UN  Member States took the next step in enabling the newly-created United  Nations agency on gender equality and women’s empowerment to begin its work by  electing countries to serve on its Executive Board.

The elections,  held in the 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC <http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/> ), will enable the new Board to come together prior to the official  establishment on 1 January 2011 of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the  Empowerment of Women (UN Women <http://www.unwomen.org/> ).

The 41 board members were selected on the following basis: 10 from  Africa, 10 from Asia, 4 from Eastern Europe, 6 from Latin America and the  Caribbean, 5 from Western Europe and 6 from contributing countries.

Elected from the African Group were Angola, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte  d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Lesotho, Libya,  Nigeria and Tanzania.

Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan,  Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste were elected from  among the Asian States.

Estonia, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine were  elected from among the Eastern European States, while Denmark, France, Italy,  Luxembourg and Sweden were elected from the Western European and Other States.

In addition, the Council elected Argentina, Brazil, Dominican  Republic, El Salvador, Grenada and Peru from the group of Latin American and  Caribbean States.

The Council also elected Mexico, Norway, Saudi  Arabia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States from among the “contributing  countries,” for three-year terms beginning today.

The 35 members  elected from the regional groups will serve two-year and three-years,  beginning today, as determined by the drawing of lots.

Chosen to serve  two-year terms were Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, El  Salvador, Estonia, France, India, Italy, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan,  Russia, Tanzania and Timor-Leste.

Angola, Cape Verde, China, Congo,  Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Grenada, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan,  Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sweden and Ukraine  were selected to serve three-year terms.

Headed by former Chilean  president Michelle Bachelet, UN Women is the merger of the UN Development Fund  for Women (UNIFEM <http://www.unifem.org/> ), the  Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW <http://www.un.org/womenwatch/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 <http://www.un-instraw.org/> ).

The new agency was established on 2 July by a unanimous vote of the  General Assembly to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at  promoting women’s rights and their full participation in global affairs. One  of its goals will be to support the Commission on the Status of Women and  other inter-governmental bodies in devising policies.

It will also aim  to 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.

In carrying out its functions, UN  Women will be working with an annual budget of at least $500 million – double  the current combined resources of the four agencies it  comprises.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *