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Annan: Empowerment of Women Best Development Tool

Annan Says Empowerment of Women Best Tool for Development

New York, May 9 2005 4:00PM

No tool for development is more effective than the empowerment of women, which raises economic productivity, cuts infant mortality, improves nutrition and promotes health – including the prevention of HIV/AIDS, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.

"No other policy is as powerful as increasing the chances of education for the next generation. And I would venture that no policy is more important in preventing conflict or in achieving reconciliation after a conflict has ended," Mr. Annan says in a <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=1442">message to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Meeting on the Advancement of Women, being held today and tomorrow in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

The Secretary-General also urges the international community to remember that promoting gender equality was not only a responsibility of women but that of everyone. "We have learnt that the challenges facing women are not problems without solutions. We have learnt what works and what doesn't," he declared.

"If we are to change the historical legacy that puts women at a disadvantage in most societies, we must implement what we have learnt on a larger scale. We must take specific, targeted action in a number of areas."

ENDS

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