Washington, DC– Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) today sent a letter to President Obama asking that he use the opportunity presented by his upcoming address to the United Nations General Assembly to emphasize the importance of nominating a qualified woman candidate to serve as the next United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG).

In their letter, Reps. Speier and Lummis noted the great strides that the UN has made in regard to equal rights, but that it has yet to appoint a woman UNSG. They also highlighted the extremely important work that the President has done in promoting women leaders within his administration, including the appointments of Samantha Power and Susan Rice as Ambassadors to the United Nations, and that this week’s address presents a perfect opportunity to continue with his work in this regard.

“The President has shown his commitment to promoting gender equality within his own Administration, making our nation a proud example to the rest of the world that yes, women are more than capable of serving in positions of great power and providing strong, intelligent leadership,” said Rep. Speier. “This week’s UN address presents an incredible opportunity for the President to take his work and his message a step further, by using that platform to call on the UN to finally nominate a qualified woman candidate to serve as the next United Nations Secretary-General. It has been 70 years since this esteemed organization was formed on the promise of equal rights for all people and nations. It is time for that promise to be fulfilled and for a qualified woman to lead the United Nations.”

“There is no shortage of women who are qualified to be Secretary General and it is time the UN recognized this,” said Rep. Lummis. “In Wyoming we have recognized the equality of women as the first government in the world to continuously recognize women’s right to vote since Wyoming citizen Louisa Swain cast her first ballot in 1870. We also boast the first woman governor and the first woman justice of the peace as well as many other firsts for women. The UN has claimed equality as one of its goals and it is time to stand by that objective, follow Wyoming’s lead, and ask a capable female candidate to take the helm.”

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