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UN Establishes ‘UN Women” – and CEDAW Ratification Activity in USA

Dear UNA-SF Friends,

The creation of the new UN organization “UN WOMEN” (below) is GREAT news for the world! Congratulations to the UN for this initiative.

This will also give new impetus to the UNAs efforts to see the Obama Administration ratify CEDAW, the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. You are invited to join this weeks’ coordinated activities (below) and contact the White House on behalf of CEDAW – and include the wonderful news about the UN’s renewed focus on Women and Girls.

When calling the White House, ask for the Comments Line. You can also send a fax or go through the website. However, the White House almost always responds to your written letters, so consider writing if you want a response.

Below is the information about the new UN entity “UN Women”. For more info about CEDAW, please visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/

Thank you,
Sue

Susan J. Zipp, President
UNA-USA San Francisco Chapter

COMIN G IN OCTOBER: UN-65 IN SF — Information and Registration:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/United-Nations-Association-UNA-San-Francisco/103927839658987?ref=ts

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Events:
Ratify CEDAW!
The national CEDAW Task Force is organizing a coordinated week of action during the week of July 5 in an effort to move forward on US ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The most effective way grassroots Iowans can support this effort is to pressure the White House to honor its commitment to ratification of CEDAW before the end of the current legislative session. In the 30 years since CEDAW was adopted, this is probably the largest, best-organized attempt to move CEDAW through the US Senate for a vote. You can take part in this nationwide action by contacting the White House and asking the Obama administration to make US ratification of CEDAW a priority this year!
Contact information:
Phone: 202-456-1414 or 3121
Internet address: www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Mailing address: President Barack Obama, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW , Washington , D.C. 20500

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2 July 2010 – New York , NY

In a bid to accelerate the empowerment of women, the G eneral Assembly today voted unanimously to create a dynamic new entity merging four United Nations offices focusing on gender equality, a move hailed by Secretary- G eneral Ban Ki-moon and other senior officials.

“The newest member of the UN family has been born today,” Mr. Ban told the Assembly after it passed the resolution setting up the new UN Entity for G ender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be known as UN Women.

“This is truly a watershed day,” he declared.

The new body will merge four of the world body’s agencies and offices: UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on G ender Issues, and the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW).

“By bringing together four parts of the UN system dedicated to women’s issues, Member States have created a much stronger voice for women and for gender equality at the global level,” said the Secretary- G eneral .

“It will now be much more difficult for the world to ignore the challenges facing women and girls – or to fail to take the necessary action,” he added.

UN Women is the result of years of negotiations among Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement. Set to become operational next January, it will drive the world body’s efforts to promote women’s rights.

UN Women is set to have an annual budget of at least $500 million – double the current combined resources of the four agencies it will comprise.

Mr. Ban acknowledged that many Member States are facing resource constraints due to the global economic downturn, but expressed confidence that the new office will receive strong financial support.

“Today’s action will do more than simply consolidate United Nations offices,” Deputy Secretary- G eneral Asha-Rose Migiro told reporters earlier today. “It will consolidate the United Nations strengths.”

She noted that while the UN has made significant strides, it has also faced serious challenges such as inadequate funding and fragmentation.

One of the main goals of UN Women will be to support the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and other inter-governmental bodies in devising policies.

The new body 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.

“UN Women will give women and girls the strong, unified voice they deserve on the world stage,” Ms. Migiro said, calling today a “positive and exciting moment” for the entire UN family.

Set to be based in New York , UN Women will be headed by an Under-Secretary- G eneral , to be appointed by Secretary- G eneral Ban Ki-moon.

The UN, said G eneral Assembly President Ali Treki, is “uniquely placed” to take the leading role on the issue of promoting women’s rights, expressing his delight at the creation of UN Women.

— UN News Service

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