Bachelet Appointment Puts Women and Girls Up-Front on the Global Agenda

UN Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth Congratulates UN Secretary-General On Choice Of New Leader Of UN Women

Washington, D.C.

September 14, 2010


Megan Rabbitt

United Nations Foundation President Senator Timothy E. Wirth issued the following statement on the appointment of the new head of UN Women:

“The appointment of Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet as the head of UN Women—the United Nations’ new entity for women and girls—is proof that the UN is making smart moves to improve its operations and the lives of people around the globe.  As UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner said in a lett???er to Bachelet, the decision ‘sends a clear signal to the world that women’s issues and rights will have both a strong voice and skilled ear on the global stage.’

“Bachelet, who ended her service as her country’s first female president in March 2010, has distinguished herself as a champion for those who do not always have a voice. She was instrumental in pushing for a stronger network of social protections for Chile’s poorest and advocating for laws dealing with violence against women. In her new role, Bachelet will be responsible for elevating the rights and needs of women and girls across the globe, including the 330 million women who comprise the world’s working poor.

“By harnessing the United Nations’ collective impact and reach to advance the rights and needs of women and girls under one entity and the strong leadership of a skilled manager, UN Women will greatly strengthen the UN’s work in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will ensure that women’s issues are included in all aspects of the UN’s work.  The creation of UN Women will improve programs that directly address the human rights violations and challenges to individual, community, and national development that result from gender inequality.

“We applaud Bachelet’s appointment as a critical move in helping move us closer to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include such global issues as gender equality (MDG 3), reducing child mortality (MDG 4) and improving maternal health (MDG 5). Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s choice will ensure that the important UN conventions regarding women’s rights fulfill their maximum potential and help focus the UN’s ongoing work on behalf of women and girls.  We look forward to working with Bachelet and UN Women to ensure that the voices of all women and girls are heard and that improving their lives is at the center of global efforts to create a better world.”

About the new UN Gender Entity:
On July 2, 2010, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that creates a new women’s agency to be led by an Under Secretary-General and consolidating the strength and work of four existing women’s UN entities: the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).


The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.  We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach.  Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems.  The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  For more information, visit