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Helen Clark: “Empowered Lives; Resilient Nations – Why Health Matters to Human Development” | UNDP

Helen Clark: “Empowered Lives; Resilient Nations – Why Health Matters to Human Development” | UNDP | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
31 Jan 2013

Helen Clark, Administrator UNDP
Lecture at the
Harvard School of Public Health Lecture
“Empowered Lives; Resilient Nations –
Why Health Matters to Human Development”
4pm, Thursday 31 January 2013
Boston, Massachusetts

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

It is a pleasure to join you at the Harvard School of Public Health. My thanks go to Professor Ichiro Kawachi for inviting me to deliver this lecture on global health and human development.

This School’s contribution to public health discourse is notable – as seen in research undertaken by faculty and students, including in the field of social epidemiology which Professor Kawachi has helped to define. I also acknowledge the participation of Dean Julio Frenk in numerous UN panels.

The United Nations Development Programme, the organization I head, is not a specialized health agency. Yet, our core mandate of helping countries to tackle poverty, promote gender equality, and achieve sustainable human development, is highly relevant to lifting health status. In that sense it can complement the work of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other specialized global health agencies.

That is because the conditions in which people live and work impact on their well-being. Disparities in health outcomes tend to mirror inequalities and inequities in the broader society. Therefore efforts by development actors to tackle inequality and inequity will have a positive impact on health status.

The reverse is also true: advancing better health is a gateway to development progress, lifting economies and societies. In Asia, for example, between thirty and fifty per cent of economic growth between 1965 and 1990 has been attributed to improvements in reproductive health and reductions in fertility rates and infant and child mortality.

At the most basic level, well-nourished and healthy children are better able to learn. Well-nourished and healthy adults will have more productive lives – and one hopes a better chance of attaining overall wellbeing.

Understanding this feedback loop between health and development reminds us why it is important for health and development actors to see each other’s efforts as complementary. My lecture today therefore will focus on the intersection between the health and human development agendas, and on why it is important for actors in each to collaborate.

Examining the intersection between Health and Human Development
Defining Health and Human Development

The preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, agreed in 1946, defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. That definition stands to this day. It reminds us that good health is built on broad foundations, and is about rather more than the absence of illness.

Two years later, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was agreed at the United Nations. It declares that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health, and wellbeing of himself and his family.” The right to health has since been enshrined in global and regional human rights treaties, and in many national constitutions.

These landmark documents provide a firm basis for advocacy for health as a fundamental right for all. As such, health features prominently in the human development paradigm, which is the guiding framework for UNDP’s work. That paradigm owes much to the lifetime contribution to development thinking of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen – who has written extensively on health equity – and his colleague Mahbub ul Haq.

The very first global Human Development Report published by UNDP in 1990 declared that “people are the real wealth of nations”, and defined human development as the process of enlarging people’s choices, freedoms, and capabilities to lead lives they value.

This definition challenged traditional thinking which had equated development with economic growth, as measured by GDP per capita. As the old saying goes, “man does not live by bread alone”. Within the human development paradigm, good health is viewed both as a precondition for exercising one’s choices and freedoms, and as an outcome of that freedom.

With each global Human Development Report, UNDP publishes the Human Development Index. Health is one of its three components alongside education and GDP per capita. Life expectancy at birth is used as the indicator for health and well-being.

Since 2010 the annual global Human Development Reports have included three new indices:

the Inequality-Adjusted HDI, which captures the loss in HDI because of inequality in each of the three dimensions of the HDI. Here intra-country disparities in life expectancy figure prominently;
the Gender Inequality Index, which captures the loss in HDI because of gender inequality; and
the Multidimensional Poverty Index, which gives a more comprehensive picture of poverty than an income-only indicator can.

There can be no doubt that poverty impacts adversely on health, as do both inequality in general and gender inequality. To lift health status and make the right to health a reality, it is vital to tackle poverty and inequality in all their dimensions. That too places health at the centre of the development agenda.

The Alma Ata Declaration of the WHO’s 1978 International Conference on Primary Health Care proclaimed that: “the attainment of the highest possible level of health is a most important world-wide social goal whose realization requires the action of many other social and economic sectors in addition to the health sector.”

As a young Health Minister almost a quarter of a century ago, I often thought I had been able to achieve as much, if not more, for public health in my previous role as Minister of Housing. Over almost three decades in public life in my country, including nine years as Prime Minister, I was acutely aware of the broader economic, social, and other factors which impacted on health status.

Now, as head of the UN Development Programme, the Alma Ata Declaration helps me to place health status in that broader developmental context. UNDP’s own strategy for tackling HIV, “HIV, Health, and Development”, is based on our understanding that “just as health shapes development, development shapes health.”

For all these reasons it is vital to tackle health challenges on a cross-sectoral basis. Action in the health sector alone will not produce the gains in health status and development we all want to see. The final report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, established by the World Health Organization in 2005, reinforces the importance of cross-sectoral strategies and action.

In September 2011, the United Nations General Assembly held its first High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases, bringing together world leaders, and ministers, and other stakeholders within and beyond the health sector. The meeting issued a Political Declaration recognizing NCDs as not only a global health concern, but also as a threat to social and economic development.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in June last year weighed in along similar lines, stating in its outcome document that “health is a precondition for and an outcome of all three dimensions of sustainable development” – the economic, social, and environmental.

Health and the Millennium Development Goals

Health was placed at the very centre of the development agenda in the Millennium Development Goals promulgated by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000. The MDGs focus on basic benchmarks of progress in human development. They set out to: reduce poverty and hunger; empower women and girls; reduce the incidence of specified diseases and maternal and child mortality; increase access to education, clean water, and sanitation; protect the environment; and forge strong global partnerships for development.

Three of the eight MDGs specifically target health outcomes. They are:

Goal 4 – Reduce Child Mortality: with a specific target to reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate;
Goal 5 – Improve maternal health: with specific targets to reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio and achieve universal access to reproductive health; and
Goal 6 – Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases; with specific targets to a) have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, and b) have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. The indicators under this second target focus on both tuberculosis and malaria.

While these goals and targets seek better health outcomes, action in the health sector alone will not achieve them. Achieving these goals is heavily related to progress on the other MDGs – not least through, variously, reducing poverty, improving nutrition, ensuring that children finish school, empowering women, and improving water and sanitation.

The UN issues an annual global report on the rate of progress on the MDGs, and many regional and national reports are also produced.

To me, there seems little doubt that the MDGs, with their time-bound, clear, and measurable targets, have succeeded in mobilizing action and directing resources to lift human development.

Last month, the Lancet published results from the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study. Seven articles looked at different aspects of the study, including areas targeted in the MDGs: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; under-5 mortality; and, maternal mortality. Chris Murray and others, in their paper looking at Disability-Adjusted Life Years, suggest that the decline by nearly 32 per cent in the burden from MDG-related disorders between 1990 and 2010 is largely due to the increased global attention which was given to these priorities. While not all the health related targets will be achieved, the authors note that, on current trends, the burden should continue to decline further by 2015. They also note that under-5 mortality has dropped in all but three countries over the last two decades.

While progress has been encouraging on the health MDGs, many factors stand in the way of meeting them everywhere. The barriers to progress cannot be addressed by the health sector alone. Let me illustrate this by drawing on concrete examples of UNDP’s work to support the achievement of MDG Goals 5 and 6, working with diverse partners.

Maternal Mortality
Progress towards the MDG 5 target to reduce maternal mortality has been very slow. The target will not be met within the timeframe set. Nor can it be said that universal access to reproductive health has been achieved.

Across the developing world, the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births is estimated to have been reduced from 440 in 1990 to 240 in 2010 on the figures used by the United Nations. That is well below the progress needed to achieve the MDG target. Significant regional disparities also persist, with maternal deaths occurring disproportionately in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

In tackling preventable maternal death, the health sector clearly has much to contribute – for example through the provision of antenatal care, attendance at birth by midwives or other health personnel, and access to full obstetric services.

But there may also be a range of social, cultural, and economic factors preventing women from exercising their reproductive and sexual health rights and accessing the health services they need. Those factors may include gender inequality; poverty; poor or little protection of the human rights of women and girls; food insecurity and poor nutrition; and inadequate infrastructure and services, including lack of access to energy or to transport to health services.

The complex relationship between such factors and maternal health status becomes apparent when work is done to identify obstacles in the way of achieving MDG 5. In 2010, UNDP developed the MDG Acceleration Framework, which has now been applied with the support of UN Country Teams in more than forty countries. It drives efforts across sectors to overcome the bottlenecks preventing progress on lagging MDG targets. In a number of countries, the MAF is being used to address maternal mortality.

Evidence from this exercise confirms that many of the obstacles to achieving MDG 5 do not relate to inefficiencies or problems within the health sector alone, but rather to a broader range of constraints. These may include:

overstretched governance systems, struggling to allocate and manage the limited resources available;
an inability to train and deploy skilled health personnel where they are most needed – more collaboration with education and other sectors is needed;
the breakdown of supply chains for equipment, drugs, and other supplies;
challenges in reaching remote communities – because of poor transport infrastructure;
persistent gender inequality.

In Uganda, one of the first countries to use the Acceleration Framework, practitioners and experts from the Finance, Planning, and Health Ministries were brought together with partners from civil society, multilateral organizations, and other development actors to identify the constraints on achieving MDG 5, and to agree on actions in a wide range of areas. They prioritized improving transport links and water supply to health centres, and putting in place incentives aimed at retaining health workers in remote areas.

Turning the tide on HIV

Significant prevention efforts, along with progress in science and technology, have contributed to slowing the rate of new HIV infections radically. A lot of the research has been done in the world’s leading research institutions, like Harvard, and improvements in treatment continue. To complement this progress, however, initiatives outside the health sector are also critical.

In 2010 UNDP established and supported the work of a Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Its final report, released in July last year, showed that many of the inequalities and much of the discrimination which impede effective HIV responses are entrenched in laws and policies. For example:

laws which inappropriately criminalise HIV transmission, exposure, and non-disclosure deepen the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, and negatively affect both the taking up of testing and treatment services and the relationship between patients and health service providers;
laws which fail to protect women from domestic and sexual violence contribute to women’s greater vulnerability and risk of HIV infection;
punitive and discriminatory laws and law enforcement practices may prevent people who use drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender people, and sex workers from accessing HIV and health services;
where the age of consent for autonomous access to sexual and reproductive health services is higher than the age at which young people are sexually active, young people may be unable to access necessary prevention services; and,
trade law and policies may present barriers to expanding life-saving treatment for millions in need.

The Commission’s report also notes that evidence-based laws and practices firmly grounded in human rights do exist in a number of countries, and are powerful instruments for challenging stigma, promoting public health, and protecting human rights.

Recently, Guyana rejected a bill criminalizing HIV transmission on the grounds that it was bad public health policy.

In 2009, Fiji removed its outdated ‘sodomy law’ from its penal code; the same year it requested UNDP support for a human rights-compliant HIV law. In August 2011, a law that met such criteria was introduced. Over the past couple of years, thanks to constructive engagement with government, civil society and networks of people living with HIV, Pacific Island countries are realizing the importance of human rights for a more effective HIV response.

Equally important to changing laws for better prevention and treatment is enabling men and women living with HIV to participate with dignity in daily life. In 2007, UNDP began work in India to expand the criteria of existing social protection schemes so that they were more HIV-sensitive and able to encompass marginalized groups, especially women and girls living with HIV. According to data from India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), by the end of 2011, 35 state social protection schemes had started providing food, transport, housing, and pensions for people living with HIV. Close to 200,000 people living with HIV are now accessing such schemes.

Such policies can be important not only for persons living with HIV, but also for their families, and for ensuring that HIV does not force them into poverty-traps from which there is no escape. Evidence from a recent UNDP study in Asia, for example, suggests that children living in households affected by HIV were less likely to attend school than children in households not affected by HIV. This was especially true for girls, who were also more likely to have dropped out of school.

UNDP is an important partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We act as the principal recipient of Global Fund grant monies in countries where capacity to receive and expend funding is low – for whatever reason.

In this capacity we are responsible for the delivery of some $400 million of Global Fund money each year, and for building the capacities of countries themselves to manage large-scale health programmes in the future.

In Zambia, for example, UNDP has worked with the Ministry of Health to strengthen national systems for managing funds, procurement, and supply chain quality assurance. This has enabled the Ministry to overcome recurrent shortages in the supply of life-saving commodities, and has improved the country’s ability to attract funding from donors for tackling HIV.

The value UNDP brings to the partnership with the Global Fund includes its universal country presence and operational capacities, its experience of operating in complex emergencies and through political transitions, the existing legal and administrative agreements we have with host governments, our public policy expertise on tackling HIV and its social determinants, and our ability to harness the technical expertise and resources of other UN agencies and civil society.

Combating Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases were not covered in the MDGs, but are increasingly recognised as a very significant health problem in developing countries. Indeed, nearly eighty per cent of global NCD deaths are estimated to occur in developing countries.

NCDs have striking socio-economic impacts:

At the macro level, morbidity and mortality related to NCDs sap productivity among working age populations. China, India and Russia were estimated to lose USD 23-53 billion per year between 2005-2015 because of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes alone.
For low-income countries, managing NCDs can be very expensive, and puts a severe strain on already overburdened health systems.
At the household level, NCDs can push families into poverty when adequate social protection measures, such as health and disability cover and access to services, are not available.

Evidence suggests that policies which directly target the use of tobacco, alcohol, and obesogenic food and drinks, through taxation, production, and advertising restrictions, can have a positive effect on NCD prevention and control. The UN has been supporting Ministries of Trade and Health in the South Pacific to review import tariffs on unhealthy foods, because we believe that reforming such laws and policies can help reduce the incidence of NCDs.

Public policy in other areas as wide ranging as sport and recreation, transport, urban planning, the environment, access to clean energy, and more could also help tackle the NCD burden.

In March 2012, Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO, and I wrote to the UN Development System’s Country Teams of diverse agencies worldwide, asking them to support holistic strategies and multi-sectoral action to tackle NCDs in the wake of the Political Declaration on NCDs agreed at the UN General Assembly’s High Level Meeting the previous September.

The post-2015 development agenda and emerging development challenges
Debate is now underway on what the global development agenda should look like beyond the 2015 date set for the MDG targets. There is no question that health should feature in the agenda: the question is what form it should take.

UNDP and its partners in the UN Development Group are leading a large number of national and global consultations on how the agenda should be shaped.

Some advocate having targets for universal health coverage. A resolution passed last month in the UN General Assembly: “Recommends that consideration be given to including universal health coverage in the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda in the context of global health challenges”.

In Mexico, the expansion of health coverage – an effort which began in 2004 when Dean Frenk was Minister of Health - has led to significant declines in maternal and infant mortality as well as mortality in children under five years old. In Thailand, the expansion of universal health care increased inpatient care use by poor people by between eight and twelve per cent over a period of five years.

Universal health coverage, however, desirable as it is, will not in itself deliver higher health status. Action on a much broader front is needed, including on tackling the socio-economic determinants of health. That is because various forms of stigma, discrimination and marginalization, rooted in laws, policies and economic, social, cultural, and other factors, have profound impacts on health status, and on whether people will access health services even when they are readily available.

A broader chapeau for a health goal could be envisaged – possibly around “universal health”, or maximizing “healthy life” – beneath which specific targets could be set; for example, for progress towards universal health cover and on tackling the drivers of disease. Outcome indicators could relate to life expectancy, premature mortality, and other factors.

Health in the broader context of sustainable development – including the environmental dimension

Achieving sustainable human development becomes very difficult as the world moves towards the edges of its planetary boundaries. This can be most clearly demonstrated with respect to climate change, which is now recognised as a significant threat to development. Its health consequences need to be more widely acknowledged too.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that increases in extreme weather events are already a discernible trend. There is broad agreement that without urgent action the world will move beyond what have been termed its ‘planetary boundaries’ for climate and on other dimensions. The impacts of that would include the depletion of natural resources; more frequent natural disasters, from flooding to heat waves and droughts; and radical changes in ecosystem dynamics.

These ‘environmental’ impacts have real economic and social repercussions, including some directly related to health outcomes. Evidence suggests that climate change:

threatens food security and livelihoods, which can increase malnutrition;
alters ecosystems, influencing disease distribution through exposure to new pathogens and expanding the influence of existing ones such as malaria;
causes natural disasters, contributing directly to injury and death, and to disease related to the destruction of critical infrastructure; and
leads to an increase in the incidence of natural resource-related conflicts both within and across borders, particularly with respect to fresh water, with populations being displaced.

Climate change therefore is an environmental, a developmental, and a health challenge. Those groups and individuals already disadvantaged are the most at risk.

As the poor disproportionately rely on access to natural resources for their livelihoods, their economic and social wellbeing is directly impacted by inaction on climate change. Similarly, as women and girls in developing countries often bear the responsibility for collecting fuel and water, the extra burdens when these resources become scarcer and lie further away from home are inequitably distributed. This can mean less time for girls to be in school, or for women to pursue income generating activities which could lift their family’s living standard.

The poor also carry a “double burden” of exposure to environmental risks which impacts on their health. They are simultaneously exposed to risks in their immediate home environment, including air and water pollution and lack of sanitation, and to global climate trends such as extreme weather hazards, rising sea levels, and related injury and death, as they often reside in more precarious housing.

The WHO estimates that preventable diseases directly linked to contaminated water and polluted air claim the lives of around three million children under five years of age each year, with these fatalities concentrated in Africa and South Asia. It is sobering to think that this number equates to the size of the entire under-five population of Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland combined.

The UN’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) estimates that over the past twenty years 1.3 million people have been killed and 4.4 billion have been affected by disasters caused by natural hazards. Climate change is making weather patterns more volatile and extreme events more common. In 2011 alone, almost 30,000 people were killed in 302 disasters, and 206 million people were affected, including 106 million by floods, and sixty million by drought - mainly in the Horn of Africa.

Deaths and injuries from natural disasters are not randomly distributed within countries, or across them. Adverse impacts from these disasters are disproportionately concentrated in poorer countries with weaker governance. Ninety-five per cent of disaster-related deaths occur in developing countries.

While the risk of being killed by a cyclone or flood is lower today than it was twenty years ago, under two per cent of global deaths from cyclones occur in countries with high levels of development, while more than half of all cyclone deaths occur in least developed nations.

Within countries, certain communities may be marginalized and made particularly vulnerable to injury because poverty, lack of legal rights, or ethnic or other affiliation, has led them to reside in precarious informal settlements.

For all these reasons, we need to hear the voice of the global health community on the threat to human health and development posed by climate change.

Conclusion: A call for a stronger public health advocacy and research agenda around current development challenges

How can public health research support policy-making to tackle emerging development challenges with health implications?

The theoretical and conceptual groundwork for doing such research has already been set, particularly through the social determinants approach. The methodological tools are constantly being refined to allow for more credible causal inference.

Multi-level modeling, familiar to researchers at this institution, can contribute to a better understanding of the structural factors which make certain populations and individuals more vulnerable to poorer health outcomes. It is important to take a broad range of factors into account, including the environmental, legal, and political factors which have been studied less.

More research on the links between policies which touch on the core business of development actors – such as employment, housing, and labour conditions; increasing access to health and education; setting urban development and environmental policy; and supporting inclusive social protection programmes – and health outcomes,should be encouraged.

From a life-course perspective, inter-generational perpetuation of disadvantage can have important implications for the future prospects for individuals – including for their health, and for the sustainable economic and social development of communities and countries. Life-course epidemiology can therefore contribute to current debates around sustainable development.

At UNDP we recognize that there are opportunities to support health interventions in settings like schools, workplaces, community meeting places, and public sector institutions. Intervention studies could offer evidence of what could work best, and also of how to use innovation in technology in support of better health outcomes. Examples of the latter include:

the WHO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are testing a mobile phone solution for supporting people in managing their NCDs in Africa, by offering guidance through text messages.
the Clinton Foundation’s “Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves” aims simultaneously to save the lives of women and children currently exposed to indoor air pollution, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change.

Community-based research being conducted in the Harvard School of Public Health, including the randomized worksite studies for cancer prevention, can also offer tools for combating NCD risk factors.

The remaining challenge then, is to put research into action at the scale needed to see a real impact on population health.

Development and health practitioners share the same goals of tackling inequality and improving the well-being of individuals and communities; yet, they often lack the common language or approaches to find solutions together. This gap is an artificial one, and should be bridged through dialogue and inter-institutional partnerships.

Now more than ever, health and development actors need to work together. The global financial crisis has placed significant constraints on funding for health and development. New and innovative partnerships are needed to prevent human development progress stalling.

At UNDP we welcome all opportunities to link with health sector counterparts: the challenges we tackle in health and development are so often two sides of the same coin. If we tackle those challenges together, we are both more likely to succeed in our missions.
Leadership
Helen

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on 17 April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.
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Women of Abstract Expressionism

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Helen Clark: statement at the 91st Meeting of the Development Committee

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“18 Apr 2015The Current Development ContextThe deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is fast approaching. As the international community works to finalise an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, it is timely to reflect on the remarkable development progress of the last fifteen years, and to discuss how we implement our new shared vision for the future.The MDG targets of halving extreme poverty and cutting by half the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water were achieved in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. Gender parity in primary schooling has been largely achieved. Even where the MDG targets have not yet been fully met, we have seen considerable improvements: the tide is turning on HIV; levels of infant and child mortality have decreased significantly, and; there is a downward trend in maternal mortality and in deaths from tuberculosis and malaria.It is clear, however, that there is much MDG unfinished business. While many countries have enjoyed sustained economic growth and development advances over the last decade and a half, others have been left behind. Even in countries which have done well, certain populations have been excluded from progress. Many have also been thrown back into poverty because of conflicts, disasters, or other shocks. This shows not only how vulnerable development progress can be, but also reveals many of the challenges ahead.Once in a Generation Opportunity to Mobilize for Sustainable DevelopmentThis year, the world has a once in a generation opportunity to set a transformational global agenda for sustainable development, by reaching global agreements on financing for development, the post-2015 development agenda, and climate change.The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) which took place in Sendai, Japan last month was an important first step. The United Nations welcomes the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 agreed at the conference, and its clear acknowledgement that disaster risk reduction is essential to sustainable development. The UN commits itself to provide coherent and co-ordinated support to Member States in the implementation of the Framework.The Post-2015 Sustainable Development AgendaThis September UN Member States will adopt a new sustainable development agenda which will guide global development priorities for the next fifteen years.A major milestone was achieved last July when the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consisting of representatives from seventy Member States, developed a proposal for a set of seventeen goals. This proposal was informed by an unprecedented consultative process led by UN development system-facilitated global outreach which gathered the views of over seven million people through national and thematic consultations and the MY World online survey.The proposed SDGs are more ambitious and bolder than the MDGs. In addition to tackling ongoing major development priorities, including the eradication of poverty, hunger, and gender inequality, the proposed agenda aims to address the need for peaceful and inclusive societies and problems which have emerged, or become more pronounced, over recent years, such as climate change and other accelerated environmental degradation, and income inequality.The new development agenda will be a universal one which advocates that countries at all income levels make the transformations to their economies and societies which will ensure that development and prosperity occur within planetary boundaries. The new agenda is, at its core, about ensuring that human development is also sustainable development.Financing for Development in the Post-2015 EraThe upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 to 16 July, provides an important opportunity for the international community to consider the financing requirements of the new agenda, as a key part of the means of implementation. Agreeing on an ambitious financing framework in Addis will lay the groundwork for a successful Special Summit on Sustainable Development at the United Nations in New York in September, and for a new global agreement on climate change in Paris in December (COP21).The Addis Conference will build on the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development. It is expected to achieve three outcomes: a cohesive and holistic financing framework for sustainable development; concrete deliverables in crucial areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, social needs, and small and medium-sized enterprises; and a strong follow-up process which seeks to ensure that no country is left behind and draws on the technical expertise and participation of the FfD institutional stakeholders.Although the challenges to be addressed under the new sustainable development agenda are broader than in the past, the world has more resources and capabilities at its disposal than ever before with which to tackle them. The Addis Ababa Accord is expected to include agreements on the availability of the required resources for sustainable development, including of ODA, on the importance of enabling environments domestically and internationally for resource mobilization, on the need for capacity building, and the significance of setting the right incentives for resource allocation – public and private – to sustainable development.The United Nations recognizes the continued importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA), in particular for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and for countries in special situations, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and fragile states. ODA can also play a catalytic role in many middle-income countries. A reaffirmation in Addis by donors of their longstanding commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GNI to ODA, as well as their pledge to allocate at least 0.15-0.2 per cent of GNI to the LDCs, will be critical in supporting countries to achieve the new goals. The Zero Draft of the Addis outcome document calls on countries to set firm timetables to reach these ODA targets.The range of goals and targets which the post-2015 agenda seeks to address, however, requires financing far beyond what ODA can provide. This is fully recognized and elaborated upon in the Discussion Note prepared by the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for this meeting of the Development Committee. For example, investments will need to be scaled-up at the global level in areas like communicable disease control, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and science, innovation, and new technologies, in order to support and enable the transformation to sustainable development which the world needs. The UN welcomes the proposals in the Discussion Note on the role of the MDBs and the IMF in working together to unlock these resources.Resources are needed for the new agenda from both public private sources, including from households, investors, and lenders. Conducive incentives and regulations can help ensure that private investment decisions across the productive and financial sectors move the world towards sustainable development. In particular, changes in regulatory frameworks, at both the national and international level, can address currently poorly aligned incentives, reduce investment and other risk, and ensure that more private finance is aligned with long-term sustainable development aims. MDBs and the IMF, have an important role to play in these areas, including in providing policy guidance and in leveraging private finance for development.Important ways to help reorient more private finance towards sustainable development ends include the pricing of greenhouse gas emissions and the progressive elimination of inefficient and ineffective fossil fuel subsidies. Low oil prices provide a favorable context for the latter. As well, enhancing financial inclusion, including for women and youth, can support entrepreneurship, and help grow businesses and jobs.Tackling tax evasion and avoidance and illicit financial flows will also enhance domestic resource mobilization, and should be a major priority in the financing for development discussions in Addis Ababa.The Addis Ababa Accord is being negotiated in times of great volatility and risk. The financial costs of conflict, disasters, disease outbreaks, and economic crises are high and increasing. Investments which do not take into account an understanding of risk of all kinds could very well fail to contribute to long-term development. If development is not risk-informed, it is not sustainable development. It is vital therefore for governments to invest in resilience and to put in place regulatory, investment, and legal regimes which help reduce and manage risk. The international community has a big opportunity before it to develop a financing for development framework which tackles underlying vulnerabilities and incorporates risk management.This endeavor must also extend to addressing sovereign debt distress and crises, which can affect countries at all income levels and can lead to considerable human development set-backs. Over the long-term it will be important for the international community to devise more effective and predictable approaches to sovereign debt crisis resolution, and, in the short-term, provide better support to those countries, including middle income SIDS, which are experiencing significant debt sustainability challenges.Overall, a successful outcome in Addis is a prerequisite for securing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda and a comprehensive agreement on climate change.Addressing Climate ChangeClimate change is a major threat to development. The success of global efforts to tackle climate change will have a huge bearing on whether the objectives of the post-2015 global development agenda can be met.It is entirely possible to reduce poverty, lower carbon emissions, and address other environment and development priorities at the same time. Coherence across the poverty eradication, disaster reduction, and climate agendas is essential for inclusive, low emission, and climate-resilient development.The Lima Call for Climate Action agreed in December 2014 laid the foundation for a global deal on climate change in Paris in December. It is critical that countries make ambitious national commitments to address climate change, and that capitalization of the Green Climate Fund is accelerated.Many countries have emphasized the inadequacy of current pools of public climate finance. Building the capacity for countries to access, leverage, and deploy climate finance is also an urgent priority, in particular to ensure that adaptation finance is genuinely available to those countries and communities facing the greatest climate impacts.The United Nations will to do its utmost to contribute to an ambitious outcome at COP21 in Paris and to support countries’ efforts to tackle climate change.UN and World Bank CollaborationThe United Nations values and appreciates its relationship with the World Bank Group. We collaborate on many issues from supporting country level efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate MDG progress to building sustainable economies and societies and tackling issues related to conflict and fragility.Our partnership with the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank currently in supporting Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to plan for and finance recovery from the Ebola crisis is vital.Stepped up collaboration between the World Bank and the United Nations development system will be critical for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda. We look forward to strengthening our co-operation, drawing on our existing joint work, including on the MDG Acceleration Framework.Under the UN Development Group’s Sustainable Development Working Group, work is underway on how to support countries to ‘land’ the post-2015 agenda and accelerate progress on the SDGs. In doing this we will also seek to strengthen partnerships, including with the World Bank, and support the data revolution necessary to inform policymaking, monitor progress, and enhance accountability.The planned special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO, and UNCTAD will be an important opportunity to discuss coherence, co-ordination, and co-operation in the context of financing for development and the post-2015 development agenda. We look forward to working with the World Bank Group in the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda.”
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Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General

Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“HOMEOUTSTANDING WOMENMISSIONABOUTCONTACTMEDIAMoreCAMPAIGN TO ELECT A WOMAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL WE HAVE HAD 8 MALE S-Gs AND OUR 9TH SHOULD BE A WOMAN IT'S TIME© 2015 by Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General. MINISTERSPRESIDENTSPRIME MINISTERSCHANCELLORSSSAngela MerkelAngela Merkel was born in 1954 in Germany. She studied physics at the University of Leipzig and earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry at East German Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1978. From 1978 to 1990 she worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences. Following the German reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag for Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a seat she has held ever since. That same year she joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and soon after was appointed to Helmut Kohl's cabinet as Federal Minister for Women and Youth. In 1994 Merkel became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, serving until 1998. Following Kohl's defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named Secretary-General of the CDU. Merkel was chosen party leader in 2000 and lost the CDU candidacy for Chancellor in 2002 to Edmund Stoiber. In the 2005 election she narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany's first female Chancellor. In 2007, Merkel became President of the European Council and chaired the G8. She was the second woman to do so. That same year, Merkel signed the the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council in an effort to strengthen transatlantic economic relations. She has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's second most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman; she is now ranked fifth. On 26 March 2014, she became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union. QUICK FACTSNAMEAngela MerkelBIRTH DATEJuly 17, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATIONUniversity of Leipzig, East German Academy of Sciences in BerlinPLACE OF BIRTHHamburg, GermanyRESIDENCE:GermanyLANGUAGES: German, English, French, RussianEllen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Liberia in 1938. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin, a master’s degree in economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master’s of public administration at Harvard University. Upon completing her education she returned home to Liberia to serve as the Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 under then President William Tolbert. A violent military coup swept the country in 1980, led by army sergeant Samuel Doe, and resulted in the assassination of President Tolbert. Johnson Sirleaf was exiled from Liberia by the new military government. She worked for several years in international banking in the United States and Kenya. In 1985, Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia to run for the Senate but when she spoke out against Doe’s regime she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Johnson Sirleaf was imprisoned for part of her sentence but was eventually able to return to the United States, building a career as an economist at Citibank and the World Bank. During her second exile, Charles Taylor led a bloody revolt against Doe, overthrowing him in 1990 and becoming the new president. Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia for the third time in 1997 to run against Taylor in the presidential election. She lost the election and Taylor accused her of treason. Undeterred by his threats, Johnson Sirleaf continued to advocate for the end of rampant corruption in Liberia and economic reform, eventually becoming the head of the Unity Party. In 2005 she successfully beat Taylor in the presidential election, becoming the first female leader of Liberia and Africa’s first female head of state. Johnson Sirleaf’s first term in office was marked by progressive reform to the country’s fiscal and economic policies. In 2011she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karmanof Yemen for “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Johnson Sirleaf was reelected for a second presidential term in 2011.Ellen Johnson SirleafQUICK FACTSNAME:Ellen Johnson SirleafBIRTH DATE: October 29, 1938 (age 77)EDUCATION:Madison Business College,University of Colorado, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:LiberiaRESIDENCY:LiberiaLANGUAGES:Liberian, EnglishAs the months progress before the election of a new United Nations Secretary-General at the end of 2016, we will be rolling out a series of biographies of outstanding women to demonstrate the depth and richness of talented and experienced women in high-level positions from all regions of the globe. We understand there is a precedent that a UN Secretary-General has not come from a permanent-five (P-5) member state. However, we would be remiss if we did not identify some outstanding women who happen to come from a P-5 country.JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!Congrats! You’ve joined our campaignThe most frequently used excuse for not selecting women for top positions is that there are not enough qualified women to choose from: No More Excuses!Watch this site for the roll out of outstanding women.A ROLL OUT OF OUTSTANDING WOMEN FROM AROUND THE WORLDCatherine AshtonFrom 2009 to 2014, Catherine Ashton served as the inaugural EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP). In May 2012, Catherine Ashton was honoured with the BusinessMed Blue Award. The award was presented to her in recognition of her efforts in promoting peace and economic development in the Mediterranean region. Prior to taking up her current position, Catherine Ashton was the member of the Commission responsible for trade and represented the EU in the Doha Round of world trade talks and built on strong bilateral trade and investment relationships. Prior to her work with the EU, Ms. Ashton worked as a Labour politician. In June 2007 Catherine Ashton was appointed to the Cabinet of the British Labour Government as Leader of the upper Parliamentary chamber, the House of Lords. In 2005 she was voted “Minister of the Year” by The House Magazine and “Peer of the Year” by Channel 4. In 2006 she won the “Politician of the Year” award at the annual Stonewall Awards. In September 2004, Mrs Ashton was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. In June 2001 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills. In 2002 she was made responsible for the "Sure Start" initiative in the same department. In 1999 she was made a Labour life peer as a result of her work towards building communities.QUICK FACTSNAME:Catherine AshtonBIRTH DATE:20 March 1956 (age 58)EDUCATION:Bedford CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:Upholland, United KingdomRESIDENCY:United KingdomLANGUAGES:English, French Dalia Grybauskaite Dalia Grybauskaitė is the first female President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 2009 and re-elected in 2014. She was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, also European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. In 2004 Grybauskaite was tapped to serve in Brussels as the European commissioner responsible for financial programming and budget; she was later selected the 2005 EU Commissioner of the Year. From 2001 to 2004 she served as finance minister. In 2000 Grybauskaite was appointed deputy foreign affairs minister and took a leadership role within the delegation responsible for negotiating Lithuania’s accession to the European Union (EU). After serving from 1996 to 1999 as the plenipotentiary minister at the Lithuanian embassy in the United States, she returned to Vilnius to assume the office of deputy finance minister and became Lithuania’s chief negotiator with the IMF and the World Bank. In 1991, she held posts in the country’s Ministry of International Economic Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1983 to 1990 she was a lecturer at the Communist Party’s training college in Vilnius. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia". Other than her native Lithuanian, she is fluent in English, Russian and Polish, and also speaks French. Grybauskaitė possesses a black belt in karate.QUICK FACTSNAME:Dalia GrybauskaitėBIRTH DATE:1 March 1956 (age 59)EDUCATION:Zdanov University (now called Saint Petersburg State University), Moscow Academy of Public SciencesPLACE OF BIRTH:Vilnyus, USSR (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania)RESIDENCY:LithuaniaLANGUAGES:Lithuanian, English, Russian, French, PolishFederica MogheriniFederica Mogherini was born in Rome in 1973 and graduated in Political Science at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” where her thesis was about Political Islam. She is currently the High Representative for the European Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission since November 2014. She became an active member of the Democrats of the Left (DP) a social democratic party in Italy. Her skills in foreign policy and social media savviness were quickly noticed after calling out the future Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, on twitter over his lack of foreign policy expertise who subsequently hired her. In 2008 she became one of the youngest MPs in Italian history. In her parliamentary capacity, she has been the Head of the Italian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Vice-president of its Political Committee (2013-2014); member of the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2008-2013); Secretary of the Defense Committee (2008-2013) and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She has been in the leadership of the Democratic Party since it was founded, in 2007: first as Secretary for Institutional Reforms, then as a member of the National Council, and in 2013-2014 as Secretary for European and International Affairs. She is also member of the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN) and of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). QUICK FACTSNAME:Federica MogheriniBIRTHDATE:Jun 16, 1973 (age 42)EDUCATION:La Sapienza University of RomePLACE OF BIRTH:Rome, ItalyRESDENCY:Rome, ItalyLANGUAGES:Italian, English, French, SpanishErna Solberg Erna Solberg has dedicated her entire career to government service and has served at almost every level of public office. Born and raised in Bergen, Norway she overcame struggles with dyslexia in high school and became a passionate and vocal student. She graduated from the University of Bergen in 1986, where she had studied political science and economics, as well as led the Students’ League of the Conservative Party. During and after college Solberg served as a deputy member of Bergen’s city council in 1979–1983 and 1987–1989, and continued to be active in the Conservative Party. She moved from local to national politics in 1989 when she was elected to Norway’s parliament, the Storting. Solberg was reelected to her post five times and from 1994 to 1998 was the head of the national Conservative Women's Association. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik appointed Solberg the minister of Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in 2001. She served for four years and pushed forward reforms to Norway’s immigration policy, including overhauling the asylum seeking process. After leaving the ministry Solberg became part of the Conservative Party leadership, becoming the party leader in 2004. Under her guidance, the party began to take back ground in parliament over the next several years and in 2013 she led them to take majority control. Solberg was appointed prime minister of Norway in October of 2013, the second woman to ever hold the position.QUICK FACTSNAME:Erna SolbergBIRTH DATE:February 24, 1961 (age 54)EDUCATION:University of BergenPLACE OF BIRTH:Bergen, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishGro Harlem Brundtland Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, on April 20th, 1939. Although she is most famous for becoming the youngest and first female Prime Minister of Norway, serving three terms from 1981-1996, her resume reaches far beyond. At the age of seven, Brundtland became a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement, in the children’s division. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University in 1965, and spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. Understanding the correlation between poor health and poor environmental factors, Dr. Brundtland accepted the Minister of the Environment position when it was offered to her in 1974, serving until 1979; and in 1983, she became chair of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, which led to the campaign for sustainable development, and the first Earth Summit. Dr. Brundtland went on to become the Director General for the World Health Oraganization (WHO) from 1998-2003; and in 2007 she was part of a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change until 2010. She is currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.QUICK FACTSNAME:Gro Harlem BrundtlandBIRTH DATE:April 20, 1939 (age 76)EDUCATION:Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Oslo, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishHelen ClarkHelen Clark was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on February 26th, 1950. Although coming from humble beginnings, Clark has made a great name for herself in New Zealand and the United Nations. After receiving a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Auckland in 1974, Clark became a professor in the field, and taught at Auckland from 1973 to 1981. Clark joined the Labour Party in 1971, but was elected to Parliament from a different constituency in 1981, thus beginning her rise past the “glass ceiling.” She held various positions such as: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from 1984 - 1987; and Minister, responsible for the Conservation, Housing, Health and Labour portfolios from 1987-1990. She went on to become the first woman in New Zealand to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1989-1990; the first woman appointed to the Privy Council in 1990; the first woman to be elected as head of a major party (the Labour Party) in 1993; and the first woman to become Prime Minister of New Zealand, holding the title for three consecutive terms from 1999-2008 (the first to ever do so.) Clark was named the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, also breaking gender barriers there. She was awarded the Peace Prize from the Danish Peace Foundation in 1986; made a member of the Order of New Zealand (New Zealand’s highest honor) in 2009; and has even been named as one of Forbes top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World for ten years. QUICK FACTSNAME:Helen ClarkBIRTH DATE:February 26, 1950 (age 65)EDUCATION:University of AucklandPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamilton, New ZelandRESIDENCY:New ZealandLANGUAGES:EnglishHelle Thorning-SchmidtDecisive leadership and progressive social and economic reform have marked Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s impressive career in public service. Born in 1966 in Denmark, Thorning-Schmidt studied politics at the University in Copenhagen and in 1993 received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from the European College in Bruges. She was politically active during her time at university and became a social democrat. After graduation she helped lead the secretariat of the Danish delegation of Social Democrats in the European Parliament from 1994-1997. Afterwards she worked as an international consultant for several years with the Danish Confederation of Trade Union. In 1999 she was elected to the European Parliament. During her five-year term she served on the Employment and Social Committee and co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR). In 2005, the head of Denmark’s Social Democrats stepped down after a disappointing show for the party in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Thorning-Schmidt ran and won a successful campaign to become his successor. She is the first woman to hold the top leadership position in the party. In 2007 she helped the Social Democrats regain some of the seats they had lost in 2005 in Denmark’s parliament, the Folketing, and during the 2011 elections she guided the Social Democrats to form a four party coalition majority. Thorning-Schmidt was appointed Prime Minister in 2011, becoming the first woman in Danish history to hold the position. During her time as prime minister Thorning-Schmidt has pushed for reform of the country’s restrictive immigration policy and supported investment in jobs to revive the Danish economy rather than austerity policies.QUICK FACTSNAME:Helle Thorning-SchmidtBIRTH DATE:December 14, 1966 (age 48)EDUCATION:University in Copenhagen, European College in BrugesPLACE OF BIRTH:Rødovre, DenmarkRESIDENCY:DenmarkLANGUAGES:Danish, English, FrenchKolinda Garbar-Kitarović Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović was born in Rijeka, Croatia on April 29th, 1968. Before she was President of Croatia, Garbar-Kitarović, began her career in 1992 as an advisor to the International Cooperation Department of Croatia’s Ministry of Science and Technology, later becoming an advisor in the Foreign Ministry. In 1995, she became the Director of the Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, and she worked as a diplomatic counselor and DCM at the Croatian Embassy in Canada from 1997 to 2000; returning later to the Foreign Ministry as Minister- Counsellor. Elected to the Croatian Parliament in 2003, she was quickly promoted to Minister of European Integration in December of the same year. She then served as Crotia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005-2008. In 2008, she was named Ambassador of Croatia to the United States, and held the position until 2011, and is therefore well-versed in Euro-Atlantic diplomacy and issues of security. President Garbar-Kitarović, then took on the role of NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, the first women ever to do so, on July 4th, 2011, and serving until October 2nd, 2014. Continuing the trend of paving the way for females, Garbar-Kitarović ran for President of Croatia and won, being sworn into office on February 15th, 2015. She holds a masters degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the George Washington University, a Luksic Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. QUICK FACTSNAME:Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović BIRTH DATE:April 29, 1968 (age 47)EDUCATION:University of Zagreb, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, George Washington UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Rijeka, CroatiaRESIDENCY:CroatiaLANGUAGES:Croatian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, ItalianHEADS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONSMichaëlle Jean Michaëlle Jean’s career as a journalist, activist, and diplomat reflect her lifelong commitment to public service. Originally born in Haiti, Michaëlle Jean immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968. She developed a love of language early on in life and pursued undergraduate and then graduate degrees in linguistics and literature at the University of Montreal, the University of Perouse, the University of Florence, and at the Catholic University of Milan. Michaëlle Jean is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole and taught Italian for several years at the University of Montreal. During her time in academia she also learned about and developed a passion for working to end domestic violence. From 1979 to 1987 she worked with a series of shelters for survivors of domestic violence in Quebec and also became involved with aid organizations for immigrant women and families. Later in her career she worked at Employment and Immigration Canada and at the Conseil des Communautés culturelles du Québec. In 1988 she transitioned from academia to journalism, joining Radio-Canada first as a reporter and then as a host. She went on to have an 18-year career in journalism, serving as an anchor on evening and daytime news and politic programs and in 2004 establishing her own program, Michaëlle, which featured in-depth news analysis and interviews. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her governor general of Canada. Michaëlle Jean was the first person of Caribbean origin to hold the post and the third woman to serve as governor general. She held the position until 2010, carrying out many of the ceremonial and constitutional duties of the Canadian monarchy in the Queen’s service. After leaving the position of governor general Michaëlle Jean continued to expand her experience in public service and diplomacy, becoming the Special Envoy for Haiti for UNESCO and in 2012 was appointed to the Queen’s Privey Council for Canada. And in 2015 Michaëlle Jean became the third Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the first woman to take on the role. QUICK FACTSNAME:Michaëlle JeanBIRTH DATE:September 6, 1957 (age 58)EDUCATION:University of Montreal, University of Perouse, University of Florence, Catholic University of MilanPLACE OF BIRTH:Port au Prince, HaitiRESIDENCY:CanadaLANGUAGES:English, French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian Creole Irina BokovaIrina Bokova, currently serves as the Director-General of UNESCO. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria she graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University). Ms. Bokova joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977 where she was responsible for human rights and equality of women issues. She was later appointed in charge of political and legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York. She was also a member of the Bulgarian Delegation at the United Nations conferences on the equality of women in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). As Member of Parliament (1990-1991 and 2001-2005), she participated in the drafting of Bulgaria’s new Constitution, which contributed significantly to the country’s accession to the European Union. Ms. Bokova was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations from 1995 to 1997; Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO from 2005 to 2009; and Personal Representative of the President of Bulgaria to the "Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie" (OIF). Irina Bokova is an active member of many international experts networks. She is a President and founding member of the European Policy Forum. Foe many years she has worked to overcome European divisions and to foster the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights. As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova is actively engaged in international efforts to advance quality education for all, gender equality, cultural dialogue and scientific cooperation for sustainable development and is leading UNESCO as a global advocate for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.QUICK FACTSNAME:Irina BokovaBIRTH DATE:July 12, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:Moscow State Institute of International Relations,John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Sofia, BulgariaRESIDENCY:BulgariaLANGUAGES:Bulgarian, English, French, Spanish and RussianUNDER SECRETARIES-GENERALNoeleen HeyzerDr. Noeleen Heyzer was the first woman since 1947 to serve as an Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2007 until December 2013. Currently the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste she has worked on the issue of sustainable development all her life. She was also the first Executive Director from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). With her leadership, UNIFEM assisted over one hundred countries in the formulation and implementation of legislation and policies that promote women’s security and rights. This resulted in the removal of discriminatory practices, changes in inheritance laws for women, better working conditions for migrant workers, women’s full participation in several peace negotiations and electoral processes including in Liberia, Rwanda and Timor-Leste, and the inclusion of women as full citizens in the constitution of Afghanistan. She played a critical role in helping the Security Council pass Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security undertaking extensive missions to conflict-affected countries worldwide. She was responsible for the establishment of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. She has served in various boards and advisory committees including being Member of Board of Trustees of Asian Institute of Technology, UNDP Human Development Report, She is also strengthening SPECA, the United Nations Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Dr. Heyzer has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from the University of Singapore. She obtained a Doctorate in social sciences from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.QUICK FACTSNAME:Noeleen HeyzerBIRTHDATE:1948 (age 67)EDUCATION:Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Masters of Science from the University of SingaporeDoctorate in Social Sciences from Cambridge UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Singapore RESIDENCY:SingaporeLANGUAGES:English, Malay, Mandarin, TamilAngela Kane Angela Kane assumed the position of High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in March 2012. She provides the Secretary-General with advice and support on all arms control, non-proliferation and related security matters and is responsible for the activities of the Office for Disarmament Affairs. She was the lead negotiator in 2014 in persuading Syria to allow for investigations on allegations of use of chemical weapons and eventually leading to the Syria decision to give up its chemical weapons by joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.Ms. Kane has had a long and distinguished career in the United Nations. In addition to substantive assignments in political affairs, peacekeeping and disarmament, she has held various managerial functions, including with financial and policy-setting responsibility. She served as Under-Secretary-General for Management from 2008-2012, overseeing human resources, financial management, procurement and support services and the renovation of the United Nations New York Headquarters campus.From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Kane served as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, a core function related to the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Previously, she had served as the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), peacemaking in El Salvador, a special assignment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and postings in Indonesia and Thailand. Ms. Kane also held the positions of Director in the Department of Political Affairs and Director in the Department of Public Information. She served as Principal Political Officer with former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and worked with the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process. Ms. Kane worked on disarmament issues for several years and was responsible for the activities of the World Disarmament Campaign.Before joining the UN Secretariat 38 years ago, Ms. Kane worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and for the private sector in Europe.QUICK FACTSNAME:Angela KaneBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1948 (age 66)EDUCATION:University of München, Bryn Mawr College andthe Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International StudiesPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamelin, Lower Saxony, GermanyRESIDENCY:GermanyLANGUAGES:German, English, French, Spanish, DutchTarja HalonenTarja Halonen’s dedication to improving human rights has been the backbone of her political career. Born and raised in post-war Helsinki, she attended the University of Helsinki from 1963 to 1968. During university she studied law and became active in student government. In 1971 she began working as a lawyer at the Central Organization of Finnish Trade, developing a strong background in union and labor politics. Halonen also became a member of the Social Democratic Party after university and in 1979 she ran a successful campaign and was elected to Finland’s parliament. She went on to hold her position in parliament for six terms. During Halonen ‘s time in office she pushed for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and to lessen globalization’s impact on labor rights. In 1999 former Finnish President Martiti Ahtisaari decided not to run for a second term and Halonen sought the Social Democratic Party’s nomination to run for his seat. She won the 2000 election and became Finland’s 11th president and the first woman to hold the position. Halonen enjoyed large margins of public approval during her first term and was reelected to the presidency in 2006. After finishing a successful second term in 2012 she went on to join the Council of Women World Leaders and remains an active voice for human rights in Finland and on the international stage to this day.QUICK FACTSNAME:Tarja HalonenBIRTH DATE:December 24, 1943 (age 72)EDUCATION:University of HelsinkiPLACE OF BIRTH:Helsinki, FinlandRESIDENCY:FinlandLANGUAGES:Finnish, English, Swedish, Estonian Michelle BacheletMs. Michelle Bachelet is currently serving her second term as President of Chile; first term was from 2006-2010 , with her second term beginning in 2014. Ms. Bachelet was raised in both Chile and the United States and began her medical training at the University of Chile in 1970. Her medical studies were interrupted with Chile's 1973 coup d'état, which led to her father's imprisonment, torture and abuse-induced death. Ms. Bachelet was exiled to Australia 1975. She returned to Chile in 1979 and finished her medical studies in 1983, initiated pre-junta. When her petition to become a general practitioner in the public center was rejected by the Pinochet regime due to "political reasons" she instead began her medical career in pediatrics and public health sectors. Throughout the 1980s Ms. Bachelet worked in various social services roles, particularly for the NGO Protection of Children Injured by States of Emergency Foundation (PIDEE), dedicated to providing professional help to children of those detained and victimized by the Pinochet military regime in the cities of Santiago and Chillán, Chile. Following the return of democracy to Chile, in 1990 Ms. Bachelet began working in the Western Metropolitan Area Health Service, the National Aids Commission (Conasida), and became a consultant for the Pan-American Health Organization (OPS), as well as Chile's Ministry of Health. Ms. Bachelet's experience with both the Ministries of Defense and Health, led to her appointment as Chile's Minister of Health in 2000. During her tenure there she helped lay the groundwork for an overhaul of the Chilean health care system through a massive participative process. In 2002, Ms. Bachelet was appointed Minister of Defense, making her the first woman to hold the position both in Chile and Latin America. Ms. Bachelet assumed her first term as president in 2006. In 2010, Ms. Bachelet accepted the role of President of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, a joint initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2011, UN Secretart-General Ban Ki-moon named Ms. Bachelet the first Director of the newly created UN Women Agency. She served as Director for two and a half years before resigning to return to Chilean politics. QUICK FACTSNAME:Verónica Michelle Bachelet JeriaBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1951EDUCATION:Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Chile, National Academy of Strategy and Policy, The Inter-American Defense CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:ChileRESIDENCY:ChileLANGUAGES:Spanish, English, German, Portuguese, and FrenchAlicia Bárcena Ibarra Alicia Bárcena Ibarra currently serves as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), having been appointed to the position on July 1, 2008. Born in Mexico, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and from Harvard University with a Masters degree in Public Administration, and has initiated studies for a PhD degree in Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served in Government of Mexico as the first Vice-Minister of Ecology and as Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries. Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of follow-up to the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. While serving at the Earth Council, she was Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21. She later served as Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Before becoming the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Ms. Bárcena Ibarra also served the organization as Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of ECLACs Environment and Human Settlements Division. During this earlier period with ECLAC, contributed substantively and increased interagency collaboration to provide a regional perspective on the Millennium Development Goals and on Financing for Sustainable Development, connecting issues of inequality, poverty, economic development and sustainability with the required fiscal policies needed to address extreme poverty. She later served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at Uniter Nations Headquarters in New York. She served as former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Chef de Cabinet and Deputy Chef de Cabinet. QUICK FACTSNAME:Alicia Bárcena IbarraBIRTH DATE:March 5, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:National Autonomous University of Mexico, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:MexicoRESIDENCY:MexicoLANGUAGES:Spanish, EnglishMargot WallströmMargot Wallström’s career as a diplomat is rooted in decades of experience in both the public and private sectors. After graduating from high school in 1973 she became active in the Swedish Social Democrats Youth League and ran for parliament in 1979. Wallström served as a representative until 1985 and then spent the next decade holding a variety of jobs in banking, media, and civil affairs. From 1988 to 1991 she held the position of Minister of Civil Affairs - Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth. In 1993 Wallström became part of the Executive Committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and in 1994 was appointed the Minister of Culture. Two years later in 1996 she was appointed Minister of Social Affairs, and in 1994 she became a member of the European Commission for the Environment. Wallström ‘s time serving on the European Commission strengthened her experience in international diplomacy and led to her appointment to the European Commission for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. In 2010 she became the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. After finishing her service as a SRSG, in October 2014 Wallström was chosen to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Her time as foreign minister has been marked by a commitment to women’s rights and supporting peace in the Middle East. QUICK FACTSNAME:Margot WallströmBIRTH DATE:September 28, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATION:High School DiplomaPLACE OF BIRTH:Skellefteå, SwedenRESIDENCY:Stockholm, SwedenLANGUAGES:Swedish, English "Women have long breached the glass ceiling in international organizations - its no longer competence vs gender vs geography."-Shazia Rafiformer Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action 1996-2013the first woman to serve in that capacityOUTSTANDING WOMEN A-Z:Merkel, AngelaAshton, CatherineMogherini, FedericaWallström, MargotJean, MichaëlleBokova, IrinaBachelet, MichelleGarbar-Kitarović, KolindaGrybauskaitė, DaliaHalonen, TarjaHarlem Brundtland, GroClark, HelenSolberg, ErnaJohnson Sirleaf, EllenThorning-Schmidt, HelleBárcena Ibarra, AliciaHeyzer, NoeleenKane, AngelaNgozi Okonjo-IwealaMs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a globally recognized economist currently serving her second term as Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She earned her bachelors degree from the International School Ibadan and Harvard University in 1977 and her Ph.D. in regional economic development from MIT in 1981. In October 2005, she led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay a portion of Nigeria's external debt ($12 billion) in return for an $18 billion debt write-off. Prior to the partial debt payment and write-off, Nigeria spent roughly US $1 billion every year on debt servicing, without making a dent in the principal owed. Between 2006-2007, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala founded and co-founded three organizations to directly benefit her region and country; these include: NOI-Gallup Polls, a for-profit indigenous polling/opinion research organization based in Abuja, Nigeria, the Makeda Fund, a $50 million private equity fund mandated to invest in African women-owned businesses, and the Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (C-SEA), a non-profit think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was promoted to Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007-2011, during which time she oversaw operational activities in the African Regions, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. She began at the World Bank in 1982 in its Young Professionals Program and worked through the ranks to finally reach the position of Managing Director. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has authored and co-authored three works including China Achebe: Teacher of Light, The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy, and Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria. Also, Ms. Okojo-Iweala was awarded the "Nigerian of the Year" award in 2006. Notably, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has been the first Nigerian woman to serve as both Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.QUICK FACTSNAME:Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaBIRTH DATE:June, 13 1954EDUCATION:International School Ibadan, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPLACE OF BIRTH:Ogwashi-Uku, NigeriaRESIDENCY:Federal Republic of NigeriaLANGUAGES:English, French, Igbo, YorubaOkonjo-Iweala, NgoziMary RobinsonMary Robinson served as a first female President of Ireland from 1990-97 and as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 1997-2002. She was born on May 21, 1944 in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland. In 1967 she earned her bachelor of law degree at Trinity College and her professional Barrister-at-Law degree from King’s Inns, Dublin. That same year she moved to Boston, MA where she pursued a one-year master’s degree in law at Harvard Law School. Upon her arrival to Ireland, Robinson obtained a post as a tutor at University College Dublin and became a Reid Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law at Trinity College. In 1969 Robinson presented herself as a candidate to the Senate and won the elections. As a senator she advocated a reform of law and morality and raised issues such as the constitutional prohibition on divorce, the ban on the use of contraceptives and the criminalization of homosexuality. In 1973 Robinson became a member of the English Bar and three years later a Senior Counsel. She also served as a member of the Advisory Commission of Inter-Rights and of the International Commission of Jurists. In 1990 the Labour Party nominated Robinson as an independent candidate for the forthcoming presidential election. She won and became the first female President of Ireland. In office she focused on issues concerning emigrants of Irish decent, empowering women and improving the relations with Northern Ireland. About three months before the completion of her term as a President of Ireland, she resigned and on September 12, 1997 she became a second UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Following her term as a High Commissioner for Human Rights, she set up the Ethical Globalization Initiative, known as Realizing Rights, which focused on African countries. In attempt to engage corporations and business community in promoting human rights, from May 2003, she chaired the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights She also welcomed the possibility to serve on an ‘eminent jurists panel’ on counterterrorism and human rights within the International Commission of Jurists. In 2007, she was invited by Nelson Mandela to become a member of group known as the Elders. She is also a president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.QUICK FACTSNAME:Mary RobinsonBIRTH DATE: May 21, 1944 (age 71)EDUCATION:Trinity College, Ireland,King’s Inns, Harvard Law SchoolPLACE OF BIRTH:Ballina, County Mayo, IrelandRESIDENCY:IrelandLANGUAGES:English, FrenchRobinson, MaryCATEGORIES A-Z:ChancellorsMinistersHeads of International OrganizationsPresidentsPrime MinistersUnder Secretaries-GeneralGraça Machel Graça Machel a Mozambican politician and humanitarian and is the only woman in history to have been first lady of two separate republics, serving as the First Lady of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986 and the First Lady of South Africa from 1998 to 1999. Ms. Machel was a delegate to the 1998 UNICEF conference in Zimbabwe, is president of the National Commission of UNESCO, and served on the international steering committee of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All. She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to chair the Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Ms. Machel was Mozambique’s Minister for Education until 1989 and the chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique, an organization that places orphans in village homes. Following Mozambique's independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture. In the same year, she married Samora Machel, the first President of Mozambique. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children.Machel received the 1995 Nansen Medal from the United Nations in recognition of her longstanding humanitarian work, particularly on behalf of refugee children. In 1997, she was made a British dame and was the recipient of InterAction’s humanitarian award. In 1998, she was one of the two winners of the North-South Prize. Along with her native Shangaan language, Ms. Machel is fluent in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. QUICK FACTSNAME:Graça Machel BIRTH DATE:October 17, 1945 (age 70)EDUCATION:University of LisbonPLACE OF BIRTH:Portuguese East Africa (modern-day Mozambique)RESIDENCY:MozambiqueLANGUAGES:English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Machel, Graça This pageis safeBitdefender Antivirus Plus”
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Campaign launches to promote female candidate to lead UN - PanARMENIAN.Net

Campaign launches to promote female candidate to lead UN - PanARMENIAN.Net | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“ The campaign aims primarily at UN ambassadors from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.”
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Helen Clark: statement at the 91st Meeting of the Development Committee

Helen Clark: statement at the 91st Meeting of the Development Committee | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“18 Apr 2015The Current Development ContextThe deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is fast approaching. As the international community works to finalise an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, it is timely to reflect on the remarkable development progress of the last fifteen years, and to discuss how we implement our new shared vision for the future.The MDG targets of halving extreme poverty and cutting by half the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water were achieved in 2010, five years ahead of schedule. Gender parity in primary schooling has been largely achieved. Even where the MDG targets have not yet been fully met, we have seen considerable improvements: the tide is turning on HIV; levels of infant and child mortality have decreased significantly, and; there is a downward trend in maternal mortality and in deaths from tuberculosis and malaria.It is clear, however, that there is much MDG unfinished business. While many countries have enjoyed sustained economic growth and development advances over the last decade and a half, others have been left behind. Even in countries which have done well, certain populations have been excluded from progress. Many have also been thrown back into poverty because of conflicts, disasters, or other shocks. This shows not only how vulnerable development progress can be, but also reveals many of the challenges ahead.Once in a Generation Opportunity to Mobilize for Sustainable DevelopmentThis year, the world has a once in a generation opportunity to set a transformational global agenda for sustainable development, by reaching global agreements on financing for development, the post-2015 development agenda, and climate change.The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) which took place in Sendai, Japan last month was an important first step. The United Nations welcomes the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 agreed at the conference, and its clear acknowledgement that disaster risk reduction is essential to sustainable development. The UN commits itself to provide coherent and co-ordinated support to Member States in the implementation of the Framework.The Post-2015 Sustainable Development AgendaThis September UN Member States will adopt a new sustainable development agenda which will guide global development priorities for the next fifteen years.A major milestone was achieved last July when the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), consisting of representatives from seventy Member States, developed a proposal for a set of seventeen goals. This proposal was informed by an unprecedented consultative process led by UN development system-facilitated global outreach which gathered the views of over seven million people through national and thematic consultations and the MY World online survey.The proposed SDGs are more ambitious and bolder than the MDGs. In addition to tackling ongoing major development priorities, including the eradication of poverty, hunger, and gender inequality, the proposed agenda aims to address the need for peaceful and inclusive societies and problems which have emerged, or become more pronounced, over recent years, such as climate change and other accelerated environmental degradation, and income inequality.The new development agenda will be a universal one which advocates that countries at all income levels make the transformations to their economies and societies which will ensure that development and prosperity occur within planetary boundaries. The new agenda is, at its core, about ensuring that human development is also sustainable development.Financing for Development in the Post-2015 EraThe upcoming Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 13 to 16 July, provides an important opportunity for the international community to consider the financing requirements of the new agenda, as a key part of the means of implementation. Agreeing on an ambitious financing framework in Addis will lay the groundwork for a successful Special Summit on Sustainable Development at the United Nations in New York in September, and for a new global agreement on climate change in Paris in December (COP21).The Addis Conference will build on the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development. It is expected to achieve three outcomes: a cohesive and holistic financing framework for sustainable development; concrete deliverables in crucial areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, social needs, and small and medium-sized enterprises; and a strong follow-up process which seeks to ensure that no country is left behind and draws on the technical expertise and participation of the FfD institutional stakeholders.Although the challenges to be addressed under the new sustainable development agenda are broader than in the past, the world has more resources and capabilities at its disposal than ever before with which to tackle them. The Addis Ababa Accord is expected to include agreements on the availability of the required resources for sustainable development, including of ODA, on the importance of enabling environments domestically and internationally for resource mobilization, on the need for capacity building, and the significance of setting the right incentives for resource allocation – public and private – to sustainable development.The United Nations recognizes the continued importance of Official Development Assistance (ODA), in particular for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and for countries in special situations, including Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and fragile states. ODA can also play a catalytic role in many middle-income countries. A reaffirmation in Addis by donors of their longstanding commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GNI to ODA, as well as their pledge to allocate at least 0.15-0.2 per cent of GNI to the LDCs, will be critical in supporting countries to achieve the new goals. The Zero Draft of the Addis outcome document calls on countries to set firm timetables to reach these ODA targets.The range of goals and targets which the post-2015 agenda seeks to address, however, requires financing far beyond what ODA can provide. This is fully recognized and elaborated upon in the Discussion Note prepared by the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for this meeting of the Development Committee. For example, investments will need to be scaled-up at the global level in areas like communicable disease control, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and science, innovation, and new technologies, in order to support and enable the transformation to sustainable development which the world needs. The UN welcomes the proposals in the Discussion Note on the role of the MDBs and the IMF in working together to unlock these resources.Resources are needed for the new agenda from both public private sources, including from households, investors, and lenders. Conducive incentives and regulations can help ensure that private investment decisions across the productive and financial sectors move the world towards sustainable development. In particular, changes in regulatory frameworks, at both the national and international level, can address currently poorly aligned incentives, reduce investment and other risk, and ensure that more private finance is aligned with long-term sustainable development aims. MDBs and the IMF, have an important role to play in these areas, including in providing policy guidance and in leveraging private finance for development.Important ways to help reorient more private finance towards sustainable development ends include the pricing of greenhouse gas emissions and the progressive elimination of inefficient and ineffective fossil fuel subsidies. Low oil prices provide a favorable context for the latter. As well, enhancing financial inclusion, including for women and youth, can support entrepreneurship, and help grow businesses and jobs.Tackling tax evasion and avoidance and illicit financial flows will also enhance domestic resource mobilization, and should be a major priority in the financing for development discussions in Addis Ababa.The Addis Ababa Accord is being negotiated in times of great volatility and risk. The financial costs of conflict, disasters, disease outbreaks, and economic crises are high and increasing. Investments which do not take into account an understanding of risk of all kinds could very well fail to contribute to long-term development. If development is not risk-informed, it is not sustainable development. It is vital therefore for governments to invest in resilience and to put in place regulatory, investment, and legal regimes which help reduce and manage risk. The international community has a big opportunity before it to develop a financing for development framework which tackles underlying vulnerabilities and incorporates risk management.This endeavor must also extend to addressing sovereign debt distress and crises, which can affect countries at all income levels and can lead to considerable human development set-backs. Over the long-term it will be important for the international community to devise more effective and predictable approaches to sovereign debt crisis resolution, and, in the short-term, provide better support to those countries, including middle income SIDS, which are experiencing significant debt sustainability challenges.Overall, a successful outcome in Addis is a prerequisite for securing an ambitious post-2015 development agenda and a comprehensive agreement on climate change.Addressing Climate ChangeClimate change is a major threat to development. The success of global efforts to tackle climate change will have a huge bearing on whether the objectives of the post-2015 global development agenda can be met.It is entirely possible to reduce poverty, lower carbon emissions, and address other environment and development priorities at the same time. Coherence across the poverty eradication, disaster reduction, and climate agendas is essential for inclusive, low emission, and climate-resilient development.The Lima Call for Climate Action agreed in December 2014 laid the foundation for a global deal on climate change in Paris in December. It is critical that countries make ambitious national commitments to address climate change, and that capitalization of the Green Climate Fund is accelerated.Many countries have emphasized the inadequacy of current pools of public climate finance. Building the capacity for countries to access, leverage, and deploy climate finance is also an urgent priority, in particular to ensure that adaptation finance is genuinely available to those countries and communities facing the greatest climate impacts.The United Nations will to do its utmost to contribute to an ambitious outcome at COP21 in Paris and to support countries’ efforts to tackle climate change.UN and World Bank CollaborationThe United Nations values and appreciates its relationship with the World Bank Group. We collaborate on many issues from supporting country level efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate MDG progress to building sustainable economies and societies and tackling issues related to conflict and fragility.Our partnership with the World Bank, the European Union, and the African Development Bank currently in supporting Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to plan for and finance recovery from the Ebola crisis is vital.Stepped up collaboration between the World Bank and the United Nations development system will be critical for the implementation of the post-2015 agenda. We look forward to strengthening our co-operation, drawing on our existing joint work, including on the MDG Acceleration Framework.Under the UN Development Group’s Sustainable Development Working Group, work is underway on how to support countries to ‘land’ the post-2015 agenda and accelerate progress on the SDGs. In doing this we will also seek to strengthen partnerships, including with the World Bank, and support the data revolution necessary to inform policymaking, monitor progress, and enhance accountability.The planned special high-level meeting of ECOSOC with the Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO, and UNCTAD will be an important opportunity to discuss coherence, co-ordination, and co-operation in the context of financing for development and the post-2015 development agenda. We look forward to working with the World Bank Group in the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda.”
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Helen Clark: Speech at the Opening session of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS Cluster Meeting

Helen Clark: Speech at the Opening session of UNDP’s Regional Bureau  for Europe and the CIS Cluster Meeting | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“23 Apr 2015Let me begin by expressing my deep appreciation to the Government of Turkey, and to Ambassador Yunt for his participation in the opening of this important Regional Meeting for UNDP in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.As has been emphasized earlier today during the official inauguration of UNDP’s regional hub here in Istanbul, the partnership between UNDP and the Government of Turkey has evolved over almost sixty years into one which is dynamic at every level: global, regional, and national. The partnership which we have with your government, Ambassador, demonstrates to us the great potential which exists in working hand-in-hand with an upper middle-income country, both within the country and through South-South Co-operation to direct expertise, knowledge, and resources to address global development challenges.Allow me at the outset to highlight some examples of recent joint endeavours between the Government of Turkey and UNDP which are so relevant to our discussions today. There have been:- the regional consultations on “Perspectives from Europe and Central Asia on the post-2015 development agenda”, bringing together 350 participants from forty countries;- the conference on “International Development Co-operation: Trends and Emerging Opportunities – Perspectives of the new actors”, co-organised with the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency, TIKA, in June 2014; and- the conference on “Scaling up Sustainable Energy Solutions – The Role of the Private Sector”, in May last year, co-organised with Turkey’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Islamic Development Bank.The issues around which Turkey and UNDP have jointly convened major meetings are directly relevant to the post-2015 agenda. We look forward, Mr. Ambassador, to the future co-operation between Turkey and UNDP which I know will continue to inform and contribute to dynamic regional and global discussion on development as we move to implement a new sustainable development agenda.It is truly a pleasure to be at this important meeting of our Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, which brings together our senior Bureau management; senior colleagues from other UNDP Bureaux, UN agencies, and the UN Secretariat; high level guests from Turkey, Moldova, Albania, and the Kyrgyz Republic ; and RC/RRs, Country Directors, and DRRs from across the region. In addition to spending time in Turkey this week, I have had the opportunity during the past year to visit a number of countries in the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.In each and every visit, it has been good to see how UNDP and the broader UN development system have positioned themselves to support our national partners in seeking and implementing solutions to development challenges. I see development co-operation between countries within the region growing fast. The large economies of Russia and Turkey have been rapidly growing their co-operation with others, and we also see growing interest from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Romania, and others. Over the years, UNDP has had long-standing co-operation through ODA-related trust funds with the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic. We have been keen to grow partnerships like these with other former programme countries which have entered or aspire to enter the European Union.In the region, we see considerable interest from governments and civil society in innovative development solutions – whether as a means to combat corruption, link vulnerable populations to sustainable and affordable access to energy, influence local level decision-making on investments and infrastructure, or increase women’s economic empowerment and access to justice. We see the capacities of many local administrations strengthening, and thereby improving the availability and delivery of services to people and communities.National consultations on the post-2015 agenda in the region have been robust and inclusive. In the past year, twelve RBEC countries conducted in-depth consultations, and the Government of Moldova co-chaired the global consultation on means of implementation just last month.UNDP has been responding actively to new challenges; for example by contributing to the Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessment in Ukraine; in support for communities hosting Syrian refugees in southeastern Turkey, to which Turkey itself has made a massive contribution; and in responses to the devastating flooding experienced last year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia.I am pleased to see that the efforts of UNDP in this region in response to all crises – whether caused by conflict, natural disaster, or any other factor - always aim to build the foundations for development, and to build resilience to future events. These issues will be important elements of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May next year, and are already being discussed in regional consultations, such as the one which will be hosted by Tajikistan this July for the countries of South and Central Asia.Throughout all my visits, I have been impressed by the dedication of UNDP’s leadership and our Country Office staff. All work tirelessly to deliver results in everything we do – in supporting recovery from crises and building future resilience, inclusive and sustainable development, and effective and responsive governance.At this time, the rather widespread impact of the currency crisis in the region and the spillover impact of slower growth in Russia are testing many countries’ resilience to macro-economic shocks. The socio-economic impact has been especially hard on the most vulnerable and marginalized populations. Inequalities between regions, genders, and age groups, and inequalities flowing from ethnic and other factors, remain a persistent reality in a number of countries. Given the focus in the emerging post-2015 agenda on leaving no one behind, it is timely that RBEC’s next Regional Human Development Report will focus on inequalities, building on the numerous experiences our staff have in tackling these challenges.All the issues which our Country Offices in Europe and the CIS are working with national partners to address – from governance, rule of law, and human rights to poverty eradication, local development, inequalities, sustainable development, climate change, disaster response, building resilience, and more – are at the heart of UNDP’s current global Strategic Plan. They are at the heart of the vision of a UNDP which is a relevant and high quality development partner to its national and international counterparts. They are at the core of how UNDP is positioned, and how we commit to supporting countries as they pursue development plans and priorities which are sustainable and inclusive, and build resilience to shocks.Country Offices around the world have reviewed the focus, design, and management of their programmes and projects to ensure that they are well-aligned with both countries’ needs and the new Strategic Plan. It has also required staff to invest more time and intellectual effort in ensuring that UNDP’s contribution to national efforts is results-oriented and measurable. As well, eleven Country Offices in this region have been working within UN Country Teams and with national and international partners to develop new UN Development Assistance Frameworks and new UNDP Country Programme Documents for the next five years. Our colleagues in Pristina are also developing a common programming framework.Many changes have also been taking place in other parts of UNDP to support our delivery on the new Strategic Plan. Across Central and Regional Bureaux, we have been working to break down silos, and to relocate more staff in both regional hubs and in global centres outside New York. The inauguration of our new regional hub here this morning and the strength of UNDP’s presence now in Istanbul reflect these changes. We have also put in place a new and comprehensive internal accountability framework, which enables all in the organization to see where accountability for processes and results lies.Ultimately, our reformed structures, efforts to build a more collaborative culture, and new processes are about delivering more effective, integrated, and coherent support to Country Offices so that, in turn, they can deliver more substantive and high quality development results more efficiently to partners.We have also been conscious of positioning UNDP and the UN development system overall as leaders in the roll out and implementation of the new global development agenda. I describe 2015 as a “once in a generation” year for development, with major global processes setting priorities for the next generation. The first of these, the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, has already been held in Sendai, Japan. The last of these will be COP 21 in Paris in December where a new global agreement on tackling climate change is due to be reached. In between are the Third International Summit on Financing for Development in July in Addis Ababa, and the Special Summit on Sustainable Development in New York in September. Success across these processes would renew confidence in multilateralism at a time when there are many challenges to be addressed around our world.At this meeting, the SDGs, and their global and national implications, will be discussed in the panel, which Cihan Sultanoglu will chair, with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy from the Kyrgyz Republic. This is a good opportunity to explore how the proposed SDGs relate to this region, building on the important consultations already undertaken at the regional and national levels.At the disaster risk reduction conference in Sendai, UN Member States agreed on a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action. UNDP was prominent at the conference with quality presentations and new reports. Our tagline was: “If it’s not risk informed, it’s not sustainable development”. We are putting risk governance and management at the centre of our work on disaster risk reduction, and plan to help prevent, mitigate, and prepare for disasters in fifty countries over the next ten years – in our new 5-10-50 global programme.For Addis Ababa in July at the financing for development conference, we are advocating a “Monterrey Plus” approach which acknowledges the important role of ODA, but also looks beyond it to the other far larger sources of financing which must come from domestic resource mobilization, loans, investments, and other mechanisms, including those of climate finance. ODA currently stands at just over $135 billion per annum. UNCTAD estimates the investment requirement for developing countries over the life of the SDGs to be US$3.3 to US$4.5 trillion per annum.We also advocate consideration at Addis Ababa of how to manage risk better in development, taking into account that volatility is now the new normal in geo-economics, geopolitics, and our climate ecosystem. We believe that the role of private sector financing and investment partnerships must be central to development finance discussions. The Government of Turkey makes a vital contribution to UNDP’s thinking and action in this area through its support for the UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development.As the largest implementer of climate change projects in the UN system, with a portfolio of $1.3 billion across more than 140 countries, UNDP will continue to support developing countries’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in practical ways. Success at the Paris COP21 will be vital for the success of the post-2015 development agenda too. Climate change impacts the most on the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries. Poverty will not be eradicated if they remain so exposed to growing climate-related hazards which they did so little, if anything, to create.It is critical that all countries now make ambitious national commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that progress continues on capitalizing the Green Climate Fund (GCF). At UNDP, we are delighted to be among the very small first group of agencies to be approved as accredited entities for the GCF. During this Regional Meeting, there is a session dedicated to sustainability, climate change, and disaster risk reduction, which will also include an important discussion on climate finance.Around the world, UNDP is well placed to help programme countries deliver on all the major global development-related agendas agreed this year. Our expertise and experience across poverty reduction, MDG implementation, governance and rule of law, and building resilience, along with our knowledge networks and co-ordination role within the UNDG, make us well equipped to help countries deliver the integrated sustainable development solutions required to meet the SDGs. The SDG agenda is an opportunity to strengthen and deepen our policy and programme support to national partners.So, 2015 is a significant year, and these are complex and unpredictable times. But I am fully confident that under the leadership of Cihan and Olivier, and with the support of all our senior staff gathered here today, RBEC will deliver on the Strategic Plan, and will continue to support and advance national and global human and sustainable development priorities.Let me share with you a few observations on RBEC, and my expectations for your priorities and continued successes.As a Bureau working within a predominantly middle-income context, you have accumulated a wealth of experience in and developed a culture of working with very low core funding. As a result, you know how to build strong partnerships, you know how to deliver quality results, and you know how to ensure that UNDP is a relevant partner. It is no accident that this Bureau’s operations across the region can leverage US$14.5 from partners for every US$1 of core funding received. As the whole of UNDP is increasingly working in a low core funding environment, RBEC’s experience in leveraging resources and partnerships is one from which others can learn. Your strong partnership with the European Commission is critical: the total amount of EU-UNDP contracts signed between RBEC and the European Union for this region totaled more than 154 million Euros in 2014, on the strength of our strong relationships with national partners, delegations, and the Commission in Brussels.Over time, RBEC has also laid the groundwork for UNDP to step up support for South-South Co-operation and for partnerships with emerging development contributors. This work began with helping to build the ODA capacities of new EU Member States rather more than a decade ago. In recent years, we have developed global strategic partnerships with Turkey and Russia. The meeting which RBEC co-organised last June with TIKA on emerging development partners was an invaluable contribution to advancing this agenda globally, and to making concrete recommendations to the UN Development Co-operation Forum last July.RBEC is also known as a leading innovator in UNDP. Our global Budva Declaration on Innovation was born in November 2013 in Montenegro, and committed us to deepen our exploration and use of innovative approaches to development. Innovation abounds in our Country Offices in this region, and I look forward to seeing and hearing of many more examples like those I was briefed on during my visit to Armenia last September.RBEC delivers. I was very pleased to see that notwithstanding the many challenges the region has faced this past year, the Bureau exceeded its original delivery plans. Please accept my profound thanks to you and your teams for this achievement.Finally, a word about this Regional Meeting – it occurs as major new global agendas are being negotiated and in uncertain times. It comes as we know we must do more with more constrained core funding. The quality of our communications is critical. Our partnerships with national counterparts, the UN system, donors, and the wide range of other development actors matter a great deal. You will be discussing all of these matters in the coming days. I hope the outcome will enable RBEC to build on its high quality work across the region, and I wish you all a happy and constructive meeting and a very successful 2015.”
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Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer | passblue

Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer | passblue | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it

GENEVA — For only the second time — the first was in 1996 — the electoral campaigns for the American president and the United Nations secretary-general are running in parallel. Both promise to be long and protracted. Each already has a growing slate of presumptive candidates pounding flesh and employing lobbyists.

But the next two years will, of course, witness very different selection processes. US presidential aspirants will be watched, tested and paraded in front of respectful and hostile audiences in a vetting that is far more prolonged and thorough than that for any other prospective head of state.

If past is prelude, however, the successful candidate for the planet’s top job will, as spelled out in Charter Article 97, be rubber-stamped by the General Assembly after being selected by an extraordinarily compact electoral college of five: the veto-wielding members of the Security Council­ — the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France and Russia. The main “tests” will be geographic origin, which this time favors Eastern Europe, and perhaps gender — why not a female secretary-general for the first time?

Based more on accident than on merit, a clamor is growing for a dramatic shakeup in the traditional process of the UN. The 1 for 7 billion campaign has called for geography to be overridden and for a transparent and inclusive process to identify a secretary-general who is “highly skilled, competent, persuasive and visionary.” If seven billion constituents along with 188 other member states cannot vote, could their views at least be better represented? Could some modest accountability not be introduced into the usual great power manipulation? How about a job description?

Only Pollyanna would hope for a comprehensive vetting, but it should not be beyond intergovernmental imaginations to ask that all candidates have a platform as part of a semipublic process. An absolutely essential element of any such platform would be a candidate’s “vision” for the shape of the UN system and how to make the most of its 50,000 international civil servants (and 100,000 peacekeepers). While geopolitical change is beyond the writ of the secretary-general, rocking the system and its staff members are not.

Resigning in utter frustration, the first incumbent, Trygve Lie of Norway, described his seven years at the helm as “the most impossible job in the world.” In addition to being battered by politics, he and his successors have unsuccessfully tried to make sense of a fragmented and decentralized system engaged in virtually every sphere of human activity: peace and security operations; humanitarian assistance; promotion of human rights and justice; establishment of norms and conventions; and the provision of technical assistance for peace-building and development.

The job is all the more complex because within this so-called system the “boss” is only primus inter pares because the UN’s own specialized agencies are independently funded and managed, answering to their own governors. Even the special funds and programs of the UN proper are largely autonomous.

Thus, while the importance of the world body in helping to confront growing global challenges has never been greater, the UN has never been more disjointed. Over many years there have been countless attempts at reform and adaptation, starting in 1969 with the “Capacity Study of the United Nations Development System,” described by the UN-lifer and former under secretary-general Dame Margaret Joan Anstee as “the ‘Bible’ of UN reform because its precepts are lauded by everyone but put into effect by no one.”

After a long fallow period, the last two decades have seen some promising innovations. In 1998, the International Criminal Court was established, upon which the Security Council can call. In 2000, the Global Compact began bringing the UN into closer partnership with the private sector. In the same year, the largest-ever development summit led to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which provided a focus for the UN’s unwieldy development agenda.

Two major new global health funds, inspired by the UN, opened for business. A high-level panel ushered in the path-breaking concepts of the “responsibility to protect,” the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council, which were both endorsed by an even larger world summit in 2005. The following year, the latest reform for the development UN was supposedly agreed under the rubric of “delivering as one.”

However, all of these decisions added new moving parts. Building on the 2006 reform and breaking with the time-tested model of growth by accretion, four modest women’s programs were consolidated into a single organization. UN Women gives more weight to gender advocacy but adds to the number of UN bodies requiring coordination. While there has been some convergence in a minority of countries in which the UN has field offices, the desirable ultimate goal of closer integration remains as elusive as ever, for gender and every other sector.

UN member states and secretariats normally respond to emerging problems by creating new mechanisms, often putting existing UN organizations in new and unworkable configurations but virtually never getting rid of old institutions. Cumbersome responses to food security, migration and health are just three recent examples: many organizations at the table but without any unifying approach.

Effective change and adaptation require hard choices, even where — especially where — outcomes are bound to disappoint at least many governments and bureaucratic interests. The delivering-as-one program, for instance, brought organizations closer but never questioned why more than 20 different UN organizations still required offices in the emerging economies, or never worried that transaction costs increased rather than decreased.

The painful process of formulating new sustainable development goals (SDGs) is another lamentable example of the cumbersome nonsystem at work. Member states, UN organizations and civil society came together to lobby for their own lengthy lists of “priorities.” But lacking strategic direction from the top of the organization, the honored if wasteful accretion process has thrown up 17 main goals and no fewer than 169 paragraphs of elaboration, with scant attention to overlap, resources, sequencing and implementation capacity. The outcome has therefore raised more questions than answers for the path to be followed beginning in January 2016 and by the new secretary-general in January 2017.

The reaction of member states, UN staff and observers is individually and collectively to throw up their hands, to accept the legacy of weakness and atomization in the world body. But there are two overwhelming reasons to reject such complacency. The first is the progressive marginalization of the UN in many of its major functions, manifested by the emergence of alternative organizations and sources of support designed specifically to circumvent the UN’s unwieldy bureaucracy.

The second is the evidence from past attempts at reform that a strong leader committed to change, and with the communication skills to match, can make a difference. Research by the Future UN Development System Project (FUNDS) has identified many key reform initiatives that could and should be on the radar screen of the next secretary-general. The question is not what and whether, but when and how. The UN system falls well short of being fit for purpose, for today let alone tomorrow. Meanwhile, global challenges demanding global responses are growing in numbers and intensity.

Thus, it is critical to identify and elect a secretary-general who understands the flaws in the structure and staffing of component parts of the UN family and has the knowledge, determination and — dare we say — charisma to correct them.

Indeed, the chances for significant institutional change are normally enhanced during the “honeymoon,” the first six months of a secretary-general’s new term. Both Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt and Kofi Annan of Ghana instituted their most sweeping staffing and management changes in 1992, 1997 and 2002. Let’s hope for similar initiatives from 2016’s successful candidate.

The 1 for 7 billion campaign has also recommended a single term of six or seven years for the next secretary-general, a proposal that has been raised repeatedly over the years but without success. (The term is now five years.) Doing so would require overcoming tradition but not a Charter revision, and it could eliminate the caution that customarily goes with concerns for re-election and jolt the incumbent with a greater sense of urgency to strengthen — actually transform — the organization.


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Lonely at the Top: What It’s Like to Be the UN Secretary-General | passblue

Lonely at the Top: What It’s Like to Be the UN Secretary-General | passblue | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it

There have been eight secretaries-general of the United Nations in the 68 years since the first of them, Trygve Lie of Norway, took on this unique global position. All eight — all men — have been very different in character and personality, in their cultural and political backgrounds and in their views of how the job should be done. Yet there is a continuum, as each secretary-general inherits the legacies of his predecessors and must take them into account while shaping the role anew.

Lucia Mouat, a former correspondent at the UN for the Christian Science Monitor, tells their stories in a new book likely to become a standard reference on the subject. The book, “The United Nations’ Top Job: A Close Look at the Work of Eight Secretaries-General,” keeps its focus on these office-holders through years of crises, wars and fundamental changes within the institution and the world. The secretaries-general were, and are, always in the center of global affairs to one extent or another, often trying to help shape events or lower tensions, while always feeling the pressures of governments. A lot of this is never seen by the general public anywhere.

From the beginning, there was not much common agreement on what powers a secretary-general would have. The UN Charter was little help. “In the end, the UN Charter says little about the UN’s chief role and its limits,” Mouat wrote, adding that the drafters were clear only that a secretary-general was to be the organization’s chief administrative officer and the person responsible for carrying out Security Council decisions. At the start, the author said, “the major powers believed they would run the United Nations together. They thought they needed an office manager rather than a policy maker.”

Since the founding of the UN, the secretaries-general have come, in chronological order, from Norway, Sweden, Burma, Austria, Peru, Egypt, Ghana and (south) Korea. Unofficially, the job is expected to rotate around regions of the world, often a cause of considerable contention and disagreement among subregions or smaller nations that feel they have been systematically shut out. By tacit agreement among the five permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — the citizens of all these countries may not be candidates for the position.

Trygve Lie, the Norwegian lawyer and foreign minister, didn’t want the amorphous job initially and had to be talked into taking it; he preferred the presidency of the General Assembly. He was also not the first choice of numerous nations, including the US. Russia, however, pushed his candidacy for secretary-general, and he was chosen in a compromise.

Lucia Mouat, the author.

Mouat quotes Brian Urquhart, whose long, exemplary career in UN service included working as one of Lie’s personal assistants and advisers. “There was no consideration of who might be best qualified for the job,” Urquhart told the author in an interview, one of many valuable and archival conversations recorded in this book. Mouat noted that Urquhart saw how the choice of Lie “illustrated the limits that the increasingly adversarial East-West relationship was placing on UN effectiveness.” The ingredients for stalemate are still echoing in Russia’s standoff and confrontation with the US and Western Europe over Syria and Ukraine.

Additional tension has in recent decades been put into the mix by the growing strength of emerging powers and other developing nations of the global South, who repeatedly call for greater influence in the UN, particularly in the Security Council.

Lie, the son of a carpenter and former labor union lawyer, could not have been more different that his successor, Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish aristocrat who once lived in a castle and whose father became the country’s prime minister. He is probably best remembered of all early secretaries-general for his intellectual writings (which some call mystical) and for his untimely death in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 while on a mission to deal with conflict and secession in Congo. The Democratic Republic of the Congo remains one of the UN’s perpetual challenges.

“He was a shy, quiet, awkward intellectual who was spectacularly bad at dealing with people,” said Urquhart, who had a close relationship with Hammarskjold as the UN’s role in peacekeeping was being established. “But the most amazing thing about him was that you could go to Rio, New Delhi or Cape Town and the taxi driver would have heard of him and have an astonishingly clear idea of what he was trying to do.”

U Thant, the first and only Asian before Ban Ki-moon to hold the position, walked straight into a series of international conflicts during his decade in office: the continuing Katanga secession issue in Congo, the Cuban missile crisis, war in Kashmir, the six-day Arab-Israeli war and the building Vietnam conflict. A nonconfrontational man, Thant plunged into mediation on several fronts and incurred the wrath of several nations, including the US, before his term ended.

With Kurt Waldheim, Mouat gets to what might be considered the contemporary era, in that Waldheim, an ambitious Austrian politician, was the first candidate for UN secretary-general to openly campaign for the job — and the first to try to seek a third term in office. Since then, candidates have been more open about their candidacies, though vetting of aspirants still does not take place in any organized, open way, and campaigns have been conducted mostly behind the scenes with governments in capitals or in regional horse-trading sessions.

Lucia Mouat's new book on all eight UN secretaries-general.

The Middle East and western Asia consumed most of Waldheim’s energies during his two terms as secretary-general. The American hostage crisis in Iran, a Turkish-Greek confrontation in Cyprus, another Israeli-Arab war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the long conflict between Iraq and Iran marked those years. It was also during that period that the “Zionism is racism” resolution was passed with a wide margin in the General Assembly, driving American relations with the UN to a very low point.

To the chagrin and embarrassment of countries that had supported Waldheim’s tenure at the UN, it was later revealed that he had been a member of a Nazi youth group in Austria and, after 1938, a trooper and officer in Hitler’s army. This record had not emerged during his candidacy for the UN’s top job, or it had been covered up by his own lies about his background. That did not stop him, however, from becoming president of Austria in 1986.

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, who followed Waldheim, was another compromise choice in the Security Council, which effectively chooses a secretary-general, who is then confirmed by the General Assembly. Pérez de Cuéllar, a career diplomat and cosmopolitan who chose not to campaign for the job, cultivated his reputation as an impartial mediator who was unfailingly polite and also not confrontational. He once acknowledged that he knew he was not “an exciting choice” for the job.

Although not the best of administrators, he gained wide respect for his attention to working closely with the Security Council while offering his services in mediating, successfully, an end to prolonged fighting such as the Iran-Iraq war and the conflicts in Central America in the 1980s.

“Pérez de Cuéllar . . . launched an important new approach to the council,” Mouat wrote. “He tried to attend every council meeting, something his predecessors had not done.” He also understood, various former officials told her, the limits of what he could do as secretary-general and the barriers to action sometimes faced by a divided Security Council. He knew there were separate but complementary roles for both in the power structure. The US liked him enough to ask if he would consider staying on for a third term. He declined, politely.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali, an Egyptian who had played a major role in attempts to negotiate agreements between Israelis and Arabs, was to suffer a different fate at the hands of Washington. Publicly, he was pilloried for not stopping the vicious wars in the Balkans after the breakup of Yugoslavia and for not intervening to prevent or stop genocide in Rwanda, both unfair accusations when the reluctance and parsimony of the Security Council, especially the US, made inadequate decisions on intervention and resources were not authorized to meet the tasks.

When the secretary-general (and his unusual name) became a butt of crude humor and contempt among provincial Republican members of Congress, some of whom bizarrely also accused him of trying to subvert American sovereignty with UN troops, the administration of President Bill Clinton, running scared of the political opposition, denied him a second term in the most humiliating way. It was a disgraceful move.

The US quickly moved to put Kofi Annan, a seasoned UN official and former head of peacekeeping into office, though not without an unseemly marginal squabble with France over whether his French was good enough to head a theoretically bilingual organization. Annan soon became known as a leading advocate for human rights and for commissioning a series of reports on the future work of the UN, including in peacekeeping, that have formed the base and touchstone of international policy debate and decisions in the organization ever since.

Annan, who with the UN won the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, also faced hostility in the US. He publicly opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and became the target of American conservatives who accused him of being responsible for illegalities in oil sales by Iraq under a program designed to aid Iraqi civilians living under sanctions. What became know as the “oil for food” scandal proved to have involved a host of governments and companies (some of them American) who had been dealing illegally with the Saddam Hussein regime. Annan himself was chided only for poor management of a program that ran pretty much independently of his office.

The final words on the Ban Ki-moon era will have to wait to be written, but Mouat noted his commitment to dealing with climate change as a priority he set himself from the start of his first term. That has been a tough sell, but he is still at it. He travels exhaustively — and is criticized for spending too much time on the road. But his approach, from the early days of his campaign to be elected secretary-general, has been face-to-face meetings with all people who need to be brought into discussion on issues, from leaders of governments to peacekeeping missions and humanitarian agencies working in the many fields of UN assistance. He meets local people and assesses situations personally.

Ban has been able to persuade Sudan’s president to accept joint UN-African peacekeeping troops in troubled areas, to convince an Ivory Coast president to accept election defeat and to persuade the Burmese military leadership to open the country to humanitarian aid after a powerful cyclone and extend that cautious opening to political change. If Ban rarely makes headlines, it may be because he doesn’t seek them.

Most recently, Ban embarked on what might have been the most crucial trip of his career: to Moscow to talk with President Vladimir Putin after the Russian seizure of Crimea. It may not have moved Putin, who now threatens eastern Ukraine proper. But the experience left Ban, taking a bold step, openly and sharply critical of Russian policy.

The United Nations’ Top Job: A Close Look at the Work of Eight Secretaries-General,” by Lucia Mouat; 9781484806197.


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Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General

Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“HOMEOUTSTANDING WOMENMISSIONABOUTCONTACTMEDIAMoreCAMPAIGN TO ELECT A WOMAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL WE HAVE HAD 8 MALE S-Gs AND OUR 9TH SHOULD BE A WOMAN IT'S TIME© 2015 by Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General.AboutA group of like-minded women have come together to launch a campaign to elect a woman as UN Secretary-General when Ban Ki-moon steps down at the end of 2016. There have been eight male Secretaries-General but never a female even though women represent half the world’s population. The group represents women from academia and civil society with a long record of engagement with the United Nations. Through an initial series of discussions, we decided that the time had come for a woman to lead the Organization and we formed a core planning group to enact a plan of action. We welcome others to join the campaign, both men and women, individuals and organizations alike. It’s time! JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!Core Planning GroupJean Krasno - Chair of the CampaignJean Krasno is a member of the faculty in the Department of Political Science at the City College of New York's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. She is also a Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist at Yale University where she has taught courses on the United Nations, UN peacekeeping, and International Organization since 1995. She was Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System from 1998 to 2003 when the organization was housed at Yale. Dr. Krasno was authorized by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to organize his papers for publication, a five volume set, published by Lynne Rienner Publishers in March 2012. Dr. Krasno received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1994, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on Brazilian politics. Some of her other publications include The United Nations: Confronting the Challenges of a Global Society, editor, (2004), Lynne Rienner Publisher; Leveraging for Success in UN Peace Operations, editor with Don Daniel and Bradd Hayes, (2003) Greenwood/Praeger Publishers; The United Nations and Iraq: Defanging the Viper, co-authored with James Sutterlin (2003), Greenwood/Praeger Publishers; and forthcoming in July 2015, Personality, Political Leadership, and Decision Making: A Global Perspective, Jean Krasno (author/editor) with Sean LaPides, Praeger Publishers, 2015. Shazia Z. RafiShazia Z. Rafi is former Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) from 1996-2013 and was the first woman on the ballot and runner-up finalist for the Inter-Parliamentary Union Secretary-General election. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She lives in New York City and her website is www.shaziarafi.com (http://shaziarafi.com)Shazia Rafi is a WMC SheSource expert (http://www.shesource.org/experts/profile/shazia-z-rafi) on international security, arms control, international law, international treaties, international women’s rights, international human rights policy and violations, political Islam, Africa, Asia, diplomacy, environment, international issues, Middle East and North Africa, politics and religion.Patricia AckermanPatricia Ackerman is Director of the Women’s Studies Program at the City College of New York. She also directs the Together for Transformation Project, a global interreligious collaboration focusing on ending violence against women, supporting sex worker and LGBTQI human rights, transforming masculinities, and addressing fundamentalisms, which is based in NYC and Cape Town. Professor Ackerman is also an Episcopal Priest and psychotherapist resident in New York. She is a UN representative for the Fellowship of Reconciliation and serves on the International Advisory Board of the Women Peacemakers Program, The Hague, Netherlands. Charlotte BunchCharlotte Bunch, Founding Director and Senior Scholar at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University, has been an activist, writer and organizer in the feminist, LGBT, and human rights movements for over four decades. A Distinguished Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Bunch was previously a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in DC and a founder of Washington DC Women’s Liberation, The Furies and of Quest: A Feminist Quarterly.Charlotte, has served on the Board of Directors of many organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the MS Foundation for Women, the Global Fund for Women and the Women’s Human Rights Defenders International Coalition. She is currently on the Board of AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development), CHANGE: Center for Health and Gender Equity, and the Advisory Committee for the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.She has worked to bring women and particularly issues of gender based violence and sexual rights onto national and international feminist and human rights agendas. Bunch’s contributions to conceptualizing and organizing for women’s human rights have been recognized by many including the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the White House Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, being one of the “1000 Women Peace Makers” nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Connecticut.She was actively involved in feminist organizing for the 1980 Copenhagen, 1985 Nairobi, and the 1995 Beijing World Conferences on Women and was the coordinator for the CWGL led Global Campaign for Women’s Human Rights at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993. She has been involved in numerous other civil society efforts at the United Nations, including advocating for the creation of UN Women where she serves on the Global Civil Society Advisory Board.She has written numerous influential essays, edited nine anthologies and authored Passionate Politics: Feminist Theory in Action and Demanding Accountability: The Global Campaign and Vienna Tribunal for Women’s Human Rights. Barbara CrossetteBarbara Crossette is a fellow of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY as well as the United Nations correspondent for The Nation. She is also a board member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Previously, Crossette was the UN bureau chief for The New York Times from 1994 to 2001 and before that its chief correspondent in Southeast Asia and South Asia. She is the author of So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas,” “The Great Hill Stations of Asia,” and a Foreign Policy Association study, “India: Old Civilizations in a New World.”Crossette won the George Polk award for her coverage in India of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and the 2010 Shorenstein Prize for her writing on Asia.Melissa Labonte is Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at Fordham University. She received her B.A. in Internaional Relations from Syracuse University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Brown University. Her research and teaching interests include the United Nations system, humanitarian politics, peacebuilding, multilateral peace operations, conflict resolution, human rights, and West African politics. She is the author of Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms, Strategic Framing, and Intervention: Lessons for the Responsibility to Protect (London: Routledge, 2013), and her research has appeared in leading journals in international research, including African Affairs; Disasters; Global Governance; the International Journal of Human Rights; International Studies Perspectives; and Third World Quarterly.Dr. Labonte is Vice Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS); and sub-Saharan Africa academic advisor for Freedom House. She has conducted research with the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly on issues including Security Council reform, the Global Financial Crisis, and the Responsibility to Protect; and has also carried out field work analyzing ongoing peacebuilding in Sierra Leone, which forms the basis for her current book project.In 2013 Dr. Labonte was the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Social Sciences, and the Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal’s Faculty Mentor Award in the Social Sciences. Melissa LabonteDulcie LeimbachDulcie Leimbach is a fellow of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of CUNY. She is the founder and editor of PassBlue, a digital publication that covers the United Stations, with a strong focus on women. She is also editing a history project book on the United Nations Association of the USA.Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention against Corruption; and before that from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA, where she edited its flagship magazine, The InterDependent, and migrated it online in 2010. She was also the senior editor of the UNA’s annual book “A Global Agenda: Issues Before the UN.”Before the UN, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, where she edited and wrote for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review, Op-Ed and Arts and Leisure. She has been a fellow at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and taught news reporting at Hofstra University. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.Anne Marie GoetzDr. Goetz, who joined the Center for Global Affairs (CGA) as a Clinical Professor in January 2014, is on sabbatical from UN Women, where she served since 2011 as the Chief Advisor for UN Women, Peace and Security. She worked at the United Nations since 2005 as Chief Advisor on Governance, Peace and Security, for UNIFEM. Prior to joining UNIFEM in 2005, she was a Professor of Political Science at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex where she worked since 1991. She also served the United Nations Development Programme in Chad and Guinea in the mid-1980s. While at the UN over the past decade Dr. Goetz spearheaded initiative to promote women’s empowerment in the UN’s peace building work in post-conflict situations, to build peacekeepers’ capacities to detect and prevent sexual violence in conflict, and to support women’s organizations’ efforts to participate in peace talks and post-conflict decision-making.Dr. Goetz is a political scientist who specializes in research on development policies in fragile states to promote the interests of marginalized social groups, particularly poor women. She also researches conditions for democratization and good governance in South Asia and East Africa. This has included research on pro-poor and gender-sensitive approaches to public sector reforms, anti-corruption initiatives, decentralization, and state building in fragile states and post-conflict situations. Professor Goetz is the author of eight books on the subjects of gender, politics and policy in developing countries, and on accountability reforms – the latest is a 2009 edited volume: Governing Women: Women in Politics and Governance in Developing Countries (Routledge). Gillian SorensenGillian Sorensen has served the United Nations as Assistant Secretary-General; Senior Advisor at the United Nations Foundation; and New York City Commissioner for the United Nations and Consular Corps. She is a graduate of Smith College and studied at the Sorbonne. She has twice been a Fellow at Harvard – in 2002 at the Kennedy School Institute of Politics and in 2014 as an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow. She is an experienced public speaker and advocate, mediator and bridge builder. Ms. Sorensen serves on the Board of the International Rescue Committee and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Women’s Forum and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. She has been active in politics and was a delegate to three national Presidential conventions. AssociatesContributorsDorota PiotrowskaSandra BarronAlan CastilloEsther Perez QuesadaDorota Piotrowska is a graduate student at MA International Relations program, Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College of New York. She attended the University of Wroclaw, Poland, where she received a B.A. in French Philology in 2006. In 2012 Piotrowska earned another B.A. in Jazz Performance with a concentration in drums at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. She has served as an intern at Polish Cultural Institute and at the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Africa II Division. Arielle HernandezArielle Hernandez is currently completing a Master's Degree in International Relations at City College of New York's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. While in the MA program, Ms. Hernandez helped lead a service learning project in Kobina Ansa, Ghana, which worked to promote sustainable building methods in the region. Ms. Hernandez graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College in 2007 with a double major in Media Studies and Writing, Literature, and Publishing. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Northern Virginia, she has been living in New York City since 2009. Her family has operated an immigration law firm in the Washington metro area for more than 30 years, primarily serving the Latino community.Kristen MillerKristen Aston Miller came to the She4SG campaign because of her interest in gender equality. She moved to New York from Madrid, Spain in 2013 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Up2Us, an organization working in the field of sports-based youth development. Apart from the campaign, Kristen dedicates her time to artshack, an afterschool contemporary art program for kids in Brooklyn teaching Spanish lessons. She has her Master’s in Economic Development and Public Policy from La Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and her undergraduate from Indiana University with a BS in Public Affairs – Policy Analysis and a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. Kristen is originally from Bloomington, IN.Rosann Mariappuram received her bachelor’s degree from New York University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at The City College of New York in international affairs. She is the recipient of the Colin Powell Graduate Fellowship in Leadership and Public Service. Through her work at the Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) Rosann works to improve access to women’s health.Rosann MariappuramThis pageis safeBitdefender Antivirus Plus”
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Speech for Youth Plenary “An Intergenerational Dialogue with the Custodians of the Future At Tropical Landscapes Summit: A Global Investment Opportunity"

Speech for Youth Plenary “An Intergenerational Dialogue with the Custodians of the Future At Tropical Landscapes Summit: A Global Investment Opportunity" | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“ 27 Apr 2015 Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to have been invited at this plenary session, “An Intergenerational Dialogue with the Custodians of the Future”. Today’s discussions have confirmed Indonesia’s commitment to pursuing sustainable development. The Government’s vision of ‘development for the people’ affirms that true progress needs to balance economic, environmental, and social goals in order to craft a development pathway that is holistic and inclusive. There is a wide consensus that a concept of wealth that allows for growing social inequity and environmental destruction does not represent true wealth. Sustainability cannot be achieved by tinkering at the margins of our lifestyles and our value-systems. It must become a way of life. It is especially from young people that we find inspiring demonstrations of this truth. Today’s generation of young people is the largest that the world has ever known – and they represent one of the greatest assets that countries have. Nearly 90 percent of the world’s youth live in developing countries; and it is here, in particular, that a great opportunity arises to channel the energy, enthusiasm and innovation that young people embody to accelerate progress towards sustainable development. With half of its population aged under 30 years old, Indonesia’s future depends upon the choices that its young people make today. The presentations that we have just heard are very inspiring and encouraging. They are pioneering not just in what they seek to achieve, but how to achieve it. With youth comes energy, vibrancy, and optimism – if there is a supportive environment and opportunity. That lays the ground for major positive contributions and a demographic dividend from the largest youth population the world has ever known. Communication and advocacy is a big part of the transformation that young people are driving in global development. Indonesia is one of the world’s most prolific users of social media – and this is an immensely powerful means of breaking down traditional boundaries of place and hierarchy to build momentum for change. This Forum provides a very important space for young people to engage, discuss, and influence – and surely tweet about – the development issues which affect their lives, their communities, and their countries. But while young people are making a significant impact on their own, it is essential that governments and development partners invest in them. It is particularly important to ensure inclusion among the youth: women and girls, people living in poverty, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, need to be included – not just according to principles of rights and equity, but because their empowerment could unlock catalytic processes of transformation. Many young people in Indonesia face such challenges in their daily lives that make the prerogatives of sustainability seem remote. Linked to this is the too-common portrayal in national and international media of youth as burdens, as trouble makers, as the source of their own problems. However, the range of challenges faced by today’s youth around the world – from job insecurity, to war and conflict, to various forms of discrimination – are a product of the world that they were born into, and the institutions and values created by generations before them. We need to make sure that every young person has the means to envision an ideal future, and take action to move in that direction. To do this, we need to ensure young people are not just part of the end goal, but also a part of the process. This Youth Plenary affirms the intention of the Government of Indonesia to ensure youth are a part of the conversation on Indonesia’s green economy transition. The United Nations system is fully committed to working with young people, and with the governments, to access the means and opportunities they need in order to contribute as they are entitled, and indeed as they must, to make sure this conversation translates into tangible and far-reaching change. The new development agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals, which will be agreed upon by all countries at the UN General Assembly meeting this September in New York, matters immensely to today’s young people as it will shape the world in which they will make their contribution. It is in the interest of all of us that the world we build is a more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable one than what we have today. Put simply, young people deserve a better deal for their future.”
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Campaign launches to promote female candidate to lead UN - PanARMENIAN.Net

Campaign launches to promote female candidate to lead UN - PanARMENIAN.Net | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“ The campaign aims primarily at UN ambassadors from China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.”
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Landmark pledging conference to support Somali refugees going home starts

Landmark pledging conference to support Somali refugees going home starts | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“ Somalia's Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, Kenya's Minister of Interior and Coordination of National Government H.E. (Rtd) Maj. General Joseph Ole Nkaissery, Europe's High Representative for...”
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Carlos Batara's curator insight, October 25, 2015 12:03 AM


Long enough is long enough. 


It would be nice if a plan to create a safe environment for Somali refugees to return home developed momentum and became reality. 


In the United States, Somalia is the longest-standing country under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) status. 


Yet, our government has seen fit to keep them second-class residents, refusing to grant them a path to permanent residency and citizenship.  Instead, 18-month extensions of limited Somali TPS benefits is the best we offer them.


The U.S. is only housing 250 – 300 Somalia immigrants under TPS.  A legalization path for such a small number would not place an undue burden U.S. resources.


But in the absence of such compassion, why not a plan to bring Somali residents back home?

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Time for a Woman: United Nations it’s been 70 years, elect a female Secretary-General | Equality Now

Time for a Woman: United Nations it’s been 70 years, elect a female Secretary-General | Equality Now | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“Date: 22 Apr 2015TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.”
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Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video] | passblue

Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video] | passblue | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it

Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his second five-year term on Dec. 31, 2016, and is unlikely to try for another, even though the UN Charter does not disallow it.

That means serious jockeying for the post begins now, with a more official process underway by July 2015 and ending a year later with a vote.

“We have had eight male S-Gs and it is time for a woman,” said Jean Krasno, who is leading the Campaign to Elect a Woman Secretary-General and was interviewed for the video, above. Krasno is a lecturer in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and a lecturer and associate research scholar at Yale. She is also in charge of organizing the papers of Kofi Annan, a former secretary-general, in a joint project by City College and Yale.

“Women make up half the world’s population, and it is time that a woman is represented as secretary-general,” Krasno added. “We already have a list of 29 outstanding women.”

The campaign’s goal is to search for and support the most qualified female candidates, promote openness in the selection process and involve governments and civil society in the search and selection.

The process of picking a secretary-general is, like many high-level positions at the UN, anything but open. Shrouded in secrecy and private meetings, the long exercise to pick a candidate leaves many diplomats and others out of the loop, with the permanent-five members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — often the main parties fully aware of which names actually have a chance at being endorsed.

Despite louder calls, decade after decade, inside the UN and its outer circle for more openness regarding appointments to the UN, nothing has changed since 1945, when the world body originated and Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, was plucked — albeit reluctantly — for secretary-general.

In the post-Wikileaks era, coupled with disclosures of American government wiretapping, the UN appears severely dated in its privileged methods of hiring people for high-echelon posts. For the job of secretary-general, or as Ban once called it, “president of the world,” the process is even more suppressed and generally dominated by the US with approval, grudging and otherwise, from its fellow permanent members on the Security Council. Once these countries sign off on a candidate, the General Assembly gets the final vote.

Yet the US will not be the only country demanding its way. As Lucia Mouat, who covered the UN for the Christian Science Monitor and has written a book about the UN secretaries-general, points out, “Politics is not restricted to US dealings.”

Indeed, all 193 member states can submit names, and the word so far is that many candidates to be suggested will be women, as countries far and wide are recognizing that consensus has peaked for a female secretary-general to lead the UN next, so nations want to be ready to offer their best choices.

Historically, the process has been relegated to geographic rotation, although that arrangement is not documented in any UN rulebook. Nor is it set in stone that a candidate from the permanent-five countries cannot be chosen.

If geography is adhered to, the next term should go to Eastern Europe. Despite this stricture, dozens of names beyond those borders have been flung into the arena. Some names that have been mentioned include presidents of Lithuania (a woman) and Chile (a woman); former heads of state from Australia (a man); and even a Western European — Angela Merkel of Germany — as it appears that the Eastern Europe umbrella could encompass all of Europe, according to some political observers, as well as Canada.

A “man panel” of portraits of United Nations secretaries-general, located in a hallway of the headquarters in New York.

Helen Clark, who runs the UN Development Program, said ages ago that she wanted the job. She is from New Zealand, which happens to be a newly elected member of the Security Council this year and falls, however unnaturally, in the Western Europe and Others regional grouping at the UN.

Candidates are already “pounding flesh and employing lobbyists,” wrote Stephen Browne and Thomas G. Weiss in an essay published in PassBlue. Browne and Weiss lead FUNDS, or the Future United Nations Development System, a project of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center (as is PassBlue).

The movement led by Krasno consists of about a dozen women from a range of countries, and includes people who have worked in the UN as well as in academia, media and nonprofit groups. The aim is to come up with a list of the best possible female candidates to become secretary-general, rather than meet the expectation of geographic rotation, for the 2017-2022 term, so the candidates do not have to hail from Eastern Europe. (Full disclosure: this writer is part of the group.)

A well-researched databank will be compiled by Krasno’s campaign, listing potential contenders, to be posted online.

In parallel, a group of prominent nongovernment organizations and individuals has begun a campaign to support more openness in the process of electing the next secretary-general. The campaign, called 1 for 7 Billion, announced its plans last fall “to find the best UN leader.”

The Elders, a formation of elite, independent leaders and headed by Kofi Annan, has also been promoting ways to “make a stronger and more effective” UN. Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was once a prime minister of Norway, is an Elder whose name has been bandied about as a possible secretary-general, too.

In another stab at more openness in UN appointment processes, the news in November that the head of the UN’s huge humanitarian agency, Valerie Amos, a Briton, would be leaving in March 2015 provoked frustration by the media, individuals and the nonprofit world. They all voiced concern that her replacement would be a candidate based on nationality and political handpicking rather than on merit. (The job has yet to be filled.)

In response, the UN, as it must, publicly encouraged applicants to submit their resumes through the proper channels for Amos’s job, even as Ban’s office seems beholden to accept a name designated by Britain, which has led the humanitarian agency since 2007. David Cameron, the prime minister, apparently submitted the name of Andrew Lansley, an ousted Parliament member, to Ban right before Amos’s departure was announced.

Mark Malloch Brown, a former British government minister and a UN under secretary-general, called Cameron’s move a “political dumping.”

Jeff Laurenti, an American commentator on UN-Washington affairs, remarked on social media about the Lansley suggestion, saying that Ban “is now on auto-pilot to retirement; he doesn’t have to worry about the big boys vetoing his continuation in office. He can afford to draw the line at the most brazen efforts to place political hacks at the top levels of the UN.”


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Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General

Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“HOMEOUTSTANDING WOMENMISSIONABOUTCONTACTMEDIAMoreCAMPAIGN TO ELECT A WOMAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL WE HAVE HAD 8 MALE S-Gs AND OUR 9TH SHOULD BE A WOMAN IT'S TIME© 2015 by Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General. MINISTERSPRESIDENTSPRIME MINISTERSCHANCELLORSSSAngela MerkelAngela Merkel was born in 1954 in Germany. She studied physics at the University of Leipzig and earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry at East German Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1978. From 1978 to 1990 she worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences. Following the German reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag for Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a seat she has held ever since. That same year she joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and soon after was appointed to Helmut Kohl's cabinet as Federal Minister for Women and Youth. In 1994 Merkel became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, serving until 1998. Following Kohl's defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named Secretary-General of the CDU. Merkel was chosen party leader in 2000 and lost the CDU candidacy for Chancellor in 2002 to Edmund Stoiber. In the 2005 election she narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany's first female Chancellor. In 2007, Merkel became President of the European Council and chaired the G8. She was the second woman to do so. That same year, Merkel signed the the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council in an effort to strengthen transatlantic economic relations. She has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's second most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman; she is now ranked fifth. On 26 March 2014, she became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union. QUICK FACTSNAMEAngela MerkelBIRTH DATEJuly 17, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATIONUniversity of Leipzig, East German Academy of Sciences in BerlinPLACE OF BIRTHHamburg, GermanyRESIDENCE:GermanyLANGUAGES: German, English, French, RussianEllen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Liberia in 1938. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin, a master’s degree in economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master’s of public administration at Harvard University. Upon completing her education she returned home to Liberia to serve as the Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 under then President William Tolbert. A violent military coup swept the country in 1980, led by army sergeant Samuel Doe, and resulted in the assassination of President Tolbert. Johnson Sirleaf was exiled from Liberia by the new military government. She worked for several years in international banking in the United States and Kenya. In 1985, Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia to run for the Senate but when she spoke out against Doe’s regime she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Johnson Sirleaf was imprisoned for part of her sentence but was eventually able to return to the United States, building a career as an economist at Citibank and the World Bank. During her second exile, Charles Taylor led a bloody revolt against Doe, overthrowing him in 1990 and becoming the new president. Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia for the third time in 1997 to run against Taylor in the presidential election. She lost the election and Taylor accused her of treason. Undeterred by his threats, Johnson Sirleaf continued to advocate for the end of rampant corruption in Liberia and economic reform, eventually becoming the head of the Unity Party. In 2005 she successfully beat Taylor in the presidential election, becoming the first female leader of Liberia and Africa’s first female head of state. Johnson Sirleaf’s first term in office was marked by progressive reform to the country’s fiscal and economic policies. In 2011she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karmanof Yemen for “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Johnson Sirleaf was reelected for a second presidential term in 2011.Ellen Johnson SirleafQUICK FACTSNAME:Ellen Johnson SirleafBIRTH DATE: October 29, 1938 (age 77)EDUCATION:Madison Business College,University of Colorado, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:LiberiaRESIDENCY:LiberiaLANGUAGES:Liberian, EnglishAs the months progress before the election of a new United Nations Secretary-General at the end of 2016, we will be rolling out a series of biographies of outstanding women to demonstrate the depth and richness of talented and experienced women in high-level positions from all regions of the globe. We understand there is a precedent that a UN Secretary-General has not come from a permanent-five (P-5) member state. However, we would be remiss if we did not identify some outstanding women who happen to come from a P-5 country.JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!Congrats! You’ve joined our campaignThe most frequently used excuse for not selecting women for top positions is that there are not enough qualified women to choose from: No More Excuses!Watch this site for the roll out of outstanding women.A ROLL OUT OF OUTSTANDING WOMEN FROM AROUND THE WORLDCatherine AshtonFrom 2009 to 2014, Catherine Ashton served as the inaugural EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP). In May 2012, Catherine Ashton was honoured with the BusinessMed Blue Award. The award was presented to her in recognition of her efforts in promoting peace and economic development in the Mediterranean region. Prior to taking up her current position, Catherine Ashton was the member of the Commission responsible for trade and represented the EU in the Doha Round of world trade talks and built on strong bilateral trade and investment relationships. Prior to her work with the EU, Ms. Ashton worked as a Labour politician. In June 2007 Catherine Ashton was appointed to the Cabinet of the British Labour Government as Leader of the upper Parliamentary chamber, the House of Lords. In 2005 she was voted “Minister of the Year” by The House Magazine and “Peer of the Year” by Channel 4. In 2006 she won the “Politician of the Year” award at the annual Stonewall Awards. In September 2004, Mrs Ashton was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. In June 2001 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills. In 2002 she was made responsible for the "Sure Start" initiative in the same department. In 1999 she was made a Labour life peer as a result of her work towards building communities.QUICK FACTSNAME:Catherine AshtonBIRTH DATE:20 March 1956 (age 58)EDUCATION:Bedford CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:Upholland, United KingdomRESIDENCY:United KingdomLANGUAGES:English, French Dalia Grybauskaite Dalia Grybauskaitė is the first female President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 2009 and re-elected in 2014. She was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, also European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. In 2004 Grybauskaite was tapped to serve in Brussels as the European commissioner responsible for financial programming and budget; she was later selected the 2005 EU Commissioner of the Year. From 2001 to 2004 she served as finance minister. In 2000 Grybauskaite was appointed deputy foreign affairs minister and took a leadership role within the delegation responsible for negotiating Lithuania’s accession to the European Union (EU). After serving from 1996 to 1999 as the plenipotentiary minister at the Lithuanian embassy in the United States, she returned to Vilnius to assume the office of deputy finance minister and became Lithuania’s chief negotiator with the IMF and the World Bank. In 1991, she held posts in the country’s Ministry of International Economic Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1983 to 1990 she was a lecturer at the Communist Party’s training college in Vilnius. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia". Other than her native Lithuanian, she is fluent in English, Russian and Polish, and also speaks French. Grybauskaitė possesses a black belt in karate.QUICK FACTSNAME:Dalia GrybauskaitėBIRTH DATE:1 March 1956 (age 59)EDUCATION:Zdanov University (now called Saint Petersburg State University), Moscow Academy of Public SciencesPLACE OF BIRTH:Vilnyus, USSR (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania)RESIDENCY:LithuaniaLANGUAGES:Lithuanian, English, Russian, French, PolishFederica MogheriniFederica Mogherini was born in Rome in 1973 and graduated in Political Science at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” where her thesis was about Political Islam. She is currently the High Representative for the European Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission since November 2014. She became an active member of the Democrats of the Left (DP) a social democratic party in Italy. Her skills in foreign policy and social media savviness were quickly noticed after calling out the future Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, on twitter over his lack of foreign policy expertise who subsequently hired her. In 2008 she became one of the youngest MPs in Italian history. In her parliamentary capacity, she has been the Head of the Italian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Vice-president of its Political Committee (2013-2014); member of the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2008-2013); Secretary of the Defense Committee (2008-2013) and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She has been in the leadership of the Democratic Party since it was founded, in 2007: first as Secretary for Institutional Reforms, then as a member of the National Council, and in 2013-2014 as Secretary for European and International Affairs. She is also member of the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN) and of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). QUICK FACTSNAME:Federica MogheriniBIRTHDATE:Jun 16, 1973 (age 42)EDUCATION:La Sapienza University of RomePLACE OF BIRTH:Rome, ItalyRESDENCY:Rome, ItalyLANGUAGES:Italian, English, French, SpanishErna Solberg Erna Solberg has dedicated her entire career to government service and has served at almost every level of public office. Born and raised in Bergen, Norway she overcame struggles with dyslexia in high school and became a passionate and vocal student. She graduated from the University of Bergen in 1986, where she had studied political science and economics, as well as led the Students’ League of the Conservative Party. During and after college Solberg served as a deputy member of Bergen’s city council in 1979–1983 and 1987–1989, and continued to be active in the Conservative Party. She moved from local to national politics in 1989 when she was elected to Norway’s parliament, the Storting. Solberg was reelected to her post five times and from 1994 to 1998 was the head of the national Conservative Women's Association. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik appointed Solberg the minister of Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in 2001. She served for four years and pushed forward reforms to Norway’s immigration policy, including overhauling the asylum seeking process. After leaving the ministry Solberg became part of the Conservative Party leadership, becoming the party leader in 2004. Under her guidance, the party began to take back ground in parliament over the next several years and in 2013 she led them to take majority control. Solberg was appointed prime minister of Norway in October of 2013, the second woman to ever hold the position.QUICK FACTSNAME:Erna SolbergBIRTH DATE:February 24, 1961 (age 54)EDUCATION:University of BergenPLACE OF BIRTH:Bergen, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishGro Harlem Brundtland Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, on April 20th, 1939. Although she is most famous for becoming the youngest and first female Prime Minister of Norway, serving three terms from 1981-1996, her resume reaches far beyond. At the age of seven, Brundtland became a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement, in the children’s division. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University in 1965, and spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. Understanding the correlation between poor health and poor environmental factors, Dr. Brundtland accepted the Minister of the Environment position when it was offered to her in 1974, serving until 1979; and in 1983, she became chair of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, which led to the campaign for sustainable development, and the first Earth Summit. Dr. Brundtland went on to become the Director General for the World Health Oraganization (WHO) from 1998-2003; and in 2007 she was part of a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change until 2010. She is currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.QUICK FACTSNAME:Gro Harlem BrundtlandBIRTH DATE:April 20, 1939 (age 76)EDUCATION:Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Oslo, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishHelen ClarkHelen Clark was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on February 26th, 1950. Although coming from humble beginnings, Clark has made a great name for herself in New Zealand and the United Nations. After receiving a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Auckland in 1974, Clark became a professor in the field, and taught at Auckland from 1973 to 1981. Clark joined the Labour Party in 1971, but was elected to Parliament from a different constituency in 1981, thus beginning her rise past the “glass ceiling.” She held various positions such as: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from 1984 - 1987; and Minister, responsible for the Conservation, Housing, Health and Labour portfolios from 1987-1990. She went on to become the first woman in New Zealand to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1989-1990; the first woman appointed to the Privy Council in 1990; the first woman to be elected as head of a major party (the Labour Party) in 1993; and the first woman to become Prime Minister of New Zealand, holding the title for three consecutive terms from 1999-2008 (the first to ever do so.) Clark was named the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, also breaking gender barriers there. She was awarded the Peace Prize from the Danish Peace Foundation in 1986; made a member of the Order of New Zealand (New Zealand’s highest honor) in 2009; and has even been named as one of Forbes top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World for ten years. QUICK FACTSNAME:Helen ClarkBIRTH DATE:February 26, 1950 (age 65)EDUCATION:University of AucklandPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamilton, New ZelandRESIDENCY:New ZealandLANGUAGES:EnglishHelle Thorning-SchmidtDecisive leadership and progressive social and economic reform have marked Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s impressive career in public service. Born in 1966 in Denmark, Thorning-Schmidt studied politics at the University in Copenhagen and in 1993 received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from the European College in Bruges. She was politically active during her time at university and became a social democrat. After graduation she helped lead the secretariat of the Danish delegation of Social Democrats in the European Parliament from 1994-1997. Afterwards she worked as an international consultant for several years with the Danish Confederation of Trade Union. In 1999 she was elected to the European Parliament. During her five-year term she served on the Employment and Social Committee and co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR). In 2005, the head of Denmark’s Social Democrats stepped down after a disappointing show for the party in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Thorning-Schmidt ran and won a successful campaign to become his successor. She is the first woman to hold the top leadership position in the party. In 2007 she helped the Social Democrats regain some of the seats they had lost in 2005 in Denmark’s parliament, the Folketing, and during the 2011 elections she guided the Social Democrats to form a four party coalition majority. Thorning-Schmidt was appointed Prime Minister in 2011, becoming the first woman in Danish history to hold the position. During her time as prime minister Thorning-Schmidt has pushed for reform of the country’s restrictive immigration policy and supported investment in jobs to revive the Danish economy rather than austerity policies.QUICK FACTSNAME:Helle Thorning-SchmidtBIRTH DATE:December 14, 1966 (age 48)EDUCATION:University in Copenhagen, European College in BrugesPLACE OF BIRTH:Rødovre, DenmarkRESIDENCY:DenmarkLANGUAGES:Danish, English, FrenchKolinda Garbar-Kitarović Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović was born in Rijeka, Croatia on April 29th, 1968. Before she was President of Croatia, Garbar-Kitarović, began her career in 1992 as an advisor to the International Cooperation Department of Croatia’s Ministry of Science and Technology, later becoming an advisor in the Foreign Ministry. In 1995, she became the Director of the Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, and she worked as a diplomatic counselor and DCM at the Croatian Embassy in Canada from 1997 to 2000; returning later to the Foreign Ministry as Minister- Counsellor. Elected to the Croatian Parliament in 2003, she was quickly promoted to Minister of European Integration in December of the same year. She then served as Crotia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005-2008. In 2008, she was named Ambassador of Croatia to the United States, and held the position until 2011, and is therefore well-versed in Euro-Atlantic diplomacy and issues of security. President Garbar-Kitarović, then took on the role of NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, the first women ever to do so, on July 4th, 2011, and serving until October 2nd, 2014. Continuing the trend of paving the way for females, Garbar-Kitarović ran for President of Croatia and won, being sworn into office on February 15th, 2015. She holds a masters degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the George Washington University, a Luksic Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. QUICK FACTSNAME:Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović BIRTH DATE:April 29, 1968 (age 47)EDUCATION:University of Zagreb, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, George Washington UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Rijeka, CroatiaRESIDENCY:CroatiaLANGUAGES:Croatian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, ItalianHEADS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONSMichaëlle Jean Michaëlle Jean’s career as a journalist, activist, and diplomat reflect her lifelong commitment to public service. Originally born in Haiti, Michaëlle Jean immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968. She developed a love of language early on in life and pursued undergraduate and then graduate degrees in linguistics and literature at the University of Montreal, the University of Perouse, the University of Florence, and at the Catholic University of Milan. Michaëlle Jean is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole and taught Italian for several years at the University of Montreal. During her time in academia she also learned about and developed a passion for working to end domestic violence. From 1979 to 1987 she worked with a series of shelters for survivors of domestic violence in Quebec and also became involved with aid organizations for immigrant women and families. Later in her career she worked at Employment and Immigration Canada and at the Conseil des Communautés culturelles du Québec. In 1988 she transitioned from academia to journalism, joining Radio-Canada first as a reporter and then as a host. She went on to have an 18-year career in journalism, serving as an anchor on evening and daytime news and politic programs and in 2004 establishing her own program, Michaëlle, which featured in-depth news analysis and interviews. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her governor general of Canada. Michaëlle Jean was the first person of Caribbean origin to hold the post and the third woman to serve as governor general. She held the position until 2010, carrying out many of the ceremonial and constitutional duties of the Canadian monarchy in the Queen’s service. After leaving the position of governor general Michaëlle Jean continued to expand her experience in public service and diplomacy, becoming the Special Envoy for Haiti for UNESCO and in 2012 was appointed to the Queen’s Privey Council for Canada. And in 2015 Michaëlle Jean became the third Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the first woman to take on the role. QUICK FACTSNAME:Michaëlle JeanBIRTH DATE:September 6, 1957 (age 58)EDUCATION:University of Montreal, University of Perouse, University of Florence, Catholic University of MilanPLACE OF BIRTH:Port au Prince, HaitiRESIDENCY:CanadaLANGUAGES:English, French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian Creole Irina BokovaIrina Bokova, currently serves as the Director-General of UNESCO. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria she graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University). Ms. Bokova joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977 where she was responsible for human rights and equality of women issues. She was later appointed in charge of political and legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York. She was also a member of the Bulgarian Delegation at the United Nations conferences on the equality of women in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). As Member of Parliament (1990-1991 and 2001-2005), she participated in the drafting of Bulgaria’s new Constitution, which contributed significantly to the country’s accession to the European Union. Ms. Bokova was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations from 1995 to 1997; Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO from 2005 to 2009; and Personal Representative of the President of Bulgaria to the "Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie" (OIF). Irina Bokova is an active member of many international experts networks. She is a President and founding member of the European Policy Forum. Foe many years she has worked to overcome European divisions and to foster the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights. As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova is actively engaged in international efforts to advance quality education for all, gender equality, cultural dialogue and scientific cooperation for sustainable development and is leading UNESCO as a global advocate for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.QUICK FACTSNAME:Irina BokovaBIRTH DATE:July 12, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:Moscow State Institute of International Relations,John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Sofia, BulgariaRESIDENCY:BulgariaLANGUAGES:Bulgarian, English, French, Spanish and RussianUNDER SECRETARIES-GENERALNoeleen HeyzerDr. Noeleen Heyzer was the first woman since 1947 to serve as an Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2007 until December 2013. Currently the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste she has worked on the issue of sustainable development all her life. She was also the first Executive Director from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). With her leadership, UNIFEM assisted over one hundred countries in the formulation and implementation of legislation and policies that promote women’s security and rights. This resulted in the removal of discriminatory practices, changes in inheritance laws for women, better working conditions for migrant workers, women’s full participation in several peace negotiations and electoral processes including in Liberia, Rwanda and Timor-Leste, and the inclusion of women as full citizens in the constitution of Afghanistan. She played a critical role in helping the Security Council pass Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security undertaking extensive missions to conflict-affected countries worldwide. She was responsible for the establishment of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. She has served in various boards and advisory committees including being Member of Board of Trustees of Asian Institute of Technology, UNDP Human Development Report, She is also strengthening SPECA, the United Nations Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Dr. Heyzer has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from the University of Singapore. She obtained a Doctorate in social sciences from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.QUICK FACTSNAME:Noeleen HeyzerBIRTHDATE:1948 (age 67)EDUCATION:Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Masters of Science from the University of SingaporeDoctorate in Social Sciences from Cambridge UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Singapore RESIDENCY:SingaporeLANGUAGES:English, Malay, Mandarin, TamilAngela Kane Angela Kane assumed the position of High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in March 2012. She provides the Secretary-General with advice and support on all arms control, non-proliferation and related security matters and is responsible for the activities of the Office for Disarmament Affairs. She was the lead negotiator in 2014 in persuading Syria to allow for investigations on allegations of use of chemical weapons and eventually leading to the Syria decision to give up its chemical weapons by joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.Ms. Kane has had a long and distinguished career in the United Nations. In addition to substantive assignments in political affairs, peacekeeping and disarmament, she has held various managerial functions, including with financial and policy-setting responsibility. She served as Under-Secretary-General for Management from 2008-2012, overseeing human resources, financial management, procurement and support services and the renovation of the United Nations New York Headquarters campus.From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Kane served as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, a core function related to the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Previously, she had served as the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), peacemaking in El Salvador, a special assignment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and postings in Indonesia and Thailand. Ms. Kane also held the positions of Director in the Department of Political Affairs and Director in the Department of Public Information. She served as Principal Political Officer with former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and worked with the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process. Ms. Kane worked on disarmament issues for several years and was responsible for the activities of the World Disarmament Campaign.Before joining the UN Secretariat 38 years ago, Ms. Kane worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and for the private sector in Europe.QUICK FACTSNAME:Angela KaneBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1948 (age 66)EDUCATION:University of München, Bryn Mawr College andthe Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International StudiesPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamelin, Lower Saxony, GermanyRESIDENCY:GermanyLANGUAGES:German, English, French, Spanish, DutchTarja HalonenTarja Halonen’s dedication to improving human rights has been the backbone of her political career. Born and raised in post-war Helsinki, she attended the University of Helsinki from 1963 to 1968. During university she studied law and became active in student government. In 1971 she began working as a lawyer at the Central Organization of Finnish Trade, developing a strong background in union and labor politics. Halonen also became a member of the Social Democratic Party after university and in 1979 she ran a successful campaign and was elected to Finland’s parliament. She went on to hold her position in parliament for six terms. During Halonen ‘s time in office she pushed for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and to lessen globalization’s impact on labor rights. In 1999 former Finnish President Martiti Ahtisaari decided not to run for a second term and Halonen sought the Social Democratic Party’s nomination to run for his seat. She won the 2000 election and became Finland’s 11th president and the first woman to hold the position. Halonen enjoyed large margins of public approval during her first term and was reelected to the presidency in 2006. After finishing a successful second term in 2012 she went on to join the Council of Women World Leaders and remains an active voice for human rights in Finland and on the international stage to this day.QUICK FACTSNAME:Tarja HalonenBIRTH DATE:December 24, 1943 (age 72)EDUCATION:University of HelsinkiPLACE OF BIRTH:Helsinki, FinlandRESIDENCY:FinlandLANGUAGES:Finnish, English, Swedish, Estonian Michelle BacheletMs. Michelle Bachelet is currently serving her second term as President of Chile; first term was from 2006-2010 , with her second term beginning in 2014. Ms. Bachelet was raised in both Chile and the United States and began her medical training at the University of Chile in 1970. Her medical studies were interrupted with Chile's 1973 coup d'état, which led to her father's imprisonment, torture and abuse-induced death. Ms. Bachelet was exiled to Australia 1975. She returned to Chile in 1979 and finished her medical studies in 1983, initiated pre-junta. When her petition to become a general practitioner in the public center was rejected by the Pinochet regime due to "political reasons" she instead began her medical career in pediatrics and public health sectors. Throughout the 1980s Ms. Bachelet worked in various social services roles, particularly for the NGO Protection of Children Injured by States of Emergency Foundation (PIDEE), dedicated to providing professional help to children of those detained and victimized by the Pinochet military regime in the cities of Santiago and Chillán, Chile. Following the return of democracy to Chile, in 1990 Ms. Bachelet began working in the Western Metropolitan Area Health Service, the National Aids Commission (Conasida), and became a consultant for the Pan-American Health Organization (OPS), as well as Chile's Ministry of Health. Ms. Bachelet's experience with both the Ministries of Defense and Health, led to her appointment as Chile's Minister of Health in 2000. During her tenure there she helped lay the groundwork for an overhaul of the Chilean health care system through a massive participative process. In 2002, Ms. Bachelet was appointed Minister of Defense, making her the first woman to hold the position both in Chile and Latin America. Ms. Bachelet assumed her first term as president in 2006. In 2010, Ms. Bachelet accepted the role of President of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, a joint initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2011, UN Secretart-General Ban Ki-moon named Ms. Bachelet the first Director of the newly created UN Women Agency. She served as Director for two and a half years before resigning to return to Chilean politics. QUICK FACTSNAME:Verónica Michelle Bachelet JeriaBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1951EDUCATION:Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Chile, National Academy of Strategy and Policy, The Inter-American Defense CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:ChileRESIDENCY:ChileLANGUAGES:Spanish, English, German, Portuguese, and FrenchAlicia Bárcena Ibarra Alicia Bárcena Ibarra currently serves as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), having been appointed to the position on July 1, 2008. Born in Mexico, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and from Harvard University with a Masters degree in Public Administration, and has initiated studies for a PhD degree in Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served in Government of Mexico as the first Vice-Minister of Ecology and as Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries. Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of follow-up to the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. While serving at the Earth Council, she was Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21. She later served as Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Before becoming the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Ms. Bárcena Ibarra also served the organization as Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of ECLACs Environment and Human Settlements Division. During this earlier period with ECLAC, contributed substantively and increased interagency collaboration to provide a regional perspective on the Millennium Development Goals and on Financing for Sustainable Development, connecting issues of inequality, poverty, economic development and sustainability with the required fiscal policies needed to address extreme poverty. She later served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at Uniter Nations Headquarters in New York. She served as former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Chef de Cabinet and Deputy Chef de Cabinet. QUICK FACTSNAME:Alicia Bárcena IbarraBIRTH DATE:March 5, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:National Autonomous University of Mexico, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:MexicoRESIDENCY:MexicoLANGUAGES:Spanish, EnglishMargot WallströmMargot Wallström’s career as a diplomat is rooted in decades of experience in both the public and private sectors. After graduating from high school in 1973 she became active in the Swedish Social Democrats Youth League and ran for parliament in 1979. Wallström served as a representative until 1985 and then spent the next decade holding a variety of jobs in banking, media, and civil affairs. From 1988 to 1991 she held the position of Minister of Civil Affairs - Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth. In 1993 Wallström became part of the Executive Committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and in 1994 was appointed the Minister of Culture. Two years later in 1996 she was appointed Minister of Social Affairs, and in 1994 she became a member of the European Commission for the Environment. Wallström ‘s time serving on the European Commission strengthened her experience in international diplomacy and led to her appointment to the European Commission for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. In 2010 she became the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. After finishing her service as a SRSG, in October 2014 Wallström was chosen to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Her time as foreign minister has been marked by a commitment to women’s rights and supporting peace in the Middle East. QUICK FACTSNAME:Margot WallströmBIRTH DATE:September 28, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATION:High School DiplomaPLACE OF BIRTH:Skellefteå, SwedenRESIDENCY:Stockholm, SwedenLANGUAGES:Swedish, English "Women have long breached the glass ceiling in international organizations - its no longer competence vs gender vs geography."-Shazia Rafiformer Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action 1996-2013the first woman to serve in that capacityOUTSTANDING WOMEN A-Z:Merkel, AngelaAshton, CatherineMogherini, FedericaWallström, MargotJean, MichaëlleBokova, IrinaBachelet, MichelleGarbar-Kitarović, KolindaGrybauskaitė, DaliaHalonen, TarjaHarlem Brundtland, GroClark, HelenSolberg, ErnaJohnson Sirleaf, EllenThorning-Schmidt, HelleBárcena Ibarra, AliciaHeyzer, NoeleenKane, AngelaNgozi Okonjo-IwealaMs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a globally recognized economist currently serving her second term as Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She earned her bachelors degree from the International School Ibadan and Harvard University in 1977 and her Ph.D. in regional economic development from MIT in 1981. In October 2005, she led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay a portion of Nigeria's external debt ($12 billion) in return for an $18 billion debt write-off. Prior to the partial debt payment and write-off, Nigeria spent roughly US $1 billion every year on debt servicing, without making a dent in the principal owed. Between 2006-2007, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala founded and co-founded three organizations to directly benefit her region and country; these include: NOI-Gallup Polls, a for-profit indigenous polling/opinion research organization based in Abuja, Nigeria, the Makeda Fund, a $50 million private equity fund mandated to invest in African women-owned businesses, and the Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (C-SEA), a non-profit think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was promoted to Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007-2011, during which time she oversaw operational activities in the African Regions, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. She began at the World Bank in 1982 in its Young Professionals Program and worked through the ranks to finally reach the position of Managing Director. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has authored and co-authored three works including China Achebe: Teacher of Light, The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy, and Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria. Also, Ms. Okojo-Iweala was awarded the "Nigerian of the Year" award in 2006. Notably, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has been the first Nigerian woman to serve as both Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.QUICK FACTSNAME:Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaBIRTH DATE:June, 13 1954EDUCATION:International School Ibadan, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPLACE OF BIRTH:Ogwashi-Uku, NigeriaRESIDENCY:Federal Republic of NigeriaLANGUAGES:English, French, Igbo, YorubaOkonjo-Iweala, NgoziMary RobinsonMary Robinson served as a first female President of Ireland from 1990-97 and as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 1997-2002. She was born on May 21, 1944 in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland. In 1967 she earned her bachelor of law degree at Trinity College and her professional Barrister-at-Law degree from King’s Inns, Dublin. That same year she moved to Boston, MA where she pursued a one-year master’s degree in law at Harvard Law School. Upon her arrival to Ireland, Robinson obtained a post as a tutor at University College Dublin and became a Reid Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law at Trinity College. In 1969 Robinson presented herself as a candidate to the Senate and won the elections. As a senator she advocated a reform of law and morality and raised issues such as the constitutional prohibition on divorce, the ban on the use of contraceptives and the criminalization of homosexuality. In 1973 Robinson became a member of the English Bar and three years later a Senior Counsel. She also served as a member of the Advisory Commission of Inter-Rights and of the International Commission of Jurists. In 1990 the Labour Party nominated Robinson as an independent candidate for the forthcoming presidential election. She won and became the first female President of Ireland. In office she focused on issues concerning emigrants of Irish decent, empowering women and improving the relations with Northern Ireland. About three months before the completion of her term as a President of Ireland, she resigned and on September 12, 1997 she became a second UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Following her term as a High Commissioner for Human Rights, she set up the Ethical Globalization Initiative, known as Realizing Rights, which focused on African countries. In attempt to engage corporations and business community in promoting human rights, from May 2003, she chaired the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights She also welcomed the possibility to serve on an ‘eminent jurists panel’ on counterterrorism and human rights within the International Commission of Jurists. In 2007, she was invited by Nelson Mandela to become a member of group known as the Elders. She is also a president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.QUICK FACTSNAME:Mary RobinsonBIRTH DATE: May 21, 1944 (age 71)EDUCATION:Trinity College, Ireland,King’s Inns, Harvard Law SchoolPLACE OF BIRTH:Ballina, County Mayo, IrelandRESIDENCY:IrelandLANGUAGES:English, FrenchRobinson, MaryCATEGORIES A-Z:ChancellorsMinistersHeads of International OrganizationsPresidentsPrime MinistersUnder Secretaries-GeneralGraça Machel Graça Machel a Mozambican politician and humanitarian and is the only woman in history to have been first lady of two separate republics, serving as the First Lady of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986 and the First Lady of South Africa from 1998 to 1999. Ms. Machel was a delegate to the 1998 UNICEF conference in Zimbabwe, is president of the National Commission of UNESCO, and served on the international steering committee of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All. She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to chair the Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Ms. Machel was Mozambique’s Minister for Education until 1989 and the chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique, an organization that places orphans in village homes. Following Mozambique's independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture. In the same year, she married Samora Machel, the first President of Mozambique. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children.Machel received the 1995 Nansen Medal from the United Nations in recognition of her longstanding humanitarian work, particularly on behalf of refugee children. In 1997, she was made a British dame and was the recipient of InterAction’s humanitarian award. In 1998, she was one of the two winners of the North-South Prize. Along with her native Shangaan language, Ms. Machel is fluent in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. QUICK FACTSNAME:Graça Machel BIRTH DATE:October 17, 1945 (age 70)EDUCATION:University of LisbonPLACE OF BIRTH:Portuguese East Africa (modern-day Mozambique)RESIDENCY:MozambiqueLANGUAGES:English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Machel, Graça This pageis safeBitdefender Antivirus Plus”
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Top UNDP official: China is a good neighbor to Nepal - China.org.cn

Top UNDP official: China is a good neighbor to Nepal - China.org.cn | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“UNDP Administrator Helen Clark praised China's assistance to Nepal in the aftermath of the 8.1-magnitude earthquake that struck the South Asian country, saying that”
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Gina Casar: Speech on High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development

“ 29 Apr 2015 Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, First, let me extend my gratitude to the Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP Ms. Shamshad Akhtar for organising this consultation. I would also like to thank the Minister of Finance of Indonesia H.E. Bambang Brodjonegoro for kindly hosting us today. UNDP was pleased to help make this regional consultation possible – on an issue of such great importance to the people in Asia-Pacific – Financing for Development. The presence of so many senior government leaders, policy makers, and practitioners is testament to the significance and timeliness of our topic. Today, we seek to build on the on-going discussions of Member States at the UN, in the G-20 meetings, and other venues – and zero in on what is at stake for Asia-Pacific countries in the Addis Ababa Financing for Development Conference this July. UNDP sees three outcomes as essential for a successful outcome in Addis. All three have particular importance for the Asia-Pacific region. The first is including language in the Addis Accord which galvanises action towards meeting the commitment of allocating 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) to official development assistance (ODA). Larger shares of ODA should go to the poorest and most vulnerable countries, such as LDCs, SIDS, and fragile states – where it has a vital role in underpinning human development progress. In much of the Pacific, for example, ODA is a significant source of otherwise limited external financing – used to strengthen local capacities and human capital. It takes healthy, educated, and empowered people to drive their economies and improve their prospects. The role of aid and international public finance goes beyond ‘filling in gaps’ where resources are insufficient. Instead, international public finance can and should be employed by countries at all income-levels to: • catalyse new investments in research, new technologies and sustainable infrastructure; • fund longer-term and riskier interventions; • leverage additional public and private capital; and • respond to crises. A second priority for Addis is mobilising private finance for sustainable development. Inevitably, much of the financing for the post-2015 agenda will need to come from the private sector. The sums are there. The Asia-Pacific region has a high average rate of domestic savings – expected to grow over the SDG period, outpacing G7 countries . Despite a small dip in 2012, FDI outflows from the Asia-Pacific region have been increasing continuously since 2009 . The challenge is to ensure investment is high quality and directed in ways consistent with the SDGs. Philanthropy and corporate responsibility are welcome, but insufficient. Businesses respond to the incentives set by governments. With smart and effective incentives, governments can motivate the private sector to align their business models and investment strategies with shared goals to achieve sustainable development. UNDP works with governments to this end – helping them to review and strengthen their policy and regulatory frameworks. Governments also need to work together to curb the illicit financial flows associated predominantly with the private sector. It is estimated that countries in the Asia-Pacific region lose an incredible 30 percent of total development finance inflows to trade mispricing alone. This is around $345 billion USD per year . In Addis, countries from the South and North should agree on measures to stop this drainage of capital – often from countries which need it the most. And they should agree that going forward, developing countries will participate as equals in international decisions and norm setting on tax. Another way to boost local financing at local level is to adopt steps to reduce the costs of transferring remittances and support for the diaspora and remittance-receiving families. UNDP is committed to working with the governments in this region to help them identify and pursue policies and initiatives to this end. A third ingredient for success in Addis is agreeing to step up financing for risk reduction and resilience. Volatile prices, shifting weather, increasingly extreme natural disasters, and economic shocks have, in many ways, become the ‘new normal’. As we set targets for the next thirty years, we must think beyond what’s needed in ‘stable times’. Our interdependence, growing and extreme inequalities, climate change, and rapid environmental degradation have left us all more vulnerable to setbacks. Natural disasters, climate shocks, outbreaks of disease, conflict and violence cost us billions, destroy lives and livelihoods, and very frequently, send development progress into reverse. The earthquake in Nepal is a tragic reminder that poor countries suffer the most from disaster deaths. From 1970 to 2008, over 95 percent of natural-disaster-related deaths occurred in developing countries. Without concerted effort to strengthen the resilience of poor countries and communities, the numbers will get worse – putting our collective investment in sustainable development at great risk. Fortunately, from the successes of countries – including Indonesia - we know what works. Indonesia’s large scale efforts to reduce its vulnerability to natural disasters were apparent in the aftermath of the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that hit Aceh province in January 2012. There was only light damage and most importantly - zero lives lost. For every dollar invested in minimizing risk it is estimated that about seven dollars will be saved in economic losses from disasters. In Addis, more such financing can be made available, where and when it is needed. Agreeing to consider vulnerability to shocks and climate change in the criteria applied for countries seeking concessional lending would be an important step. Another one would be an agreement to scale up the capacity support that poor countries and communities need – to benefit from climate financing. This last point was emphasized by participants in the regional consultation on Financing Effective Development Co-operation hosted by the Philippines earlier this year. The capacity constraints of governments seeking to access and manage complex financial flows was stressed. Participants called on all providers of international public finance to use and respect country systems and agreed to take steps to better link development financing with results. Capacity support is at the heart of UNDP’s mandate. We are committed to strengthen the ability of countries of the Asia-Pacific region to mobilize, manage, budget, and track the financing they need to advance sustainable development. Through the Asia-Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility, UNDP helps governments, development partners and civil society organizations to navigate the evolving financing landscape. Delivering the new sustainable development agenda will demand countries to take new and integrated approaches to interconnected challenges. From our vantage point, as development practitioners around the world, UNDP has seen how well-designed, far-sighted policies can reduce poverty, while simultaneously protecting natural resources, and strengthening resilience. Such approaches achieve multiple efficiencies – reducing the political and financial costs of change. To help realize these benefits, UNDP is working with countries to establish National Financing Frameworks which enable them to integrate diverse financing sources within their national budgets. Here in Indonesia for example, UNDP is working with the Ministry of Finance to design policies and systems which integrate climate finance within the national budget. With more effective and integrated national budgets, the effectiveness of international financing will also improve along with the ability of countries to deliver sustainable development. Earlier this month in Washington D.C., the UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon suggested that “without financing to support an agreement, our commitments will just be words on paper.” One way or the other, a message will be sent from Addis to the world; it will suggest our willingness to convert words into action, to turn a corner, and achieve the goals we share. We hope you will return home with a message about what can be achieved in Addis. Participation at the highest levels would be a strong signal of determination to make Addis a success.”
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Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Statement delivered at ECOSOC high-level meeting with the World Bank, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD, Thematic debate on “Renewed global partnership for development in the context of t...

Magdy Martínez-Solimán: Statement delivered at ECOSOC high-level meeting with the World Bank, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD, Thematic debate on “Renewed global partnership for development in the context of t... | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“20 Apr 2015Mr. President, Distinguished Panelists and Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen(Mr. Merza Hasan, Dean of the Executive Board, Executive Director, World Bank Group,Mr. Juan Manuel Valle Pereña, Executive Director, Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID),Ms. Brenda Killen, Deputy Director, Development Cooperation Directorate, OECD)The international community is on the verge of agreeing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. Keywords used to qualify the intent include “ambitious” and “transformative.”Member States agree that the new universal agenda will demand structural transformations in countries at all income levels to ensure that prosperity is shared by all and that the planet’s natural limits are respected. Technological innovations will play a critical role in these transformations. But not as vital as vision, political will and citizens’ participation.The third International Conference on Financing for Development presents the opportunity to agree on a financing framework as ambitious as the new agenda. We will need, as the Secretary-General said this morning, a comprehensive framework, concrete deliverables, and a strong follow-up process.In Addis Ababa, the international community needs especially to strengthen its resolve to take action on those areas where implementation of Monterey Consensus has been weak. We need a “Monterrey Plus” in Addis. Let me elaborate on this:In the MDG-era, financing was often conceived as adding up the resources available to developing countries from different sources (domestic resources, FDI, remittances) to meet the MDGs, with the gap being filled with ODA.It is clear that this “gap-filling” approach is insufficient as we look at implementation means of the post-2015 agenda. The universality and breadth of the new agenda require that we move from filling gaps to mobilizing very large finance flows, the billions and trillions as World Bank would say.However, the quantity and quality of ODA billions will remain crucial in particular for the LDCs. In this context, it is concerning that the portion going to the poorest countries and to Africa has been decreasing while aid has grown in recent years. The Addis conference represents an opportunity for donor countries to reaffirm their longstanding ODA commitments and provide a timetable to meet their targets.The Development Cooperation Forum of the ECOSOC and other fora, such as the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, which Mexico, Malawi and the Netherlands co-chair, can make an important contribution. But the post-2015 agenda is larger than aid. This is good news if we are able to lift the finance above the public budget threshold. There is a need to consider other forms of international public finance for investments in communicable disease control, climate change adaptation and mitigation, science, innovation and new technologies. The only place where we do not need recycling is with public finance for development and climate. We need growth and additional resources.The post-2015 agenda cannot be achieved through public finance alone either. Incentives are needed to ensure that private investment decisions move the world towards sustainable development aspirations.It is essential that in the future business operations and results contribute directly to the SDGs, in ways that goes beyond corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. UNDP and the World Bank Group are currently developing a G20 inclusive business framework with the support of the ILO and OECD. Before I conclude, I want to stress that we also need to adapt our concept of financing for development to a world where we have more frequent shocks and where volatility is becoming the new normal. The costs of shocks as diverse as economic crises, disasters, conflicts and disease outbreaks are high and increasing. In order to achieve sustainable development, nations and communities need to be resilient, so that they are able to anticipate, shape and adapt to the many shocks and challenges that can frustrate development processes and wash away hard earned development gains. What is essential is that all development is risk-informed. We now have a significant opportunity to develop a more sophisticated framework which tackles underlying vulnerabilities and incorporates risk management.A successful outcome in Addis will lay the groundwork for agreements on an ambitious and transformative post-2015 agenda, leading to a climate agreement later this year. Making the Addis conference a success is a giant step towards building this new agenda together.”
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Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video] | passblue

Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video] | passblue | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it

Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his second five-year term on Dec. 31, 2016, and is unlikely to try for another, even though the UN Charter does not disallow it.

That means serious jockeying for the post begins now, with a more official process underway by July 2015 and ending a year later with a vote.

“We have had eight male S-Gs and it is time for a woman,” said Jean Krasno, who is leading the Campaign to Elect a Woman Secretary-General and was interviewed for the video, above. Krasno is a lecturer in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York and a lecturer and associate research scholar at Yale. She is also in charge of organizing the papers of Kofi Annan, a former secretary-general, in a joint project by City College and Yale.

“Women make up half the world’s population, and it is time that a woman is represented as secretary-general,” Krasno added. “We already have a list of 29 outstanding women.”

The campaign’s goal is to search for and support the most qualified female candidates, promote openness in the selection process and involve governments and civil society in the search and selection.

The process of picking a secretary-general is, like many high-level positions at the UN, anything but open. Shrouded in secrecy and private meetings, the long exercise to pick a candidate leaves many diplomats and others out of the loop, with the permanent-five members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — often the main parties fully aware of which names actually have a chance at being endorsed.

Despite louder calls, decade after decade, inside the UN and its outer circle for more openness regarding appointments to the UN, nothing has changed since 1945, when the world body originated and Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, was plucked — albeit reluctantly — for secretary-general.

In the post-Wikileaks era, coupled with disclosures of American government wiretapping, the UN appears severely dated in its privileged methods of hiring people for high-echelon posts. For the job of secretary-general, or as Ban once called it, “president of the world,” the process is even more suppressed and generally dominated by the US with approval, grudging and otherwise, from its fellow permanent members on the Security Council. Once these countries sign off on a candidate, the General Assembly gets the final vote.

Yet the US will not be the only country demanding its way. As Lucia Mouat, who covered the UN for the Christian Science Monitor and has written a book about the UN secretaries-general, points out, “Politics is not restricted to US dealings.”

Indeed, all 193 member states can submit names, and the word so far is that many candidates to be suggested will be women, as countries far and wide are recognizing that consensus has peaked for a female secretary-general to lead the UN next, so nations want to be ready to offer their best choices.

Historically, the process has been relegated to geographic rotation, although that arrangement is not documented in any UN rulebook. Nor is it set in stone that a candidate from the permanent-five countries cannot be chosen.

If geography is adhered to, the next term should go to Eastern Europe. Despite this stricture, dozens of names beyond those borders have been flung into the arena. Some names that have been mentioned include presidents of Lithuania (a woman) and Chile (a woman); former heads of state from Australia (a man); and even a Western European — Angela Merkel of Germany — as it appears that the Eastern Europe umbrella could encompass all of Europe, according to some political observers, as well as Canada.

A “man panel” of portraits of United Nations secretaries-general, located in a hallway of the headquarters in New York.

Helen Clark, who runs the UN Development Program, said ages ago that she wanted the job. She is from New Zealand, which happens to be a newly elected member of the Security Council this year and falls, however unnaturally, in the Western Europe and Others regional grouping at the UN.

Candidates are already “pounding flesh and employing lobbyists,” wrote Stephen Browne and Thomas G. Weiss in an essay published in PassBlue. Browne and Weiss lead FUNDS, or the Future United Nations Development System, a project of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center (as is PassBlue).

The movement led by Krasno consists of about a dozen women from a range of countries, and includes people who have worked in the UN as well as in academia, media and nonprofit groups. The aim is to come up with a list of the best possible female candidates to become secretary-general, rather than meet the expectation of geographic rotation, for the 2017-2022 term, so the candidates do not have to hail from Eastern Europe. (Full disclosure: this writer is part of the group.)

A well-researched databank will be compiled by Krasno’s campaign, listing potential contenders, to be posted online.

In parallel, a group of prominent nongovernment organizations and individuals has begun a campaign to support more openness in the process of electing the next secretary-general. The campaign, called 1 for 7 Billion, announced its plans last fall “to find the best UN leader.”

The Elders, a formation of elite, independent leaders and headed by Kofi Annan, has also been promoting ways to “make a stronger and more effective” UN. Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was once a prime minister of Norway, is an Elder whose name has been bandied about as a possible secretary-general, too.

In another stab at more openness in UN appointment processes, the news in November that the head of the UN’s huge humanitarian agency, Valerie Amos, a Briton, would be leaving in March 2015 provoked frustration by the media, individuals and the nonprofit world. They all voiced concern that her replacement would be a candidate based on nationality and political handpicking rather than on merit. (The job has yet to be filled.)

In response, the UN, as it must, publicly encouraged applicants to submit their resumes through the proper channels for Amos’s job, even as Ban’s office seems beholden to accept a name designated by Britain, which has led the humanitarian agency since 2007. David Cameron, the prime minister, apparently submitted the name of Andrew Lansley, an ousted Parliament member, to Ban right before Amos’s departure was announced.

Mark Malloch Brown, a former British government minister and a UN under secretary-general, called Cameron’s move a “political dumping.”

Jeff Laurenti, an American commentator on UN-Washington affairs, remarked on social media about the Lansley suggestion, saying that Ban “is now on auto-pilot to retirement; he doesn’t have to worry about the big boys vetoing his continuation in office. He can afford to draw the line at the most brazen efforts to place political hacks at the top levels of the UN.”


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Gender Parity in Upper-Level UN Jobs Remains Elusive | passblue

Gender Parity in Upper-Level UN Jobs Remains Elusive | passblue | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“This year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has so far appointed 55 people to high-level positions. Twelve of the appointees, nearly 22 percent, are women, filling roles like the special representative for children and armed conflict and the executive director of the World Food Program.Some of the people Ban appointed include Zainab Hawa Bangura of Sierra Leone as the special representative on sexual violence in conflict; Angela Kane of Germany, a former under secretary-general for management, as high representative for disarmament affairs; Karin Landgren of Sweden as special envoy in Liberia, after working in Burundi in a similar status; and Ertharin Cousin of the United States running the World Food Program.Of the 78 high-level positions at the UN, women fill 23, or almost 30 percent. Ban’s office said it was working on raising that percentage, but that it is not easy. When Ban first took office, in 2007, 24 percent of high posts were employed by women. The rate jumped to 28 percent in 2009; 31 percent in 2010 and dropped to 29 percent in 2011.“As you undoubtedly know, there are still obstacles to achieving gender parity at the U.N., and this continues to be one of the Secretary-General’s priorities,” Eduardo Del Buey, deputy spokesman, wrote in an e-mail. “We have indeed made significant gains in this regard, but much remains to be done to break down old stereotypes and create a modern vision of today’s United Nations.”Some UN reports offer various explanations as to why progress in reaching the General Assembly‘s parity goal for women in top UN posts is not there yet. Strides have been made: appointments of women in high-level slots and in entry- and managerial-level jobs at the Secretariat and UN agencies have steadily risen under Ban’s tenure. The most consistent gains have occurred in jobs at New York headquarters.Still, the higher women trek, the less likely they will be working with other women.The General Assembly passed a resolution in 1996 calling for gender parity in managerial decision-making positions at the UN by 2000. It reaffirmed this resolution with nine others through 2009. In 2004, a resolution called for gender parity among special representative and special envoy jobs by 2015 – positions appointed by the secretary-general.That office and UN agencies refer to the parity challenges in recent studies, helping to clarify the difficulty in increasing the percentage of women working across the UN system.Reported factors include a low number of qualified women applicants; weak flexible-work arrangements; lack of strong political will and leadership support from senior levels of organizations; and sexual harassment and violence in the workplace (concentrated possibly, but not specifically noted, in field situations).Angela_Kane_and_Tibor_Toth_at_Nagasaki_Peace_Memorial_CeremonyAngela Kane, UN head of disarmament affairs, with Tibor Toth of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, at a Nagasaki Peace Memorial ceremony on Aug. 9, 2012.A glass ceiling at the UN, one of the world’s biggest promoter of women, at least on paper, stops virtually at the midcareer professional (P-4) level, Aparna Mehrotra, a senior adviser for UN Women, said earlier this year at a panel on “integration of gender” at the UN.Women stood the greatest chance of being employed below the P-4 level; their greatest representation in 2011 was at entry level, or P-1, at 60 percent, the secretary-general’s report says.Numerous civil society organizations that monitor the hiring of women in the UN, specifically in the field of peace and security, declined to comment for this article. The Office of the Focal Point for Women at UN Women, which tracks such information, also declined to comment, reinforcing the sensitivity of the issue and the overriding role of diplomacy at the world body.But as Emma Sabin, a vice president of advisory services for a New York-based research organization called Catalyst, said, similar trends in the business world could be consistent with the UN model.Catalyst, a nonprofit group that tracks the inclusiveness of women in companies worldwide, found that in 2011, women held 16 percent of the board seats in Fortune 500 businesses, and that fewer than a fifth of the companies had 24 percent or more women directors. Catalyst released its findings in a census this month.“In managerial levels, women can make up 30 to 50 percent, but the CEO percentage is 6 percent or less in that pyramid,” Sabin said in a phone interview. “That’s the same in companies across the world.”Catalyst has found that women are less likely to benefit from formal leadership development programs than men and that they are also less likely to have senior-level mentors.What’s helpful, Sabin added, is to think about qualifications differently.“When considering competency, you should be looking for not just the title held before, but the actual competency that is necessary for the role,” she said.At the UN, title and diplomacy matter equally. Member states directly influence the placement of women in peacekeeping ranks, for example, offering personnel from their own military and police force to the UN, thus deciding if they want to send women or men. Women make up a mere 3 percent of military personnel and 10 percent of police ranks in UN peacekeeping missions.But women are rarely part of senior-level peace talks, despite a 12-year-old mandate by the Security Council to ensure women’s roles at such negotiations.At headquarters level, Ban’s team appeared to also shift blame onto member states, an argument that has been used year after year, yet the team emphasized its efforts to push the UN’s 193 nations along.“We are working with member states to ensure that the candidacies of high-level women are put forward for management positions at all levels,” Del Buey said. “We are working hard to underscore and publicize the work of women staff members at all levels to ensure they are seen by others as role models to be emulated.”Ban revealed his own mind-set on the matter in a recently published book, “Conversations With Ban Ki-Moon: What Is the United Nations Really Like? The View From the Top,” by Tom Plate, an American journalist who specializes in Asia.In the book, Ban said that in his first three years as secretary-general, he increased by 60 percent the women senior advisers at the under secretary-general level, but he didn’t provide the original baseline.He also said he changed the makeup of the all male “selection committee” to be “equally balanced” and that when three names were submitted for openings, there had to be a woman’s name — “at least one.” When no women’s names were submitted, he said he would return all the names, and that by doing so “I was eventually able to find a senior woman to appoint.””
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Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General

Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General | Tenth Wall Defense for Women | Scoop.it
“HOMEOUTSTANDING WOMENMISSIONABOUTCONTACTMEDIAMoreCAMPAIGN TO ELECT A WOMAN UN SECRETARY-GENERAL WE HAVE HAD 8 MALE S-Gs AND OUR 9TH SHOULD BE A WOMAN IT'S TIME© 2015 by Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General. MINISTERSPRESIDENTSPRIME MINISTERSCHANCELLORSSSAngela MerkelAngela Merkel was born in 1954 in Germany. She studied physics at the University of Leipzig and earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry at East German Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1978. From 1978 to 1990 she worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences. Following the German reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag for Stralsund-Nordvorpommern-Rügen in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a seat she has held ever since. That same year she joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party and soon after was appointed to Helmut Kohl's cabinet as Federal Minister for Women and Youth. In 1994 Merkel became the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, serving until 1998. Following Kohl's defeat in the 1998 general election, she was named Secretary-General of the CDU. Merkel was chosen party leader in 2000 and lost the CDU candidacy for Chancellor in 2002 to Edmund Stoiber. In the 2005 election she narrowly defeated Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, winning by just three seats, and after the CDU agreed a coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD), she was declared Germany's first female Chancellor. In 2007, Merkel became President of the European Council and chaired the G8. She was the second woman to do so. That same year, Merkel signed the the agreement for the Transatlantic Economic Council in an effort to strengthen transatlantic economic relations. She has been described as the de facto leader of the European Union, and was ranked as the world's second most powerful person by Forbes magazine in 2013, the highest ranking ever achieved by a woman; she is now ranked fifth. On 26 March 2014, she became the longest-serving incumbent head of government in the European Union. QUICK FACTSNAMEAngela MerkelBIRTH DATEJuly 17, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATIONUniversity of Leipzig, East German Academy of Sciences in BerlinPLACE OF BIRTHHamburg, GermanyRESIDENCE:GermanyLANGUAGES: German, English, French, RussianEllen Johnson Sirleaf was born in Liberia in 1938. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Madison Business College in Madison, Wisconsin, a master’s degree in economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a master’s of public administration at Harvard University. Upon completing her education she returned home to Liberia to serve as the Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 under then President William Tolbert. A violent military coup swept the country in 1980, led by army sergeant Samuel Doe, and resulted in the assassination of President Tolbert. Johnson Sirleaf was exiled from Liberia by the new military government. She worked for several years in international banking in the United States and Kenya. In 1985, Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia to run for the Senate but when she spoke out against Doe’s regime she was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Johnson Sirleaf was imprisoned for part of her sentence but was eventually able to return to the United States, building a career as an economist at Citibank and the World Bank. During her second exile, Charles Taylor led a bloody revolt against Doe, overthrowing him in 1990 and becoming the new president. Johnson Sirleaf returned to Liberia for the third time in 1997 to run against Taylor in the presidential election. She lost the election and Taylor accused her of treason. Undeterred by his threats, Johnson Sirleaf continued to advocate for the end of rampant corruption in Liberia and economic reform, eventually becoming the head of the Unity Party. In 2005 she successfully beat Taylor in the presidential election, becoming the first female leader of Liberia and Africa’s first female head of state. Johnson Sirleaf’s first term in office was marked by progressive reform to the country’s fiscal and economic policies. In 2011she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karmanof Yemen for “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Johnson Sirleaf was reelected for a second presidential term in 2011.Ellen Johnson SirleafQUICK FACTSNAME:Ellen Johnson SirleafBIRTH DATE: October 29, 1938 (age 77)EDUCATION:Madison Business College,University of Colorado, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:LiberiaRESIDENCY:LiberiaLANGUAGES:Liberian, EnglishAs the months progress before the election of a new United Nations Secretary-General at the end of 2016, we will be rolling out a series of biographies of outstanding women to demonstrate the depth and richness of talented and experienced women in high-level positions from all regions of the globe. We understand there is a precedent that a UN Secretary-General has not come from a permanent-five (P-5) member state. However, we would be remiss if we did not identify some outstanding women who happen to come from a P-5 country.JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!Congrats! You’ve joined our campaignThe most frequently used excuse for not selecting women for top positions is that there are not enough qualified women to choose from: No More Excuses!Watch this site for the roll out of outstanding women.A ROLL OUT OF OUTSTANDING WOMEN FROM AROUND THE WORLDCatherine AshtonFrom 2009 to 2014, Catherine Ashton served as the inaugural EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (HR/VP). In May 2012, Catherine Ashton was honoured with the BusinessMed Blue Award. The award was presented to her in recognition of her efforts in promoting peace and economic development in the Mediterranean region. Prior to taking up her current position, Catherine Ashton was the member of the Commission responsible for trade and represented the EU in the Doha Round of world trade talks and built on strong bilateral trade and investment relationships. Prior to her work with the EU, Ms. Ashton worked as a Labour politician. In June 2007 Catherine Ashton was appointed to the Cabinet of the British Labour Government as Leader of the upper Parliamentary chamber, the House of Lords. In 2005 she was voted “Minister of the Year” by The House Magazine and “Peer of the Year” by Channel 4. In 2006 she won the “Politician of the Year” award at the annual Stonewall Awards. In September 2004, Mrs Ashton was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. In June 2001 she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills. In 2002 she was made responsible for the "Sure Start" initiative in the same department. In 1999 she was made a Labour life peer as a result of her work towards building communities.QUICK FACTSNAME:Catherine AshtonBIRTH DATE:20 March 1956 (age 58)EDUCATION:Bedford CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:Upholland, United KingdomRESIDENCY:United KingdomLANGUAGES:English, French Dalia Grybauskaite Dalia Grybauskaitė is the first female President of Lithuania, inaugurated on 2009 and re-elected in 2014. She was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance, also European Commissioner for Financial Programming and the Budget from 2004 to 2009. In 2004 Grybauskaite was tapped to serve in Brussels as the European commissioner responsible for financial programming and budget; she was later selected the 2005 EU Commissioner of the Year. From 2001 to 2004 she served as finance minister. In 2000 Grybauskaite was appointed deputy foreign affairs minister and took a leadership role within the delegation responsible for negotiating Lithuania’s accession to the European Union (EU). After serving from 1996 to 1999 as the plenipotentiary minister at the Lithuanian embassy in the United States, she returned to Vilnius to assume the office of deputy finance minister and became Lithuania’s chief negotiator with the IMF and the World Bank. In 1991, she held posts in the country’s Ministry of International Economic Relations and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1983 to 1990 she was a lecturer at the Communist Party’s training college in Vilnius. She is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" or the "Steel Magnolia". Other than her native Lithuanian, she is fluent in English, Russian and Polish, and also speaks French. Grybauskaitė possesses a black belt in karate.QUICK FACTSNAME:Dalia GrybauskaitėBIRTH DATE:1 March 1956 (age 59)EDUCATION:Zdanov University (now called Saint Petersburg State University), Moscow Academy of Public SciencesPLACE OF BIRTH:Vilnyus, USSR (present-day Vilnius, Lithuania)RESIDENCY:LithuaniaLANGUAGES:Lithuanian, English, Russian, French, PolishFederica MogheriniFederica Mogherini was born in Rome in 1973 and graduated in Political Science at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” where her thesis was about Political Islam. She is currently the High Representative for the European Union on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission in the Juncker Commission since November 2014. She became an active member of the Democrats of the Left (DP) a social democratic party in Italy. Her skills in foreign policy and social media savviness were quickly noticed after calling out the future Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, on twitter over his lack of foreign policy expertise who subsequently hired her. In 2008 she became one of the youngest MPs in Italian history. In her parliamentary capacity, she has been the Head of the Italian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and Vice-president of its Political Committee (2013-2014); member of the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2008-2013); Secretary of the Defense Committee (2008-2013) and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She has been in the leadership of the Democratic Party since it was founded, in 2007: first as Secretary for Institutional Reforms, then as a member of the National Council, and in 2013-2014 as Secretary for European and International Affairs. She is also member of the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN) and of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM) of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). QUICK FACTSNAME:Federica MogheriniBIRTHDATE:Jun 16, 1973 (age 42)EDUCATION:La Sapienza University of RomePLACE OF BIRTH:Rome, ItalyRESDENCY:Rome, ItalyLANGUAGES:Italian, English, French, SpanishErna Solberg Erna Solberg has dedicated her entire career to government service and has served at almost every level of public office. Born and raised in Bergen, Norway she overcame struggles with dyslexia in high school and became a passionate and vocal student. She graduated from the University of Bergen in 1986, where she had studied political science and economics, as well as led the Students’ League of the Conservative Party. During and after college Solberg served as a deputy member of Bergen’s city council in 1979–1983 and 1987–1989, and continued to be active in the Conservative Party. She moved from local to national politics in 1989 when she was elected to Norway’s parliament, the Storting. Solberg was reelected to her post five times and from 1994 to 1998 was the head of the national Conservative Women's Association. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik appointed Solberg the minister of Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in 2001. She served for four years and pushed forward reforms to Norway’s immigration policy, including overhauling the asylum seeking process. After leaving the ministry Solberg became part of the Conservative Party leadership, becoming the party leader in 2004. Under her guidance, the party began to take back ground in parliament over the next several years and in 2013 she led them to take majority control. Solberg was appointed prime minister of Norway in October of 2013, the second woman to ever hold the position.QUICK FACTSNAME:Erna SolbergBIRTH DATE:February 24, 1961 (age 54)EDUCATION:University of BergenPLACE OF BIRTH:Bergen, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishGro Harlem Brundtland Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, on April 20th, 1939. Although she is most famous for becoming the youngest and first female Prime Minister of Norway, serving three terms from 1981-1996, her resume reaches far beyond. At the age of seven, Brundtland became a member of the Norwegian Labour Movement, in the children’s division. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University in 1965, and spent 10 years as a physician and scientist in the Norwegian public health system. Understanding the correlation between poor health and poor environmental factors, Dr. Brundtland accepted the Minister of the Environment position when it was offered to her in 1974, serving until 1979; and in 1983, she became chair of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, which led to the campaign for sustainable development, and the first Earth Summit. Dr. Brundtland went on to become the Director General for the World Health Oraganization (WHO) from 1998-2003; and in 2007 she was part of a UN Special Envoy on Climate Change until 2010. She is currently Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.QUICK FACTSNAME:Gro Harlem BrundtlandBIRTH DATE:April 20, 1939 (age 76)EDUCATION:Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Oslo, NorwayRESIDENCY:Oslo, NorwayLANGUAGES:Norwegian, EnglishHelen ClarkHelen Clark was born in Hamilton, New Zealand on February 26th, 1950. Although coming from humble beginnings, Clark has made a great name for herself in New Zealand and the United Nations. After receiving a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Auckland in 1974, Clark became a professor in the field, and taught at Auckland from 1973 to 1981. Clark joined the Labour Party in 1971, but was elected to Parliament from a different constituency in 1981, thus beginning her rise past the “glass ceiling.” She held various positions such as: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from 1984 - 1987; and Minister, responsible for the Conservation, Housing, Health and Labour portfolios from 1987-1990. She went on to become the first woman in New Zealand to serve as Deputy Prime Minister from 1989-1990; the first woman appointed to the Privy Council in 1990; the first woman to be elected as head of a major party (the Labour Party) in 1993; and the first woman to become Prime Minister of New Zealand, holding the title for three consecutive terms from 1999-2008 (the first to ever do so.) Clark was named the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, also breaking gender barriers there. She was awarded the Peace Prize from the Danish Peace Foundation in 1986; made a member of the Order of New Zealand (New Zealand’s highest honor) in 2009; and has even been named as one of Forbes top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World for ten years. QUICK FACTSNAME:Helen ClarkBIRTH DATE:February 26, 1950 (age 65)EDUCATION:University of AucklandPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamilton, New ZelandRESIDENCY:New ZealandLANGUAGES:EnglishHelle Thorning-SchmidtDecisive leadership and progressive social and economic reform have marked Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s impressive career in public service. Born in 1966 in Denmark, Thorning-Schmidt studied politics at the University in Copenhagen and in 1993 received her master’s degree in public policy and administration from the European College in Bruges. She was politically active during her time at university and became a social democrat. After graduation she helped lead the secretariat of the Danish delegation of Social Democrats in the European Parliament from 1994-1997. Afterwards she worked as an international consultant for several years with the Danish Confederation of Trade Union. In 1999 she was elected to the European Parliament. During her five-year term she served on the Employment and Social Committee and co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR). In 2005, the head of Denmark’s Social Democrats stepped down after a disappointing show for the party in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Thorning-Schmidt ran and won a successful campaign to become his successor. She is the first woman to hold the top leadership position in the party. In 2007 she helped the Social Democrats regain some of the seats they had lost in 2005 in Denmark’s parliament, the Folketing, and during the 2011 elections she guided the Social Democrats to form a four party coalition majority. Thorning-Schmidt was appointed Prime Minister in 2011, becoming the first woman in Danish history to hold the position. During her time as prime minister Thorning-Schmidt has pushed for reform of the country’s restrictive immigration policy and supported investment in jobs to revive the Danish economy rather than austerity policies.QUICK FACTSNAME:Helle Thorning-SchmidtBIRTH DATE:December 14, 1966 (age 48)EDUCATION:University in Copenhagen, European College in BrugesPLACE OF BIRTH:Rødovre, DenmarkRESIDENCY:DenmarkLANGUAGES:Danish, English, FrenchKolinda Garbar-Kitarović Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović was born in Rijeka, Croatia on April 29th, 1968. Before she was President of Croatia, Garbar-Kitarović, began her career in 1992 as an advisor to the International Cooperation Department of Croatia’s Ministry of Science and Technology, later becoming an advisor in the Foreign Ministry. In 1995, she became the Director of the Foreign Ministry’s North American Department, and she worked as a diplomatic counselor and DCM at the Croatian Embassy in Canada from 1997 to 2000; returning later to the Foreign Ministry as Minister- Counsellor. Elected to the Croatian Parliament in 2003, she was quickly promoted to Minister of European Integration in December of the same year. She then served as Crotia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2005-2008. In 2008, she was named Ambassador of Croatia to the United States, and held the position until 2011, and is therefore well-versed in Euro-Atlantic diplomacy and issues of security. President Garbar-Kitarović, then took on the role of NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, the first women ever to do so, on July 4th, 2011, and serving until October 2nd, 2014. Continuing the trend of paving the way for females, Garbar-Kitarović ran for President of Croatia and won, being sworn into office on February 15th, 2015. She holds a masters degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the George Washington University, a Luksic Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. QUICK FACTSNAME:Kolinda Garbar-Kitarović BIRTH DATE:April 29, 1968 (age 47)EDUCATION:University of Zagreb, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, George Washington UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Rijeka, CroatiaRESIDENCY:CroatiaLANGUAGES:Croatian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, ItalianHEADS OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONSMichaëlle Jean Michaëlle Jean’s career as a journalist, activist, and diplomat reflect her lifelong commitment to public service. Originally born in Haiti, Michaëlle Jean immigrated to Canada with her family in 1968. She developed a love of language early on in life and pursued undergraduate and then graduate degrees in linguistics and literature at the University of Montreal, the University of Perouse, the University of Florence, and at the Catholic University of Milan. Michaëlle Jean is fluent in five languages: French, English, Italian, Spanish and Creole and taught Italian for several years at the University of Montreal. During her time in academia she also learned about and developed a passion for working to end domestic violence. From 1979 to 1987 she worked with a series of shelters for survivors of domestic violence in Quebec and also became involved with aid organizations for immigrant women and families. Later in her career she worked at Employment and Immigration Canada and at the Conseil des Communautés culturelles du Québec. In 1988 she transitioned from academia to journalism, joining Radio-Canada first as a reporter and then as a host. She went on to have an 18-year career in journalism, serving as an anchor on evening and daytime news and politic programs and in 2004 establishing her own program, Michaëlle, which featured in-depth news analysis and interviews. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her governor general of Canada. Michaëlle Jean was the first person of Caribbean origin to hold the post and the third woman to serve as governor general. She held the position until 2010, carrying out many of the ceremonial and constitutional duties of the Canadian monarchy in the Queen’s service. After leaving the position of governor general Michaëlle Jean continued to expand her experience in public service and diplomacy, becoming the Special Envoy for Haiti for UNESCO and in 2012 was appointed to the Queen’s Privey Council for Canada. And in 2015 Michaëlle Jean became the third Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the first woman to take on the role. QUICK FACTSNAME:Michaëlle JeanBIRTH DATE:September 6, 1957 (age 58)EDUCATION:University of Montreal, University of Perouse, University of Florence, Catholic University of MilanPLACE OF BIRTH:Port au Prince, HaitiRESIDENCY:CanadaLANGUAGES:English, French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian Creole Irina BokovaIrina Bokova, currently serves as the Director-General of UNESCO. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria she graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University). Ms. Bokova joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977 where she was responsible for human rights and equality of women issues. She was later appointed in charge of political and legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York. She was also a member of the Bulgarian Delegation at the United Nations conferences on the equality of women in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). As Member of Parliament (1990-1991 and 2001-2005), she participated in the drafting of Bulgaria’s new Constitution, which contributed significantly to the country’s accession to the European Union. Ms. Bokova was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations from 1995 to 1997; Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO from 2005 to 2009; and Personal Representative of the President of Bulgaria to the "Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie" (OIF). Irina Bokova is an active member of many international experts networks. She is a President and founding member of the European Policy Forum. Foe many years she has worked to overcome European divisions and to foster the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights. As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova is actively engaged in international efforts to advance quality education for all, gender equality, cultural dialogue and scientific cooperation for sustainable development and is leading UNESCO as a global advocate for safety of journalists and freedom of expression.QUICK FACTSNAME:Irina BokovaBIRTH DATE:July 12, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:Moscow State Institute of International Relations,John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Sofia, BulgariaRESIDENCY:BulgariaLANGUAGES:Bulgarian, English, French, Spanish and RussianUNDER SECRETARIES-GENERALNoeleen HeyzerDr. Noeleen Heyzer was the first woman since 1947 to serve as an Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2007 until December 2013. Currently the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste she has worked on the issue of sustainable development all her life. She was also the first Executive Director from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). With her leadership, UNIFEM assisted over one hundred countries in the formulation and implementation of legislation and policies that promote women’s security and rights. This resulted in the removal of discriminatory practices, changes in inheritance laws for women, better working conditions for migrant workers, women’s full participation in several peace negotiations and electoral processes including in Liberia, Rwanda and Timor-Leste, and the inclusion of women as full citizens in the constitution of Afghanistan. She played a critical role in helping the Security Council pass Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security undertaking extensive missions to conflict-affected countries worldwide. She was responsible for the establishment of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. She has served in various boards and advisory committees including being Member of Board of Trustees of Asian Institute of Technology, UNDP Human Development Report, She is also strengthening SPECA, the United Nations Special Programme for Economies of Central Asia, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Dr. Heyzer has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from the University of Singapore. She obtained a Doctorate in social sciences from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.QUICK FACTSNAME:Noeleen HeyzerBIRTHDATE:1948 (age 67)EDUCATION:Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Masters of Science from the University of SingaporeDoctorate in Social Sciences from Cambridge UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:Singapore RESIDENCY:SingaporeLANGUAGES:English, Malay, Mandarin, TamilAngela Kane Angela Kane assumed the position of High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in March 2012. She provides the Secretary-General with advice and support on all arms control, non-proliferation and related security matters and is responsible for the activities of the Office for Disarmament Affairs. She was the lead negotiator in 2014 in persuading Syria to allow for investigations on allegations of use of chemical weapons and eventually leading to the Syria decision to give up its chemical weapons by joining the Chemical Weapons Convention.Ms. Kane has had a long and distinguished career in the United Nations. In addition to substantive assignments in political affairs, peacekeeping and disarmament, she has held various managerial functions, including with financial and policy-setting responsibility. She served as Under-Secretary-General for Management from 2008-2012, overseeing human resources, financial management, procurement and support services and the renovation of the United Nations New York Headquarters campus.From 2005 to 2008, Ms. Kane served as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, a core function related to the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Previously, she had served as the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), peacemaking in El Salvador, a special assignment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and postings in Indonesia and Thailand. Ms. Kane also held the positions of Director in the Department of Political Affairs and Director in the Department of Public Information. She served as Principal Political Officer with former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and worked with the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process. Ms. Kane worked on disarmament issues for several years and was responsible for the activities of the World Disarmament Campaign.Before joining the UN Secretariat 38 years ago, Ms. Kane worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and for the private sector in Europe.QUICK FACTSNAME:Angela KaneBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1948 (age 66)EDUCATION:University of München, Bryn Mawr College andthe Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International StudiesPLACE OF BIRTH:Hamelin, Lower Saxony, GermanyRESIDENCY:GermanyLANGUAGES:German, English, French, Spanish, DutchTarja HalonenTarja Halonen’s dedication to improving human rights has been the backbone of her political career. Born and raised in post-war Helsinki, she attended the University of Helsinki from 1963 to 1968. During university she studied law and became active in student government. In 1971 she began working as a lawyer at the Central Organization of Finnish Trade, developing a strong background in union and labor politics. Halonen also became a member of the Social Democratic Party after university and in 1979 she ran a successful campaign and was elected to Finland’s parliament. She went on to hold her position in parliament for six terms. During Halonen ‘s time in office she pushed for LGBT rights, women’s rights, and to lessen globalization’s impact on labor rights. In 1999 former Finnish President Martiti Ahtisaari decided not to run for a second term and Halonen sought the Social Democratic Party’s nomination to run for his seat. She won the 2000 election and became Finland’s 11th president and the first woman to hold the position. Halonen enjoyed large margins of public approval during her first term and was reelected to the presidency in 2006. After finishing a successful second term in 2012 she went on to join the Council of Women World Leaders and remains an active voice for human rights in Finland and on the international stage to this day.QUICK FACTSNAME:Tarja HalonenBIRTH DATE:December 24, 1943 (age 72)EDUCATION:University of HelsinkiPLACE OF BIRTH:Helsinki, FinlandRESIDENCY:FinlandLANGUAGES:Finnish, English, Swedish, Estonian Michelle BacheletMs. Michelle Bachelet is currently serving her second term as President of Chile; first term was from 2006-2010 , with her second term beginning in 2014. Ms. Bachelet was raised in both Chile and the United States and began her medical training at the University of Chile in 1970. Her medical studies were interrupted with Chile's 1973 coup d'état, which led to her father's imprisonment, torture and abuse-induced death. Ms. Bachelet was exiled to Australia 1975. She returned to Chile in 1979 and finished her medical studies in 1983, initiated pre-junta. When her petition to become a general practitioner in the public center was rejected by the Pinochet regime due to "political reasons" she instead began her medical career in pediatrics and public health sectors. Throughout the 1980s Ms. Bachelet worked in various social services roles, particularly for the NGO Protection of Children Injured by States of Emergency Foundation (PIDEE), dedicated to providing professional help to children of those detained and victimized by the Pinochet military regime in the cities of Santiago and Chillán, Chile. Following the return of democracy to Chile, in 1990 Ms. Bachelet began working in the Western Metropolitan Area Health Service, the National Aids Commission (Conasida), and became a consultant for the Pan-American Health Organization (OPS), as well as Chile's Ministry of Health. Ms. Bachelet's experience with both the Ministries of Defense and Health, led to her appointment as Chile's Minister of Health in 2000. During her tenure there she helped lay the groundwork for an overhaul of the Chilean health care system through a massive participative process. In 2002, Ms. Bachelet was appointed Minister of Defense, making her the first woman to hold the position both in Chile and Latin America. Ms. Bachelet assumed her first term as president in 2006. In 2010, Ms. Bachelet accepted the role of President of the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, a joint initiative with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2011, UN Secretart-General Ban Ki-moon named Ms. Bachelet the first Director of the newly created UN Women Agency. She served as Director for two and a half years before resigning to return to Chilean politics. QUICK FACTSNAME:Verónica Michelle Bachelet JeriaBIRTH DATE:September 29, 1951EDUCATION:Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Chile, National Academy of Strategy and Policy, The Inter-American Defense CollegePLACE OF BIRTH:ChileRESIDENCY:ChileLANGUAGES:Spanish, English, German, Portuguese, and FrenchAlicia Bárcena Ibarra Alicia Bárcena Ibarra currently serves as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), having been appointed to the position on July 1, 2008. Born in Mexico, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and from Harvard University with a Masters degree in Public Administration, and has initiated studies for a PhD degree in Economics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served in Government of Mexico as the first Vice-Minister of Ecology and as Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries. Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica, a non-governmental organization in charge of follow-up to the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. While serving at the Earth Council, she was Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21. She later served as Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), responsible for the Environmental Citizenship Project at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Before becoming the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Ms. Bárcena Ibarra also served the organization as Deputy Executive Secretary and Director of ECLACs Environment and Human Settlements Division. During this earlier period with ECLAC, contributed substantively and increased interagency collaboration to provide a regional perspective on the Millennium Development Goals and on Financing for Sustainable Development, connecting issues of inequality, poverty, economic development and sustainability with the required fiscal policies needed to address extreme poverty. She later served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at Uniter Nations Headquarters in New York. She served as former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Chef de Cabinet and Deputy Chef de Cabinet. QUICK FACTSNAME:Alicia Bárcena IbarraBIRTH DATE:March 5, 1952 (age 63)EDUCATION:National Autonomous University of Mexico, Harvard UniversityPLACE OF BIRTH:MexicoRESIDENCY:MexicoLANGUAGES:Spanish, EnglishMargot WallströmMargot Wallström’s career as a diplomat is rooted in decades of experience in both the public and private sectors. After graduating from high school in 1973 she became active in the Swedish Social Democrats Youth League and ran for parliament in 1979. Wallström served as a representative until 1985 and then spent the next decade holding a variety of jobs in banking, media, and civil affairs. From 1988 to 1991 she held the position of Minister of Civil Affairs - Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth. In 1993 Wallström became part of the Executive Committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and in 1994 was appointed the Minister of Culture. Two years later in 1996 she was appointed Minister of Social Affairs, and in 1994 she became a member of the European Commission for the Environment. Wallström ‘s time serving on the European Commission strengthened her experience in international diplomacy and led to her appointment to the European Commission for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. In 2010 she became the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. After finishing her service as a SRSG, in October 2014 Wallström was chosen to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Her time as foreign minister has been marked by a commitment to women’s rights and supporting peace in the Middle East. QUICK FACTSNAME:Margot WallströmBIRTH DATE:September 28, 1954 (age 61)EDUCATION:High School DiplomaPLACE OF BIRTH:Skellefteå, SwedenRESIDENCY:Stockholm, SwedenLANGUAGES:Swedish, English "Women have long breached the glass ceiling in international organizations - its no longer competence vs gender vs geography."-Shazia Rafiformer Secretary-General, Parliamentarians for Global Action 1996-2013the first woman to serve in that capacityOUTSTANDING WOMEN A-Z:Merkel, AngelaAshton, CatherineMogherini, FedericaWallström, MargotJean, MichaëlleBokova, IrinaBachelet, MichelleGarbar-Kitarović, KolindaGrybauskaitė, DaliaHalonen, TarjaHarlem Brundtland, GroClark, HelenSolberg, ErnaJohnson Sirleaf, EllenThorning-Schmidt, HelleBárcena Ibarra, AliciaHeyzer, NoeleenKane, AngelaNgozi Okonjo-IwealaMs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a globally recognized economist currently serving her second term as Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She earned her bachelors degree from the International School Ibadan and Harvard University in 1977 and her Ph.D. in regional economic development from MIT in 1981. In October 2005, she led the Nigerian team that struck a deal with the Paris Club, a group of bilateral creditors, to pay a portion of Nigeria's external debt ($12 billion) in return for an $18 billion debt write-off. Prior to the partial debt payment and write-off, Nigeria spent roughly US $1 billion every year on debt servicing, without making a dent in the principal owed. Between 2006-2007, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala founded and co-founded three organizations to directly benefit her region and country; these include: NOI-Gallup Polls, a for-profit indigenous polling/opinion research organization based in Abuja, Nigeria, the Makeda Fund, a $50 million private equity fund mandated to invest in African women-owned businesses, and the Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (C-SEA), a non-profit think tank based in Abuja, Nigeria. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala was promoted to Managing Director of the World Bank from 2007-2011, during which time she oversaw operational activities in the African Regions, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. She began at the World Bank in 1982 in its Young Professionals Program and worked through the ranks to finally reach the position of Managing Director. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has authored and co-authored three works including China Achebe: Teacher of Light, The Debt Trap in Nigeria: Towards a Sustainable Debt Strategy, and Reforming the Unreformable: Lessons from Nigeria. Also, Ms. Okojo-Iweala was awarded the "Nigerian of the Year" award in 2006. Notably, Ms. Okonjo-Iweala has been the first Nigerian woman to serve as both Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.QUICK FACTSNAME:Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaBIRTH DATE:June, 13 1954EDUCATION:International School Ibadan, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyPLACE OF BIRTH:Ogwashi-Uku, NigeriaRESIDENCY:Federal Republic of NigeriaLANGUAGES:English, French, Igbo, YorubaOkonjo-Iweala, NgoziMary RobinsonMary Robinson served as a first female President of Ireland from 1990-97 and as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 1997-2002. She was born on May 21, 1944 in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland. In 1967 she earned her bachelor of law degree at Trinity College and her professional Barrister-at-Law degree from King’s Inns, Dublin. That same year she moved to Boston, MA where she pursued a one-year master’s degree in law at Harvard Law School. Upon her arrival to Ireland, Robinson obtained a post as a tutor at University College Dublin and became a Reid Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law at Trinity College. In 1969 Robinson presented herself as a candidate to the Senate and won the elections. As a senator she advocated a reform of law and morality and raised issues such as the constitutional prohibition on divorce, the ban on the use of contraceptives and the criminalization of homosexuality. In 1973 Robinson became a member of the English Bar and three years later a Senior Counsel. She also served as a member of the Advisory Commission of Inter-Rights and of the International Commission of Jurists. In 1990 the Labour Party nominated Robinson as an independent candidate for the forthcoming presidential election. She won and became the first female President of Ireland. In office she focused on issues concerning emigrants of Irish decent, empowering women and improving the relations with Northern Ireland. About three months before the completion of her term as a President of Ireland, she resigned and on September 12, 1997 she became a second UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Following her term as a High Commissioner for Human Rights, she set up the Ethical Globalization Initiative, known as Realizing Rights, which focused on African countries. In attempt to engage corporations and business community in promoting human rights, from May 2003, she chaired the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights She also welcomed the possibility to serve on an ‘eminent jurists panel’ on counterterrorism and human rights within the International Commission of Jurists. In 2007, she was invited by Nelson Mandela to become a member of group known as the Elders. She is also a president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.QUICK FACTSNAME:Mary RobinsonBIRTH DATE: May 21, 1944 (age 71)EDUCATION:Trinity College, Ireland,King’s Inns, Harvard Law SchoolPLACE OF BIRTH:Ballina, County Mayo, IrelandRESIDENCY:IrelandLANGUAGES:English, FrenchRobinson, MaryCATEGORIES A-Z:ChancellorsMinistersHeads of International OrganizationsPresidentsPrime MinistersUnder Secretaries-GeneralGraça Machel Graça Machel a Mozambican politician and humanitarian and is the only woman in history to have been first lady of two separate republics, serving as the First Lady of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986 and the First Lady of South Africa from 1998 to 1999. Ms. Machel was a delegate to the 1998 UNICEF conference in Zimbabwe, is president of the National Commission of UNESCO, and served on the international steering committee of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All. She was appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to chair the Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Ms. Machel was Mozambique’s Minister for Education until 1989 and the chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique, an organization that places orphans in village homes. Following Mozambique's independence in 1975, Machel was appointed Minister for Education and Culture. In the same year, she married Samora Machel, the first President of Mozambique. Following her retirement from the Mozambique ministry, Machel was appointed as the expert in charge of producing the groundbreaking United Nations report on the impact of armed conflict on children.Machel received the 1995 Nansen Medal from the United Nations in recognition of her longstanding humanitarian work, particularly on behalf of refugee children. In 1997, she was made a British dame and was the recipient of InterAction’s humanitarian award. In 1998, she was one of the two winners of the North-South Prize. Along with her native Shangaan language, Ms. Machel is fluent in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. QUICK FACTSNAME:Graça Machel BIRTH DATE:October 17, 1945 (age 70)EDUCATION:University of LisbonPLACE OF BIRTH:Portuguese East Africa (modern-day Mozambique)RESIDENCY:MozambiqueLANGUAGES:English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish Machel, Graça This pageis safeBitdefender Antivirus Plus”
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