Statement by H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on the Advancement of Women
Mr. Le Luong Minh, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Third Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement on the Advancement of Women
On behalf of the Delegation of Viet Nam, I would like to thank the Government and people of Qatar for hosting and making excellent arrangements for our Meeting. I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman and members of the Bureau on your election, and assure you of the full support of the Delegation of Viet Nam in the discharge of your responsibilities. I thank Egypt, Chair of the Non-aligned Movement, for its able coordination of the Movement’s activities.
Over the past three years, Non-aligned countries have achieved substantial progress in the implementation of the Guatemala Declaration and Plan of Action, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals through numerous initiatives and actions undertaken at national, regional and international levels, including through South - South cooperation, to realize our commitments to full gender equality and empowerment of women. More women and girls are now better protected from violence and discrimination and can enjoy better and more equal access to education, healthcare and employment. More women are empowered economically, socially and politically, holding decision-making positions in Governments, businesses and different organizations. We welcome the establishment of UN WOMEN, which is spearheading efforts towards more gender-balanced societies.
At the same time, Madam Chair, since the Guatemala Conference, dramatic changes around the world have been creating difficulties to members of the Movement in the implementation of development goals as well as the advancement of women. Instability, conflicts and wars continue to engulf many countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The severe impacts of the global economic and financial crisis are aggravated by natural disasters, epidemics, climate change, food and energy insecurity. Inequality in international relations, including in the economic, trade and financial fields is being further exposed.
These multiple challenges are posing serious threats to the life and livelihood of millions. Women and girls continue to be among the most vulnerable. Progress in gender equality and advancement of women has been uneven as women are still the victims of conflicts, poverty, hunger, unemployment and discrimination in many parts of the world.
Viet Nam therefore welcomes the adoption at this Conference of the Doha Declaration and Plan of Action which reflects our renewed determination to address emerging challenges so as to further promote the role of women in the pursuit of sustainable development, prosperity and happiness in our societies. Member States should now translate these commitments into their own actions, at national, regional and global levels. NAM must continue to work globally for the maintenance of peace, security and stability, for a fairer international economic order, as these are the essential prerequisite for development and the advancement of women. In this process, women themselves can and must play an essential role.
Viet Nam is strongly committed to women’s protection and advancement. Over recent years, we have continued to take steps to promote gender equality and empowerment of women. The legal framework continues to be strengthened and more opportunities are being created for Vietnamese women to participate in and contribute to the economic, social and political life of the country. In the face of recent economic difficulties, the Government of Viet Nam has taken decisive measures to ensure social protection for all, with particular focus on vulnerable groups like women and girls. The gender gap in education has been significantly narrowed. Equality in employment and income has seen marked progress. Up to 78% of women engage in economic activities. A growing number of women hold managerial responsibilities in the Government and elected bodies, the business sector as well as political, social and professional organizations. Almost 25% of the deputies to the current National Assembly are women, and for over two decades now the position of Vice President of the State has always been held by a woman.
At regional level, the past three years have been encouraging for women in our region. In 2010, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprising of 10 Southeast Asian countries adopted the Hanoi Declaration on Enhancement of Welfare and Development of ASEAN Women and Children, and established the ASEAN Commission on protection and promotion of the rights of women and children. As Chair of ASEAN in 2010, Viet Nam actively contributed to this regional effort. We are convinced that regional and international cooperation, including mutual assistance, experience-sharing practices among NAM member countries is important to the success of each country’s efforts to promote the advancement of women which requires increasing domestic and international resources.
The world is undergoing a challenging time when a gap between current reality and our vision remains. We must work together to grasp opportunities and rise above challenges to maintain peace, promote sustainable development and ensure that the fruits of development can be enjoyed by all, especially women and girls. Viet Nam pledges its support for and will contribute to these joint endeavours.
I thank you./.
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