The corporate sector must engage more closely in the fight against the global pandemic of violence against women and girls, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, stressing the importance role of business leaders in eliminating the scourge.

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Millions of children across the world are denied the right to enjoy their childhood as a result of conflicts that expose them to violence and rob them of their innocence, two senior United Nations officials said today, stressing the need to ensure that children grow up in safety.

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The top United Nations official fighting to eliminate the recruitment of child soldiers today appealed to governments to provide the necessary resources to ensure the reintegration of these youngsters into civil society once they have been freed.

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The UN Human Rights Council has reaffirmed the actions taken by the General Assembly, confirming that the right to water and sanitation is legally binding.

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Eleven new countries have added their names to a growing United Nations-backed list of States that have pledged to halt child recruitment, support the release of children from armed groups and help reintegrate them into civilian life.

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The first head of the new United Nations super-agency on female empowerment today voiced hope that the body will be a “strong champion” of gender equality and hasten existing UN efforts to advance the cause of women and girls.

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As scores of heads of State and government attend today’s opening of a three-day summit at United Nations Headquarters in New York on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged them to provide the necessary investment, aid and political will to end extreme poverty.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head United Nations Women (UN Women), a newly created entity to oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs.

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The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are formidable and ambitious but still achievable, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as he urged the world’s leaders to direct their countries’ resources to the areas where they are needed most in the fight against poverty, hunger and disease.

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Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today called on participants at a United Nations forum on gender equality and development goals to act quickly to tackle the inequalities that are at the root of today’s development challenges.

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