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A new UN agency for women?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meg was invited to take part in a discussion entitled ‘Why is the UN failing women?’ recently. The featured speaker was Stephen Lewis, a former Ambassador to the UN from Canada and a UN envoy for HIV / AIDS. The Chair of the meeting was Baroness Frances D’Souza (pictured).


Stephen Lewis outlined his view that the UN had failed to incorporate the issues of women successfully into its work, leading to significant failures in areas such as the reduction of mother to child HIV transmission and peace keeping. So far the UN has had a number of different parts of the organisation focusing on gender but without success.


He stated that there needs to be a new women’s agency within the UN led by an Under Secretary General, properly funded and with operational capacity to work on UN projects throughout the world. Mr Lewis thought that such an agency would have the potential to transform the UN system and enhance its credibility around the world.


Meg said:


“Stephen Lewis set out a cogent argument that the UN had failed to advance gender parity. His view was compelling, that a new UN agency for women could make more effective much of the work done by the UN in developing countries. I will ask the British Government whether they will support the creation of such an agency."


For further information follow this link to a previous speech by Stephen Lewis



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