United Nations: The UN General Assembly, moving to close the body`s gender gap, today agreed to set up a powerful new department consolidating the activities of
several existing bodies dealing with women`s issues.
The 192-member assembly adopted by consensus a resolution backing formation of the new composite entity, which will have a substantial budget, be led by an undersecretary general and will report directly to the UN secretary general "on the basis of equitable geographical representation and gender balance."
The resolution tasked the UN chief to "produce, for the consideration of the General Assembly at its 64th session, a comprehensive proposal specifying the mission statement of the composite entity, the organisational arrangements, including an organisational chart, funding and the composition of the executive board to oversee its operational activities."
Currently, women`s issues are dealt with separately by several UN bodies, including the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Advisor
on Gender Issues (OSAGI) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).
UNIFEM welcomed the assembly`s decision as "an important step toward addressing the gaps and challenges in the existing UN gender architecture."