PR11/2013

Friday September 20, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

Fijian Woman Appointed General Secretary Of People’s Assembly

A Fijian women’s human rights defender has been appointed to head the People’s General Assembly, a historic gathering of civil society representatives from around the globe.  While inside the official United Nations building Virisila Buadromo may be an observer, outside she will be the first female General Secretary as she convenes the People's General Assembly (People’s GA) on Saturday 22nd September.

The 68th UN General Assembly, focused on development issues, is set to start on 23rd September 2013 in New York, and will be preceded by the People’s GA to be held in Foley Square in Thomas Pain Park.

“The People’s GA brings together civil society organisations from around the world to share their experiences and demand justice, human rights and accountability,” said Buadromo, Executive Director of the Fiji Women's Rights Movement.

“The event is an opportunity to demand that development be transformed to focus on people, not profits!”

On her appointment as General Secretary of the People’s GA, Buadromo spoke about what drives her:

“Women represent 70% of people living in poverty in Asia Pacific. The current model of development exacerbates patriarchal inequalities and makes women bear the burden of unsustainable economic growth and environmental disasters despite the fact that they are least responsible.  Women’s rights and gender equality and justice must be cornerstones of Development Justice."

She pointed out that policymaking and global architecture over the past three decades has led to wealth, power and resources accruing to a tiny minority of the world richest and most powerful people and corporations.

“Without some foundational shifts towards development justice, women’s rights will continue to be routinely denied."

The People’s GA will provide the people’s perspective on current development models and the model of development that people demand of their governments.

Speakers from grassroots organisations and social movements from all the continents and regions of the world will speak of their experiences of development policies and present challenges for government leaders and officials to address the most pressing issues affecting the wellbeing of the people and the environment.

The People’s GA is being organised in New York by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development, Ibon International, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment and Center for Women’s Global Leadership.

For any other information or queries please contact FWRM on 331 2711 / 8677330 or email   

ENDS.