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 programs 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 (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.”
Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and since leaving office, was the Honorary Co-Chair of the Women Deliver 2010 conference.
Mr. Ban, who opened the Women Deliver 2010 conference this past June, 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.”
The new UN women’s agency will 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.
For more information, click here.