Press release: UN Women inaugurates Geneva Liaison Office

The office will expand crucial partnerships for the full realization of gender equality by 2030

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Geneva Liason Office Opening Photo: UN Women/Elma Okic
UN Women's Geneva Liaison Office opening. Photo: UN Women/Elma Okic

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Switzerland—UN Women today inaugurated its Geneva Liaison Office, which will provide strategic support and boost efforts for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. Serving as a gateway to development stakeholders, Geneva is host to over 40 United Nations (UN) entities, more than 400 non-governmental organizations, some 35 international organizations, as well as renowned academic institutions, several of which support the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. A large number of intergovernmental processes with direct impact on the women’s empowerment agenda, from human rights to humanitarian aid, trade and migration, are also held in Geneva.

The establishment of the Geneva Liaison Office will allow UN Women to broaden and strengthen crucial partnerships with the broad range of stakeholders based there, to deepen gender perspectives in their work and contribute to the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to enhance coordination with key players in the UN system.

As a sign of the strong collaborative spirit, the Geneva Liaison Office inauguration will be presided by Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Head of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva; Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women.

“Switzerland is fully committed to the realization of gender equality as there is no sustainable development and peace without addressing the needs of both women and men and fulfilling their human rights.  We support the establishment of UN Women’s liaison office in Geneva as this is the place where UN, other international organizations, private sector, civil society and academics work together and make a difference for gender equality and empowerment of women in such key domains as health, migration, humanitarian affairs, economics, labour and human rights,” said Ambassador Valentin Zellweger, Head of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva.

“Our strengthened presence in Geneva through the new UN Women Liaison office will strategically amplify our global voice for women and girls and accelerate the delivery of results. As the new Liaison Office takes shape, we will build concerted action among our partners to put the empowerment of women at the top of the global agenda and keep it there,” added UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Some of the immediate priorities of the office, located within the Palais des Nations, include influencing Geneva-based intergovernmental processes, strengthening UN coordination and accountability for gender equality and expanding the base of partners who support gender equality through their work.

“This liaison office is the logical result of an ever-deepening collaboration with UN Women in recent years,” said Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, who has made gender equality a personal priority and launched the Geneva initiative Gender Champions. “By strengthening the gender dimension, we can promote and achieve equal opportunities for women and girls everywhere, and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

UN Women’s work to spearhead action on women’s economic empowerment, in the run-up to the final report of the High-Level Panel created by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will also benefit from the closer engagement with key partners based in Geneva.

With today’s inauguration, UN Women can count on 89 country offices around the world, liaison offices in Belgium, Denmark, Japan, UAE (soon to become operational) and now, Switzerland, to remove barriers to equal opportunities for women and girls and to support efforts to ensure that laws and commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment are fully implemented.

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.

Photos from the event