ECOSOC President Hamidon Ali, centre, during the election of UN Women's Executive Board. 
Photo: UN Photo/Ryan Brown.ECOSOC President Hamidon Ali, centre, during the election of UN Women's Executive Board. Photo: UN Photo/Ryan Brown

Norway to serve on UN Women’s Executive Board

11/15/2010 // Norway has been elected to serve on the Executive Board of the UN’s new gender entity, UN Women. Iran was not elected, despite the fact that the Asian Group initially had nominated the country as one of ten to ten seats. In the last week before the vote, East Timor launched its candidacy thus becoming the eleventh Asian candidate. East Timor went on to beat Iran with 36 to 19 votes.

Ambassador Morten Wetland submitted Norway’s vote for East Timor. In explaining Norway’s vote, Ambassador Wetland emphasized the crucial importance of human rights in general and the situation of women in particular.

Norway will serve on the board of the newly established UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women - UN Women -  until 31 December 2013. UN Women is headed by former Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet.

Norway was chosen as one of four countries picked from the ten largest donors to UN Women's predecessor UNIFEM. The other such representatives were Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden were duly elected to represent the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) as the group had agreed to nominate these five countries to its five places.

The African Group had also agreed on a so-called "clean slate" (as many nominations as places). The Asian group, as early as October, had agreed the same, but last week it became clear that East Timor would launch its candidacy - at the eleventh hour as the eleventh candidate to ten seats.

Also, Eastern Europe and the group of Latin American and Caribbean States had to hold a vote, as they had more candidates than seats.

UN Women’s Executive Board
The 54 members of the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) have elected the following 41 countries to serve on the first Executive Board of UN Women (votes in parentheses, groups with a "clean slate" did not vote):

Africa: Angola, Cape Verde, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Libya, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Asia: Bangladesh (54), China (53), India (52), Indonesia (53), Kazakhstan (52), Japan (53), Malaysia (52), Pakistan (50), South Korea (53) and East Timor (36).

Eastern Europe: Estonia (42), Hungary (38), Russia (46), Ukraine (43). Albania was not selected.

Latin America and Caribbean: Argentina (47), Brazil (48), Dominican Republic (44), El Salvador (40), Grenada (39) and Peru (47). St. Vincent & the Grenadines was not selected.

Western Europe and Others (WEOG): Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden

Major donor countries: Norway, Spain, UK and USA

Donors among developing countries: Mexico and Saudi Arabia

Before he concluded the meeting, ECOSOC's chairman Hamidon Ali reminded delegates that the UN Women's newly elected board members must begin to prepare for the Executive Board’s first meeting as soon as possible. Such a meeting should take place within the next few weeks. A date is not fixed, but the first meeting which will be of an organizational character, will probably be in late November / December. Important questions – including for Norway – will be who will be part of the Executive Board’s bureau, and, not least, who will become the first chairperson of UN Women.

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