Women’s Empowerment a Precondition for Sustainable Development

Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice today said women’s empowerment is a precondition for sustainable development, prosperity, and security.

At a Meeting of the Executive Board of UN Women, Ms. Rice said

UN Women is off to a promising start.

“As we heard from the Executive Director, through consultations with a wide range of partners in more than 100 countries, UN Women’s leadership has developed a plan and a vision to protect the rights of women around the globe.” -Ms. Rice

She said the creation of UN Women was a landmark-a clear decision by member states to put women’s challenges and opportunities at the forefront of the UN’s mission.

Ms. Rice stressed the United States strongly supports UN Women. She highlighted that for Fiscal Year 2011, the U.S. givernment will contribute another $6 million to core resources for UN Women. She added United States aims to increase its contribution in future years.

“We urge our fellow member states to contribute generously so UN Women can achieve its vital mandate-and we call on all countries, not just traditional donors, to do their part.” -Ms. Rice

According to Ms. Rice, UN Women’s new Strategic Plan lays out a compelling vision for addressing the challenges of poverty, lack of political recognition and rights for women, and the stresses of daily life amidst conflict and humanitarian crises, and we fully support its priorities.

She said Executive Director Bachelet has taken an important step by undertaking a Field Assessment Survey and developing an ambitious plan to overhaul the way women’s issues are dealt with in the field.

“That plan includes ensuring that staffing decisions are based on actual needs, rather than past practices, and that staff members can provide overall advice and coordination, rather than focus on a single issue.” -Ms. Rice

She noted that the U.S. government looks to UN Women to help strengthen the UN system’s overall capacity to promote gender equality and empower women. She emphasized that all elements of the UN system must work together to make the full participation of women in their societies a mainstream priority, rather than a peripheral concern.

“And when UN Women’s priorities arise in the work of other UN agencies, they must make them their priorities as well.” -Ms. Rice

Ms. Rice stated that UN Women inherited a budget of about $200 million, but Executive Director Bachelet anticipates needing substantially more than that. Ms Rice underscored that Executive Director Bachelet also envisions partnerships not only with governments but also with the private sector, including foundations and individuals.

Ms. Rice reiterated that the United States will continue to work at home and abroad to reduce and, ultimately, to end violence against women.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.