Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UN Is One Step Closer to Establishing Agency Dedicated to Women's Rights

After three years of consultations, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on September 14 that takes the next step in the process of establishing a new UN entity focused on the rights of women.  Rather than adding to the current list of sub-agencies, four existing UN agencies and offices will be joined to create a new single entity within the UN dedicated to promoting the rights and well-being of women worldwide and working towards gender equality.  The four existing bodies that will be merged are: the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI), and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon issued a statement saying he is "particularly gratified" that the Assembly had accepted his proposal for "a more robust promotion" of women’s rights under the new entity. "An important step has been made in strengthening the United Nations’ work in the area of gender equality and empowerment of women, as well as in ensuring the effective delivery of its operational activities for development, which constitutes the other key components of the resolution." Mr. Ban has appointed more women to senior posts than at any other time in the history of the UN, including nine women to the rank of under-secretary-general. The number of women in senior posts has increased by 40 per cent under his tenure. Mr. Ban pledged to expeditiously provide Member States with a comprehensive proposal outlining the mission statement, structure, funding and oversight of the new entity so that it can be created as soon as possible.


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