Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Slow to Change

But at least it's good change:

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 14 (IPS) - After more than three years of political foot-dragging, the 192-member General Assembly adopted a historic resolution Monday aimed at creating a new U.N. agency for women.

The decision to create a separate powerful body to deal exclusively with gender-related activities comes years - or decades - after the United Nations created specialised agencies to deal with specific issues, including children, population, refugees, food, environment, education, health and tourism, among many others.

Currently, there are four existing women's U.N. entities in the world body: the U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues; the U.N. Division for the Advancement of Women; and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

But none of them is as politically powerful and financially stable as full-fledged U.N. agencies.

When the new women's agency is created, perhaps by the middle of next year, it will be headed by an under-secretary-general (USG), the third highest ranking position in the U.N. system, after the secretary-general and the deputy secretary-general.

The four existing women's entities are not headed by USGs, while all agencies such as the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are.

The resolution adopted Monday "strongly supports the consolidation" of the four bodies currently dealing with women "into a composite entity, taking into account the existing mandates".

Also big ups to this

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