Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programs aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs. The new body – which will receive a large boost in funding and become operational in January – merges four UN agencies and offices. The new entity is set to have an annual budget of at least $500 million, double the current combined resources of the four agencies it comprises.
Ms. Bachelet, Chile’s first female president who prioritized women’s issues throughout her tenure and since leaving office has been working with UN Women to advocate for the needs of Haitian women following January’s devastating earthquake, was chosen over two other candidates.
Mr. Ban told reporters in announcing the appointment. “Ms. Bachelet brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership, highly honed political skills and uncommon ability to create consensus and focus among UN agencies and many partners in both the public and private sector.” “I’m confident that under her strong leadership we can improve the lives of millions of women and girls throughout the world.”