UNESCO Director-General meets with new head of UN Women
New York, 24 September – The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, met with Michelle Bachelet, the newly-appointed head of the UN Entity on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), on 23 September at United Nations headquarters.
Ms Bachelet, former President of Chile, took her oath of office on 19 September as the head of the new entity to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide.
During the meeting, which took place on the occasion of the Millennium Development Goals Summit, Ms Bokova congratulated Ms Bachelet for her appointment and underlined that gender equality is one of UNESCO’s two global priorities* for 2008-2013 and a pillar of her mandate.
UNESCO is already working with various UN units that are now part of UN Women. Notably, UNESCO is hosting the Expert Group Meeting (28 September-1 October) to prepare the 2011 session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in collaboration with the UN Division for the Advancement of Women (UN-DAW).
Ms Bokova also stressed the importance of linking health and education, in the context of the UN Secretary-General’s new health campaign for women and children. Finally, Ms Bokova invited Ms Bachelet to UNESCO during her upcoming visit to Paris, probably in November.
Ms Bachelet in turn congratulated Ms Bokova for her election as the first woman Director-General of UNESCO. She then outlined the main challenges facing UN Women, including merging the existing units operationally, working effectively with other UN bodies, managing the huge expectations of women's groups and governments from this new entity, and funding.
Ms Bachelet also noted that UN Women would be working to eliminate violence against women and education plays a key role in this effort.
* UNESCO’s other global priority is Africa