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Delivering as one: report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel

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In February 2006, the former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, established a High-Level Panel consisting of fifteen members to examine how to strengthen the UN system in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment. Thanks in large part to the lobbying efforts of women's rights organisations and activists from around the world, the report contained a number of recommendations to strengthen the gender equality architecture of the UN. The report recommends that the three existing UN bodies working on gender - the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Gender Issues (OSAGI) and the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) - be consolidated into one independent UN agency. The body should have a strong advocacy role and a mandate to mainstream gender equality throughout the whole UN system - its structures, policies and programmes. The agency would have strengthened power and authority, be 'fully and ambitiously funded' and be led by an Under Secretary-General.