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UN Envoy Advocates for a Multi Lateral Agency for Women

United Nations Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, recently began advocating for a multi-lateral UN agency for women in an effort to bring international women’s issues to the forefront. The UN has failed to effectively address women’s issues and “…after fifty years of passivity and paralysis, it’s time to have an agency through which women can assert their rights,” Lewis said to a high-level panel on UN reform in Geneva last Friday, reports Voa News.

If created as Lewis envisions, the new multi-lateral agency would not replace existing UN agencies addressing women’s issues, such as the UN Population Fund, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), or the Division for the Advancement of Women, but would combine these groups into a “strongly resourced…multilateral agency” to address women’s issues worldwide, according to a UN press release.

In a press conference in March, Lewis also advocated for increased representation of women in the UN and increased transparency in programs addressing women’s issues.

Sources:

Voa News 7/7/06; UN Press Conference Report 3/17/06; Toronto Star 7/9/06; All Africa.com 7/10/06