Ex-Chilean President Tipped to Lead UN Women

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner confer with Verónica Michelle Bachelet, then-president of Chile, during the working meeting of heads of member states and governments of the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR. Bachelet is tipped to become the head of the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Photo by: United Nations/Ryan Brown

Supporting women’s health and development can help expedite the progress on the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

“No area has more potential to set off a ripple effect – a virtuous cycle – across the goals than women’s health and empowerment. All the key players have lined up behind this effort,” Ban said in his press conference on Sept. 13.

Ban is due to announce today (Sept. 14) the appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as the head of the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women, according to Politico’s Laura Rozen.

>> UN Establishes New Gender Entity

Realizing the health MDGs in the 49 lowest-income countries will require an additional USD26 billion in 2011, with the figure increasing to USD42 billion by 2015, according to Ban.

“I’m encouraged that we’re receiving a lot of strong support, not only from governments, but philanthropists, [non-governmental organizations] and all other business communities. And this will be one of the most important focuses which we will discuss” during the MDG summit that runs from Sept. 20 to Sept. 22, he said.

Ban revealed he will launch a global strategy for women’s and children’s health during the summit, where 139 heads of state and government are expected to attend. He said he will also convene a special meeting on health MDGs on Sept. 22 at the sidelines of the summit.

The MDGs “are difficult and ambitious, but doable,” Ban said. “Our challenge is to put our resources where they will have the greatest impact – education, jobs, health, smallholder agriculture, infrastructure and green energy.”

Devex News – live breaking news coverage of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sept. 20-22 U.N. MDG summit in New York.

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  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.