New Under-Secretary-General of UN Women to attend Partners’ Forum
5 OCTOBER 2010 - Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and newly appointed Under-Secretary-General of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (known as UN Women), has accepted an invitation to the upcoming Partner’s Forum in India, marking her continued commitment to maternal, newborn and child health.
Mrs Bachelet, a long-time advocate for the rights of women and children in Latin America, took the helm of UN Women in September, pledging to make the new agency a “strong champion” of gender equality that will hasten existing UN efforts to advance the cause of women and girls.
“We now need to move forward or otherwise UN priorities such as addressing the high level of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls” will not succeed, Mrs Bachelet has insisted.
Dr Flavia Bustreo, Director of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, applauded the announcement of Bachelet’s new role.
“She has been a champion of protecting the most vulnerable women in her own country, ensuring they have access to social security and health,” said Dr Bustreo. She said she looks forward to welcoming Bachelet to the Partner’s Forum in November and values her continued support for the Partnership and the international MNCH community.
Mrs Bachelet played an integral role promoting accountability from governments at the September 2009 MNCH event at the UN in New York convened by The Partnership in conjunction with the Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems. A year earlier she had launched a regional initiative "Actuemos Ya por las mujeres y los niños", which brought together several Latin American countries to discuss next steps in their cooperation to save maternal and child lives. The initiative focuses on the sharing of best practices in MNCH implementation and increasing human resources capacity for MNCH.
About the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
Created on July 2 by a unanimous vote of the General Assembly, UN Women is intended to act as a nucleus to the international organization’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights. It will 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. The agency is the merger of 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).