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Women’s Panel ‘Ahead Of Its Time’

Annan Praises UN Women’s Panel On 60th Anniversary For Being ‘Ahead Of Its Time’

New York, Nov 10 2006 8:00PM

The world is beginning to recognize that empowering women and girls is key to development thanks to a United Nations women’s commission that is “ahead of its time,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, marking the body’s 60th anniversary.

“The world is also starting to grasp that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women and girls,” Mr. Annan said <"http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10727.doc.htm">addressing the Commission on the Status of Women today. “Study after study has taught us that no other policy is as likely toᾠraise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality.

That policy also improves nutrition and promote health – including the prevention of HIV/AIDS, and increases the chance of education for the next generation, Mr. Annan added.

He praised the Commission for helping to develop legal measures, shape new policies, and raise awareness of the challenges confronting women. “The Commission not only moves with the times: it is ahead of its time.”
In 1979, the Commission paved the way for the General Assembly’s adoption of the landmark Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which 185 countries have ratified to date. In 2000, the commission laid the groundwork for the adoption of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, which women in 80 countries can now use to seek remedies for violations of their rights, ῍r. Annan said.

Mr. Annan voiced hope that the Commission will play a supportive role as the UN works to strengthen and consolidate its gender architecture, drawing on the recommendations presented yesterday by the High-level Panel on System-wide Coherence.

“Women have an absolutely crucial role to play in reinvigorating our human rights machinery, in managing the difficult transition from war to peace, in strengthening democratic institutions and ensuring that all people can exercise their democratic rights,” Mr. Annan told the commission. “Your leadership can help make the voices a΅d needs of women heard in all those areas.

Ends

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