Tuesday, 1 May 2012 8:59 AM

Solomons to Join Women's UN Board

Australia and Solomon Islands will take up seats on the United Nation's Women Executive Board from January 2013.

The moves given an opportunity to increase the profile for issues facing women in the Pacific - in particular, violence.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr said the country's appointment to the United Nations' body would further strengthen the country's commitment to women's empowerment.

Senator Carr said Australia's aid program sought to reduce violence against women, improve access to education, and increase economic empowerment and women's involvement in government, business and the community.

'With Australia's assistance, more women are being promoted to leadership roles in Papua New Guinea," he said.

"Our support has helped to increase the number of female magistrates in the village courts system from 10 in 2004 to 685 in 2011."

Senator Carr also announced Australia's support for UN Women's new Critical Services Initiative.

This aims to ensure that female victims of violence can have access to critical services including emergency hotlines, police protection, shelter and housing, crisis counselling and health

Australia will provide $400,000 in 2011-12 to support the development of kits and other material to help countries implement the initiative.