UN Women Executive Director to make first official visit to Australia and the Pacific


On 27 August, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka will visit Australia for the first time as the Executive Director of UN Women. During a three-day trip to Canberra and Sydney, she will attend meetings with high-ranking government officials as well as with representatives from the business community and civil society.

Discussions will focus on how to accelerate work on women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Pacific region, capitalizing on the already strong alignment between Australian and UN Women priorities. 

Australia has been a strong supporter of UN Women since it was created in 2010, and was one of the top five donors to the UN organization in 2013. Australia has been closely involved in UN Women governance including as a member of the UN Women Executive Board, of which it is currently a Vice-President.

As the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals approaches, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will be urging officials to commit to transformative changes in the lives of women as the priorities for post-2015 development agenda are set, and for this issue to be addressed as a priority during the upcoming G20 Summit, which Australia will host.

In support of this, UN Women has launched a major new public mobilization campaign in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the historic 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.  The campaign “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” seeks to reignite a global conversation on gender equality and women’s rights and through global events to mobilize citizens, civil society, media and governments into implementation of concrete action.

Watch the archived webcast of a public event co-hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Gender Institute at the Australian National University here.

From 1-3 September, the Executive Director will participate in the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa. The Conference will focus attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.

During the conference, she will call on governments to accelerate their implementation of robust policies and programmes that advance commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment in order to bring real change on the ground.

The expectation is that the outcome of the SIDS conference will contribute directly to the discussions on the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals as well as to the preparations for new agreements on climate change and disaster risk-reduction.

In addition, during the visit to Samoa, the Executive Director will meet with heads of government and regional organizations, as well as with youth leaders and civil society. She will also visit a women’s centre for survivors of violence supported by UN Women.

Related links:

UN Women National Committee Australia

UN Women launches global campaign in Australia

Samoan helpline saves lives