The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada)

The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada)

September 29, 2010 19:49 ET

Almas Jiwani, President of UNIFEM Canada, Part of UN Women, Congratulates and Enthusiastically Welcomes Michelle Bachelet, the First Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of UN Women

OTTAWA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2010) - Earlier this month, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Michelle Bachelet as the first Under-Secretary-General of the new United Nations Gender Entity for the Empowerment of Women ("UN Women").

In a United Nations press conference, Secretary-General BanKi-moon stated: "Ms. Bachelet brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership, highly honed political skills, and an uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among UN agencies and many partners in both the public and private sector. I am confident that under her strong leadership, we can improve the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world."

As a follow-up to the Secretary-General's announcement, Ms. Almas Jiwani, President of the Canadian National Committee for UNIFEM ("UNIFEM Canada") –part of UN Women- conveyed her felicitations to Ms. Bachelet on this prestigious appointment. "Michelle Bachelet is a living legend who reflects the goals and ambitions of UN Women, to empower women to succeed in all walks of life on an equal footing akin to their male counter-parts."

"Ms. Bachelet's represents the epitome of women who 'beat the odds' and succeed in many areas and functions of life that are generally unattainable to women. Ms. Bachelet's early service in the Chilean armed services and the air force provided the foundation to develop strong organizational and leadership skills, and later, as Health Minister and Defense Minister; these skills followed her in her foremost advancement to become the first female Prime Minister of Chile. Her unique personal experiences and stories of achievement and progress, both with the military and the political sector, will certainly enrich the direction that UN Women takes in the very near future. Ms. Bachelet's story serves as an inspiration for millions of advocates like me and others, who work passionately for gender equality across the globe", stated Ms. Jiwani. UNIFEM Canada anticipates, with much excitement, the relationship it will develop with Ms. Bachelet on UN Women mandates, going forward. Ms. Bachelet's work in Chile and various areas of the world reminds us all of the importance of gender equality and advocating for women's rights, and particularly, all of the work that still needs to be done in that regard. Ms. Jiwani emphasized UNIFEM Canada's commitment to actively raising the quality of life of women; to breaking down barriers to women's equality; and to a greater realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's), especially those that concern women's issues. "We want all women, regardless of race, creed or circumstance, to achieve their full potential. Our task is to make it possible for women to achieve economic, physical and social security. Our mission is to provide practical, step-by-step assistance and to raise funds, launch public education campaigns and support the new gender entity, UN Women, to propel its mandate of gender equality and women's empowerment in every possible way, across the world."

About UNIFEM and the Canadian National Committee (www.unifemcanada.org)

UNIFEM is now a part of the United Nations Gender Entity for the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) following a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted on July 2, 2010. UN Women will become operational in January, 2011. UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations, dedicated to advancing women's rights and achieving gender equality. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies that foster women's empowerment. UNIFEM operates on the premise that it is the fundamental right of every woman to live a life free from discrimination and violence, and that gender equality is essential to achieving development and to building just societies.

The Canadian National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM Canada) is one of the eighteen UNIFEM national committees, which raise the profile and support UNIFEM's work across the world.

About UN Women (www.unwomen.org)

On July 2, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to create a new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.

The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — to be known as UN Women — is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women's movement. It is part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.

"I am grateful to Member States for having taken this major step forward for the world's women and girls," said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a statement welcoming the decision. "UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality, expand opportunity, and tackle discrimination around the globe."

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