New Head of UN Women Talks about Her Plans for the Entity

Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

[Transcript reprinted from UN Radio.]

The new head of UN Women, the former President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, has been talking about her plans for the new entity. UN Radio's Rocio Franco?asked her why UN Women is needed.

Duration: 2'49″

Bachelet: That speaks of first of all, relevance of women issue and that means that all country states, when they voted, they were making a commitment and support in the idea that women issue should be relevant in the political agenda. And that is I would say from symbolic point of view and I hope from concrete perspective too a very high first step. Second, the idea of merging four different entities, it's a great opportunity of seeing the strengths and also the problems that each of these former entities could have identified and where you can produce the synergies of all the positives, of all the experience, could make I would say this new entity much stronger than the parts by itself.? And the third thing is that when an entity starts with the support, the enthusiasm of many women from the civil society, it's also a very important step in order to achieve the goals. The very first goal is that on the first of January 2011, this new entity is fully operational and that will be the first major effort. And then of course we will be working on specific plans and policies and goals in order to see how we can put all forces together to improve women and girls condition all over the world.

Franco: What do you think is going to be your main contribution to this post?

Bachelet: I believe that my main contribution will be to develop and to work with all my experience, my dynamic way of doing things (a little laughter) and I have good relations with many, many head of states, head of governments to be in this position in order to produce all these agreements, all the synergies inside the UN system, with the states members so we can work very hard, very strongly to fulfil the dreams of women and girls all over the world.

Franco: What is your main concern about the situation of women in the world?

Bachelet: In many regions of the world, women have a very difficult situation. They don't have the same opportunities as men regarding the most essential human rights, women are discriminated, their rights are violated, there are still some places where women are mutilated, and so I am convinced that we need to work very hard to improve their condition and I know it's a very challenging work and I think I will have to do a lot of work with the different countries showing that it is possible and that we can work together in order to improve their condition.