Michelle Bachelet, the founding Executive Director of UN Women, announced her resignation last week during the closing address to the Commission on the Status of Women.
Speaking to the assembled delegations, she said:
“It has been an honour and a privilege to be part of this historical moment with all of you. The Commission on the Status of Women was created with great foresight to be the preeminent global forum for advancing the human rights of women. You have the privilege, but also the responsibility, to work together to make this world a better place to live. I urge you to never rest in this effort. Millions and millions of women and girls place hope and trust in you.”
Bachelet had presided over two weeks of negotiations in New York, which resulted in an agreement on the elimination of violence against women and girls – a victory that is all the more important in light of the failure to reach a similar agreement in talks in 2003. Bachelet has directed UN Women since its inception in 2010. Prior to that, she served as one of Chile’s most popular presidents from 2006 to 2010. Her work with UN Women has helped to place women’s issues at the centre of the UN’s operations.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon noted that:
“Michelle Bachelet was the right person in the right job at the right time. Her visionary leadership gave UN-Women the dynamic start it needed. Her fearlessness in advocating for women’s rights raised the global profile of this key issue. Her drive and compassion enabled her to mobilize and make a difference for millions of people across the world.”
Michelle Bachelet’s Closing Statement at the 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women, 16 March 2013.
Secretary-General Praises 'Visionary' Leadership of Michelle Bachelet, Following Annoucement by UN Women Chief of Departure, UN Department of Public Information, 15 March 2013.