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RECENT GLOBAL CRISIS HAVE "PROFOUND IMPACT" ON MDG PROGRESS

Xinhua - June 29, 2010

The recent economic crisis, food and fuel shortages, and climate change have all had a " profound impact" on efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and promote gender equality, Egyptian minister, Moushira Khattab said on Monday.

Khattab made the remarks in a keynote address to the high-level segment of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), a week- long annual meeting focused on issues of development.

The global crises threaten future progress towards equality, he said. "Each of these overlapping crises exacerbates existing gender inequalities and threatens to undermine the progress made so far and makes it even more challenging to achieve the practical realization of gender equality."

Khattab, who serves as Egypt's minister of state for family and population affairs, called for "an enabling environment for a responsible role of civil society," in order to advance efforts in empowering women.

Meanwhile, Khattab highlighted the need for greater coordination among UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors.

Despite the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over 62 years ago, Khattab noted that "millions of women across the globe are still victims of discrimination, harmful practices, suffer gender-based violence, economic discrimination and lack access to basic reproductive health services."

Khattab drew the ECOSOC's attention to the plight of women living in armed conflicts and under foreign occupation, in particular Palestinian women, calling the issue "a special challenge of the global community."

"Achieving peace and ending occupation is a dire demand to achieve gender equality and full enjoyment of all basic and human rights for women," said Khattab.

The international community to address the issue promptly, Khattab added, in order to "alleviate discrimination and all violations against those women who are deprived of all their inalienable rights."

"We must not leave one stone unturned," he added.





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