receive a large boost in funding and become operational in January -- merges four UN agencies and offices: the UN
Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues, and the
UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).
"UN Women will promote the interests of women and girls across the globe," 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 private sector."
"I’m confident that under her strong leadership we can improve the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world."
. 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 (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
The 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 devising
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.
Within the U.N., it will hold the world body accountable for its own commitments on gender equality.