UNITED NATIONS(Agencies: 3/7/2010): – THE General Assembly on Friday unanimously approved the establishment of a single UN agency to promote equality for women.
The resolution adopted by consensus by the 192-member world body will put four existing UN bodies dealing with the advancement of women under a single umbrella that will be known as ‘UN Women.’ Diplomats burst into applause when Assembly President Ali Abdessalam Treki banged his gavel signifying approval.
‘This is truly a watershed day,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said. ‘By bringing together four parts of the UN system dedicated to women’s issues, member states have created a much stronger voice for women and for gender equality at the global level.’ ‘It will now be much more difficult for the world to ignore the challenges facing women and girls or to fail to take the necessary action,’ he said.
Approval of the resolution culminates a four-year campaign to streamline the UN’s activities promoting the status of women led by the European Union and strongly supported by women’s organizations and other non-governmental groups who hailed the birth of UN Women.
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro called the vote ‘historic,’ saying UN Women will for the first time give the United Nations a ‘single recognized driver’ to direct and accelerate progress towards the goals of women. ‘We have high expectations for this new agency to be a solid foundation for advancing the human rights of women,’ said Charlotte Bunch of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
‘It’s historic because for the first time the United Nations has created a unified body for women with high-level leadership,’ Ms Bunch said. ‘But how good it will be depends on the leadership appointed, the resources committed and the support from all UN member states and all the other UN agencies.’ The Rutgers centre is a member of The GEAR Campaign comprising over 300 groups that have been working to win approval for a more effective UN organization for women.