UN Women, the new UN agency for women empowerment

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New York, Jul 3: The United Nations decided to establish a new organisation called UN Women aimed at intensifying efforts to meet the needs of women and girls worldwide.

This historic decision was taken by the UN General Assembly on Friday, Jul 2. The new agency will be formed by merging four existing groups that have been working to improve the lives of women and girls.

The UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known simply as UN Women will be formed by merging the Division for the Advancement of Women, Institute on Research and Training for the Advancement of Women, the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the UN Development Fund for Women.

UN Women will begin work in Jan 2011 and will be headed by a UN under secretary general. UN members have agreed to contribute $500 million as a minimum investment to the new organisation.

"The creation of UN Women will significantly boost UN efforts to promote gender equality,expand opportunity and tackle discrimination around the globe," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"UN Women will provide women and girls a strong, unified voice to advance the goals of equality, development and peace, issues that are of high concern for the millions of them in poor countries," said Asha Rose Migiro, the UN deputy secretary general.

AIDS Free World, a non-governmental organisation warned against re-packaging the four UN groups under a new name without substantive goals.

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