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State of World Population Launched

The State of World Population 2010 report which has the theme "From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change" was officially launched today in Ethiopia at an event organized here in Addis Ababa.

The theme of the report was chosen to mark the 10 year anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council. This resolution was adopted to raise awareness of the unique and grave issues faced by women and girls in situations of armed conflict and also to provide them with a legitimate basis to demand action from their governments and the international community. The report reflects on societies still caught up in or emerging from conflict describing how conflict has affected girls and boys and how the youth are, in some instances, central to post-conflict recovery processes.

Delivering an opening remark on the occasion Resident Coordinator of the UN Country Team in Ethiopia, Mr. Eugene Owusu, noted that conflicts exacerbate violence against women and increase the incidence of it. He added that culturally-based discrimination against women, girls, minorities and those with disabilities may be intensified during wartime, and even the most serious violations may go unchecked. "The tenth anniversary of resolution 1325 presents an opportunity for renewed and strengthened commitment and action on women, peace and security issues," Mr. Owusu indicated underlining that progress towards full and effective implementation of resolution 1325 can only be achieved through women's empowerment. Women must be an integral part of decision-making at all stages of conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building, and justice and security sector reform must be sensitive to the needs of women.

On his part Mr. Ibrahim Sambuli, Deputy Representative of UNFPA Country Office, said that "conflict and disaster can worsen inequalities between men and women but recovery from conflict and disaster also presents a unique opportunity-an opportunity to rectify inequalities, ensure equal protection under the law, and create space for positive change" quoting UNFPA Executive Director's message.

This year's State of World Population drew attention to the devastating and unacceptable sexual violence in countries affected by conflict. The report calls for urgent and concerted action to protect women, prevent sexual violence, stop impunity and bring justice. The report makes the case for replacing the vicious cycle of crisis and underdevelopment with a virtuous cycle of peace, justice and stability.