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Former President Bachelet of Chile to Head UN Agency for Women

Chile’s former president, Michelle Bachelet, will head the new United Nations agency to promote women’s equality, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, to be called UN Women, will push for equality in education, government and employment. A UN report in June said progress has been “sluggish on all fronts -- from education to access to political decision-making.”

Ban said Bachelet “brings to this critical position a history of dynamic global leadership, highly honed political skills and uncommon ability to create consensus.”

Bachelet left the presidency in March, following Sebastian Pinera’s election victory in January.

The UN General Assembly voted unanimously on July 2 to create the agency, which will consolidate four existing bodies. They include the Division for the Advancement of Women, the Development Fund for Women and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women.

The executive board of UN Women will have 41 members: 10 from the African group of member states, 10 from Asia, four from eastern Europe, six from Latin America and the Caribbean and 11 from western Europe and other areas, according to the General Assembly resolution.

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