Women, children's health forgotten in development: India

13:50, September 23, 2010      

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The world as a whole made substantial gains in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but progress is uneven and short of expectations, most notably in the fields of gender empowerment and children's health, Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said on Wednesday.

Addressing a high-level meeting on the MDGs at the United Nations Headquarters, Krishna said these issues are "forgotten," and that he is happy that UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon set out UN Women, a global strategy on women and children's health.

Krishna pointed out that natural disasters have taken a toll on MDG achievements and that "as a fellow developing country" India has taken a huge toll from such disasters. The country therefore responded duty-bound in solidarity to assist the governments and people in the affected countries to the best of their ability and in keeping with their priorities.

The Indian minister of external affairs was especially concerned about the growing impact of climate change, as the country is "alive" to these challenges, he said.

"We remain committed to mounting appropriate national and regional responses," he said.

A latest report of the UN secretary-general on the MDGs noted that India's efforts on poverty reduction have been a major contributor for reduction in global poverty levels, and that some 188 million people in India would be out of poverty by 2015.

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