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UNITED NATIONS, May 15. /TASS/. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a message on the occasion of the International Day of Families where he called on the governments of all countries to take efforts to create conditions for healthy families where their no room for violence and discrimination and to adopt family planning programs.
"Governments must support the crucial role of families in all their diverse forms. They should provide access to reproductive health services so that parents can decide on the timing and size of their families. Maternal healthcare and paternal leave are also vital to enable parents to give their newborns the best possible start in life," the message says.
He called on governments and employers to "recognize that caregiving is an essential part of family life. Everyone needs care from family members at some point in their lives - and all should be able to provide that care when the need arises."
"Promoting supportive family environments and positive parenting through policies and laws can help families raise healthy, happy children who can grow into valued, productive adults," the document says.
The International Day of Families marked on May 15 was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994. This year, according to Ban Ki-moon, the day "falls at a time of upheaval and tragedy for families around the world."
"The rise of violent extremism, the effects of forced displacement, extreme weather events and other challenges are taking a heavy toll on the health and integrity of families in crisis situations. Even in relatively stable societies, families still struggle with violence, discrimination and poverty," the United Nations Secretary General said. He also drew attention to the importance of taking care of older people "who stay active and healthy when their contributions are appreciated in the family and community.".