IWTC Women's GlobalNet #321
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

February 14, 2007
By Anne S. Walker

ANGELA KING, UN WOMEN’S RIGHTS ADVOCATE AND FRIEND TO WOMEN WORLDWIDE

Jamaican diplomat and international civil servant Angela E. V. King, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, died February 5 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City after battling with breast cancer. She was 68. In expressing regret at King's death, Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said the international community has lost a pioneering champion in the achievement of women’s advancement.

Angela joined the UN Secretariat in 1966 from the Permanent Mission of Jamaica, where she worked on matters relating to human rights and social development. She was one of the first two women Foreign Service officers posted after Jamaica joined the UN. While at the UN, she held the positions of director of Recruitment and Placement, director of Staff Administration and Training, deputy to the Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources Management, and director of the Operational Services Division, where she worked closely with the Focal Point for the Improvement of the Status of Women in the Secretariat on issues such as special measures for women and sexual harassment.

Angela had a long history of active work for the advancement of women in the UN Secretariat.  She was a founding member of the ad hoc Group on Equal Rights for Women (GERWUN) and chaired the Secretariat's High-level†Steering Committee on Improving the Status of Women. Angela attended the First, Second and Fourth Women’s World Conferences in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980) and Beijing (1995) and organized and directed the Beijing+5 Special Session of the General Assembly (2000).  She served as director of the Division for the Advancement of Women of the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (1996), where she was responsible for the†follow-up to the Beijing Conference and for managing the central UN program for the advancement of women. She also chaired the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender and Equality (IANWGE) and supervised the†Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW).

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has issued a statement in which he says: "Angela King led the United Nations' efforts for the empowerment of women with knowledge, passion and courage as the United Nations worked to translate into practice the Beijing Platform for Action and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. A fervent champion of the equality of women and men, and women's enjoyment of their human rights, she knew that all parts of the United Nations had a responsibility to uphold those principles -- including in the area of peace and security. Ms. King's advocacy and partnership with civil society paved the way for the Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security -- the Council's first recognition of women's essential role in peacebuilding, peacemaking and peace negotiations. She was equally committed to championing the cause of women staff members in the United Nations, and their equal opportunities in the workplace. Her work for gender equality crowned an almost 40-year career with the United Nations, during which she also served as Chief of the United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa at the time of the country's first democratic, non-racial elections. She will be mourned with profound affection and respect by many friends and allies around the world."

Always elegantly dressed in Jamaican attire, Angela stood out from the more conservatively dressed officials of the UN on many a dais and platform. She represented a new kind of official, always gracious, smiling, and ready to listen to NGO representatives from all over the world. For many of us, she was the one we could talk to about our problems and concerns as we battled to find a way through the UN bureaucracy and regulations. Angela is survived by her son Richard A. James.

In closing, it seems appropriate to quote from a letter of tribute from a member of the Rwandan delegation:

“The death of Angela King is a very big loss for the whole women community over the world even though she announced at the 49th CSW session when she officially left the Division that she had a cancer and was leaving because of health problem and medical treatment. Last year when we were attending the 50th session of CSW although she was no more the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Gender Issues, she participated actively and chaired a panel. She met Rwanda delegation to congratulate Rwandan Government for outstanding achievements in gender mainstreaming especially in decision-making. As we are preparing for CSW 51st session a word of condolence and remembrance will be included in Rwanda statement.”  FATUMA NDANGIZA

 

IWTC Women's GlobalNet is a production of:

International Women's Tribune Centre

777 United Nations Plaza

New York, NY 10017, USA

Tel:  1-212-687-8633

Fax: 1-212-661-2704

Email: <iwtc@iwtc.org>

Web: <https://www.iwtc.org>

 

PLEASE NOTE:

For back issues of IWTC Women's GlobalNet, go to our NEW WEBSITE AT <iwtc.org> and click on GlobalNet.

- You can subscribe to this list at any time by sending a blank message to: <iwtc-womensglobalnet-subscribe@igc.topica.com> 

- You can unsubscribe to this list at any time by sending a blank message to: <iwtc-womensglobalnet-unsubscribe@igc.topica.com>

 

WOMEN, INK.

For  publications on women and development by, for and about women worldwide, write for  Women, Ink's   catalogue, or view it at the NEWLY REFORMULATED WOMEN, INK. WEBSITE AT  :

 <http://www.womenink.org>.

 

Contact Women, Ink. at 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA.  Tel:  (1-212) 687-8633 ext. 204. Fax: (1-212) 661-2704. E-mail: <wink@iwtc.org>

 

To subscribe to the Women, Ink. monthly bulletin "BookLink", which features new titles constantly being added to the Women, Ink. collection, write to:

<wink@iwtc.org>

 

WOMEN, INK. IS A SERVICE OF IWTC