Executive Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet thanks Australia for its support
23 August, 2012
Foreign Minister Bob Carr with Michelle Bachelet in Canberra on August 22, 2012. Photo: AUSPIC
The Executive Director of UN Women and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is currently in Australia meeting with key ministers, parliamentarians and representatives from AusAID.
She is also delivering an address at the Australian National University, before attending the Pacific Islands Forum to be held in the Cook Islands next week.
Following talks between Ms Bachelet and Foreign Minister Bob Carr in Canberra today, Senator Carr announced $6.7 million in funding to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. The problem of violence again women, Senator Carr said, was a global one, highlighting the importance of the UN Trust Fund as a global mechanism to address violence against women.
“Australia’s support will help survivors receive a range of counselling, legal and health support services. It will also strengthen the implementation of laws that help to prevent violence against women,” Senator Carr said.
Global leadership for women
Support to the Trust Fund is in addition to the $48.5 million in core funding that Australia will contribute to UN Women over the next four years.
This level of commitment reflects Australia’s confidence in UN Women as the principal advocate for the world’s women. Created in 2010, the structure and mandate of UN Women respond directly to the lessons learned from earlier gender-focused UN bodies. UN Women now has a stronger coordination and global advocacy mandate, and is continuing to strengthen its operations in developing countries.
In Ms Bachelet, UN Women has a uniquely qualified leader with an international profile to advocate powerfully for women. Senator Carr described Ms Bachelet as “one of the world’s most inspirational champions for women’s rights”.
Australia has been a strong supporter of UN Women from the outset. One of the first countries to pledge multi-year core funding, Australia will also take up a position on the organisation’s Executive Board in 2013. By 2016, Australia expects to be the second largest donor to UN Women.
UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women
Since its inception, the Trust Fund has supported 339 initiatives in 127 countries through its competitive small grants scheme. Australia’s contribution to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women will support initiatives such as:
- providing acid-burn victims in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda with support services such as shelter accommodation or vocational training;
- enhancing labour monitoring and mediation systems for women who suffer from violence in garment factories in Bangladesh and India; and
- engaging religious courts and judges in Indonesia as key partners in eliminating violence against women.
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