Women, led by Yoo Soon-taek, wife of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and actresses Susan Sarandon and Monique Coleman, march outside the U.N. general assembly building to mark International Women's Day. Photo by: Mark Garten / U.N.In a historic move, 131 U.N. member states have joined hands with cross-sector groups to thwart violence against all women and girls.

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses youth event at the Fifth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, in Vienna, Austria. Photo: UNIS Vienna26 February 2013 – The world’s youth must take the helm in steering the international community through its turbulent period of economic and political transition and towards a more “prosperous, equitable and peaceful future,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged today, adding that the United Nations was increasing its focus on global youth action to support this cause.

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DUBLIN, Feb 19 (IPS) - There is no city or country in the world where women and girls live free of the fear of violence. No leader can claim: This is not happening in my backyard.

In 2012, two high-profile cases ignited public outrage in their nations, which spread around the world: the shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl and girls’ education activist Malala, and the gang-rape on a bus and tragic death of a 23-year-old student in New Delhi. In every region around the world, countless other cases occurred that did not make global headlines.

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Preliminary results from a global survey asking people to choose the most important issues for a better world reveals education is at the very top of the list. While the survey’s online response to date has been dominated by respondents from high Human Development Index (HDI) countries, people from over 183 countries – including both low and medium HDI countries – ranked “a good education” as the highest priority, above other issues such as better healthcare, access to clean water and sanitation or better job opportunities. A summary of the findings was presented to the U.N. secretary-general’s High Level Panel last month during their meeting in Monrovia, Liberia. This global My World survey is ongoing, and a second summary of the results will be presented at the next High Level Panel meeting in Bali at the end of March. Ultimately the results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda.

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