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    UNIS/VIC/212
    14 June 2017

    International Gender Champions - Vienna Initiative launched

    Heads of UN offices at the Vienna International Centre and Ambassadors pledge to break down gender barriers

    VIENNA, 14 June (UN Information Service) - The International Gender Champions - Vienna Initiative is being launched today, with 52 leaders of the UN and senior diplomats making pledges on gender equality.

    International Gender Champions - Vienna has been inaugurated at an event in the Vienna International Centre. The leadership network brings together female and male decision-makers committed to breaking down gender barriers.

    In a video message for the inauguration, UN Secretary-General António Guterres who is himself an International Gender Champion, offered his congratulations: "Let me stress that this initiative is only as good as our word. The challenge is to keep the promise we make. That is why I am doing everything possible as Secretary-General to achieve true equality. For justice - and effectiveness."

    He also said the United Nations has to model the values we espouse and he called on male officials to be part of the initiative.

    The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, is becoming an International Gender Champion.  He said: "I am proud to join the International Gender Champions and reinforce my strong commitment to promoting gender equality and empowerment at the UN Office at Vienna, at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and in our work around the world."

    The initiative in Vienna has been led by the heads of the Permanent Missions of Costa Rica, Slovenia and the United States who all spoke at the launch. The heads and senior leaders from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are also supporting the initiative.

    The International Gender Champions, now active in Vienna, New York and Geneva, brings together a broad range of actors and provides the ideal platform for stronger action to promote gender equality. All International Gender Champions sign the Panel Parity Pledge to strive for gender parity in all discussions and undertake two additional commitments to advance gender equality either in the executive management of the organization or in programmatic work.

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    For further information please contact:

    Anne Thomas
    Public Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1458-5588
    Email: anne.thomas[at]unvienna.org

    Further information about the International Gender Champions Initiative is available at: www.genderchampions.com