The Commission has asked the Union Home Ministry to report on the alleged "attack on the rights of human rights defenders". Strict legal restrictions on foreign funding hit Indias NGOs Largest confederation of US labor unions awards Maina Kiai its 2016 award for human rights AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA & HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH JOINT STATEMENT: India: Foreign Funding Law Used to Harass 25 Groups PRESS RELEASE: Peoples Watch condemns the Chennai city police for the death of Mukesh from Kannagi Nagar PRESS RELEASE: Peoples Watch condemns unlawful arrests of peaceful protesters in Karur 13.10.16 PRESS RELEASE: People's Watch Condems Srikanth Balaji police and prison torture at Manali, Chennai Tamil Press Release-People's Watch Condems attack on Srikanth Balaji at Manali, Chennai People's Watch-Press release-People's Watch call for withdrawal of the recommendations of the Madras High Court to the Advocates Act Felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphage at Madurai on 04.06.16 at Madurai organised by Citizens for Human Rights Movement (CHRM) and IPRO A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by HRCPS at Pondicherry on 28.05.2016 A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by Mr. Nizamuddin, Mr. Balki, Mr. R.Babu, Mr. Arulselvam and Activists from Cuddalore on 28.05.2016 A felicitation to Mr. Henri Tiphagne on the receipt of Amnesty International Award 2016 organised by Vaanmuhil, Citizens for Human Rights Movement Tirunelveli on 22.03.2016 AP-Encounter-Letter to AP Govt. officials with interim report seeking their response AP Encounter High Level Fact Finding - Interim Report 21.04.2015 Human Rights Defenders Alert India - NHRC - Tamilnadu - Gross Violation of 'Right to Association' of HR organizations/ HRDs in TN - Plea Requesting NHRC Intervention Resource Material - Training on Human Rights to Professional College Students NCPCR's Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in schools

Statements on Human Rights by the UN Secretariat

29 June 2010

UNIC/PRESS RELEASE/63-2010

  FROM THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL

Secretary-General, in remarks to Economic and Social Council, reports uneven progress on Millennium Development Goals

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council, in New York on 28 June:

I am pleased to open this high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council.

As we meet, the world is still grappling with the aftershocks of multiple crises.  The financial, food and climate crises have set back efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals and threaten future progress.

We live under the shadow of continued global financial and economic uncertainty.  The recovery from the most severe recession in recent history has been tentative and uneven.  It cannot compensate for the losses suffered.  Tens of millions more people have been pushed into extreme poverty.

Yet, despite these setbacks, there is reason for optimism.  The 2010 Millennium Development Goals Report shows that we have made significant progress in some countries on reducing extreme poverty over the past decade.  The overall poverty rate is expected to fall to 15 per cent by 2015 -- that is half of 1990 levels.

More children than ever before now have access to education.  Global school enrolment stands at 85 per cent.  Many countries have crossed the 90 per cent threshold.  We have seen significant declines in child mortality and the incidence of measles, malaria and neglected tropical diseases.

We have also seen dramatic increases in access to antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS.  Tens of millions of lives have been saved through collective action by Governments, civil society and international organizations.

These successes -- many of which have taken place in the world’s poorest countries -- show that the Millennium Development Goals are achievable.  They show that where we try, we succeed.  If we don’t try, we fail.  The recipe is clear:  the right policies; adequate investment; and reliable international support.

However, let me inject a note of caution.  Overall progress has been uneven.  We are likely to miss several Goals, especially in the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries in or emerging from conflict.

Climate change remains a threat to sustainability.  Hunger and food insecurity stalk millions.  Stubborn disparities persist -- between rich and poor, between rural and urban, between males and females.  The vast majority of the world’s people still need, and deserve, drastic improvements in their quality of life.

They need a world where the benefits of economic and social development reach everyone -- a world where the major economies are held accountable to their many commitments.  This is the message I will take to the Millennium Development Goals Summit in September. 

And it is the message I delivered to G-20 leaders this weekend.  I was encouraged by the commitment of leaders there to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals, despite the challenges they face.

The next G20 Summit, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in November will include development on the agenda for the first time.  Governments must agree on a concrete action plan that provides a clear road map to meet our promise by 2015.

We must deliver results for the world’s most vulnerable.  As the United Nations central forum for international economic and social issues, this Council has an important role to play.  I see three urgent areas for focus.

First, jobs -- today world unemployment is the highest on record.  [Some] 211 million people are unemployed.  We need to create 470 million jobs in the next 10 years.  It is time to focus on decent work -- in all nations, not just the wealthy -- common-sense investment in green jobs, and a green recovery.

Second, food security -- worldwide, more than 1 billion people are hungry.  Let us respond to this unprecedented number by delivering on the commitments made in L’Aquila.  Let us invest in the world’s small farmers.  They produce most of the world’s food and are the mainstays of developing economies.

Third -- let us invest in women.  This is where we need progress the most.  Social, political and economic equality for women is integral to the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals.  Until women and girls are liberated from poverty and injustice, all our goals -- peace, security, sustainable development -- stand in jeopardy.

It is therefore most appropriate that this session of the Economic and Social Council is focused on gender equality and women's empowerment.  Empowering women is an economic and social imperative.

Of the 72 million children of primary-school age still excluded from school systems, two thirds are girls.  Women hold only 18 per cent of the world’s parliamentary seats.  And throughout the world, too many women live in fear of violence.  Violence against women is a crime, and must not be acceptable in any culture.

In too many countries, policies, legal frameworks and social justice systems are just not adequate.  Of all the Millennium Development Goals, the one where we have achieved least success is on maternal health.  Each year between 10 and 15 million women suffer long-term disability due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth.  Every year, more than a million children are left motherless.  In the twenty-first century, it is unacceptable that mothers should still be dying as they deliver new life.

I urge this Council to generate support for our Joint Action Plan on women’s and children’s health.  Indeed, you have a crucial role in making women central to all future negotiations on development.  The outcome of the recent 15-year review of the Beijing Declaration should feed directly into your negotiations, and into the outcome of the Millennium Development Goals Summit in September.

Together, we must urge Governments to change attitudes and policies towards women and girls.  We must end inequality and discrimination, and make women and girls aware of their inalienable rights.

This is a landmark year for gender issues.  We are commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), to name just a few highlights.

And this year, we are on track for another major step forward.  I welcome the decision by the sixty-third session of the General Assembly to merge the four United Nations gender entities into a composite entity.  I am closely following the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations during the current session that will make this a reality.

The creation of UN Women will mark a significant advance towards further strengthening our capacity to work with Member States to coherently meet the needs of women and girls.

We all need to deliver as we collectively tackle global crises and work towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Women need to be included at all levels of political decision-making.  We must strengthen political commitment to change laws and policies that discriminate against them.

Women’s contributions in homes and in workplaces are essential to improving food security, to building community resilience to climate change and natural disasters, and to finding lasting solutions to poverty.

I count on you to maintain focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment in your negotiations at the Annual Ministerial Review and at the Development Cooperation Forum.  And I urge you to consider how to expand your national efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals.  Each is achievable.  We have the tools.  Let us match them with political will and cooperation.

I wish you a most productive session.

***

 

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