In a few days' time, world leaders and policy makers will convene at the United Nations for a special summit on young people. Given recent developments in many parts of the world, such a meeting is timely.

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The African Union today outlined its priorities for collaboration with UN Women- the UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women.

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Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro today underscored the importance of education in raising the status of women in society and called for greater investment in measures to ensure gender equality, deploring the fact that two-thirds of illiterate adults across the world are female.

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The recruitment and use of children by armed forces and other armed groups in Chad persists, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report, while noting that reduced tensions last year enabled many children to leave such groups.

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The recent UN-negotiated action plan with the Afghanistan government - signed on 30 January and outlawing the use of child soldiers in armed forces - has not yet resulted in demobilization, but it has shifted the focus to the role state actors play in recruiting children.

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Only when rape in armed conflict becomes a liability for armed groups rather than a tool in the struggle for power – a war crime that will bring inevitable punishment – will progress be made in eliminating the scourge, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

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The head of the new United Nations agency promoting women’s rights and full participation in global affairs laid out a 100-day action plan today, embracing a full spectrum of issues from supporting national partners to promoting coherence within the UN system.

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In an effort to help law enforcement agencies in southern Africa respond to gender-based violence effectively, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said today that it has launched a handbook and a training curriculum to improve the capacity of national police forces in the region to combat the problem.

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From tackling terrorism and climate change to ending poverty and conflict, young people from around the world made their voices heard on the most vital challenges facing their generation during a unique event held today with the 15 members of the Security Council at United Nations Headquarters.

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The United Nations is establishing  a high-level commission charged with developing an accountability framework that will link resources committed to women and children’s health with the results they are intended to achieve.

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