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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS


16 March 2004

SENIOR OFFICIALS ADDRESSING COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS STRESS NEED TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

High-level Government officials speaking before the Commission on Human Rights this morning repeatedly called for more effective efforts to halt violence against women and for an end to related problems such as trafficking in women and cultural practices harmful to women’s health, such as female genital mutilation.

Eight of eleven speakers from Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Estonia, El Salvador, Yemen, Armenia, Canada and Thailand were women as the Commission began the second day of a “high-level segment” scheduled to run through Thursday. Among other topics mentioned were the effects on human rights of terrorism and of efforts to prevent terrorism; evolving forms of slavery; and the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms as a way of preventing conflict.

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Addresses

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LAILA FREIVALDS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, ...

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Sweden also called attention to the human rights situations in Zimbabwe, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Chechnya and Belarus, as well as to the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The shared vision that every human being was equal in dignity and rights made it a duty to speak out and act of behalf of people suffering negative consequences because they had exercised their fundamental freedoms and human rights. ...

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AMAT AL-ALEEM ALSOSWA, Minister for Human Rights of Yemen, said the civilized values of human rights and the noble principles enshrined in all international and national charters and urged by divine religions continued to be violated worldwide, and such violations had reached unprecedented levels since 11 September 2001. In particular, the Palestinian people were victims. Israel’s latest act had been to building an apartheid wall in the West Bank with the express objective of taking lands not belonging to it under the Oslo Accords and of isolating segments of the Palestinian population.

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