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International Development written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Dr Jenny Tonge Dr Jenny Tonge Liberal Democrat, Richmond Park

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her assessment was of the outcomes of the UN Special Session on Children (UNGASS) which took place in New York in May.

Photo of Clare Short Clare Short Secretary of State, Department for International Development

The UNGASS helped to raise the profile of child poverty and child rights issues. It provided an opportunity for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister for Children and Young People and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development to advocate UK views and network with others. But negotiations on the outcomes document were difficult. The outcomes document is good on HIV/AIDS, gender equality and education. But we were not able to secure optimal language on reproductive health and child rights in the face of strong American opposition. The language on reproductive health and child rights is acceptable and the best that could be agreed by all UN member states, but is not as strong as we would ideally have liked.

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