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UN chief commends vibrancy of India’s democracy

BAN KI MOON

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has commended the vibrancy of India’s democracy and emphasised the “important role” played by the country’s parliament in protecting women’s rights and enhancing gender equality during a meeting with Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan here.

The Secretary-General on Monday met Mahajan and deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha Pallath Joseph Kurien.

“The Secretary-General emphasised the important role played by the Indian parliament in protecting women’s rights and enhancing gender equality, including combatting violence against women,” according to a readout of the meeting released by Ban’s office.

He commended the vibrancy of India’s democracy and discussed the priority areas of the UN for this year, including reaching a meaningful and binding agreement on climate change and adopting a new sustainable development agenda, it added.

Mahajan is here to participate in the Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.

On the weekend, she had also addressed a closed door gathering at the Tenth Meeting of Women Speakers of Parliament, which focussed on the theme of ‘Innovating For Gender Equality: Making development, peace and democracy a reality for women and men’ organised by the Inter- Parliamentary Union.

In the meeting of women speakers on August 30, Mahajan spoke on ‘Development: Innovating for Financing for Gender Equality’.

She stressed that the Women Speakers of Parliament should ensure that more and more women become participative in parliamentary committees and are appointed in a large number to positions of effective leadership in parliamentary structures.

She also called for allocation of more time in the House to have debates on gender equality, according to a release from her office.