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Moldova Faces Serious Challenges, Top UN Rights Official Says

The UN's assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, has expressed concern over what he described as "deep divisions" in Moldova.

Wrapping up a four-day visit to Moldova on March 31, Simonovic said that "ethnic, religious, gender, political, linguistic and income" divisions "have been intensified" in the country "by widespread corruption, including a massive bank fraud scandal, and by long-standing paralysis in governance."

Simonovic also said "Moldova is faced with a problem of brain drain and social exclusion, and it is now losing its human capital."

He, however, welcomed Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip’s commitment to establish new human rights monitoring structures and cooperate with officials of Moldova's ethnic Gagauz autonomous territory and breakaway region of Transdniester on human rights.

Simonovic also praised as a "positive step" a draft law that would require that 40 percent of all lawmakers be women.

Simonovic stressed the United Nations' willingness to remain engaged with developments in Moldova.

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