Angela E.V. King, 68; Jamaican diplomat sought women’s equality

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Angela E.V. King, 68, a Jamaican diplomat who became a leading advocate for women’s equality and the first special advisor to the U.N. secretary-general on women’s advancement, died Monday of complications from breast cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, her former husband Wilton James said.

During a 38-year career at the United Nations, King led efforts to end discrimination against women and promote gender equality.

She was also one of a few women to lead a U.N. mission -- in South Africa from 1992 to ’94 during elections.


King participated in U.N. conferences to promote women’s rights in Mexico City in 1975, Copenhagen in 1980 and Beijing in 1995, where world leaders adopted a wide-ranging blueprint to achieve equality for women.

In 1997, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed her to a new post as his special advisor on gender issues and advancement of women with the rank of assistant secretary-general to help ensure U.N.-wide implementation of the Beijing platform.

King, who held a bachelor’s degree from the University College of the West Indies and a master’s degree from the University of London, joined the U.N. Secretariat in 1966 from the Jamaican mission to the United Nations.