ASEAN commits to promoting gender equality, protecting women’s right

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commits to ensuring gender equality and protecting women’s right, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, head of the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the United Nations, has said on behalf of the regional bloc.
Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, head of the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the United Nations. (Photo: VNA)
Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, head of the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the United Nations. (Photo: VNA)

Speaking on behalf of ASEAN at the UN Security Council (UNSC)’s open debate on women, peace and security, titled “women’s participation in international peace and security: from theory to practice”, on October 25, Ambassador Giang said that the association considers the implementation of the UNSC’s agenda on women, peace and security (Resolution 1325) an important part in guaranteeing sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.

He emphassised that the UNSC’s Resolution 1325 together with relevant resolutions provides an important basis for the agenda, helping ensure women’s full and active engagement in global efforts to maintain sustainable peace and security, pointing out that women, however, continue to face gender discrimination and be prevented from taking part in peace and decision-making processes, while continuing to be the victims of violence and conflict.

In a bid to handle the challenges, Giang said that stakeholders should make strong commitments to carrying out the agenda and invest appropriate resources in those efforts so that women are able to promote their role. Women are not merely statistics in conflict data, women are the catalyst of changes and architects of peace and reconciliation, he said.

The diplomat went on to say that since ASEAN adopted a joint statement on promoting the UNSC’s agenda on women, peace and security in 2017, the bloc has attained an array of achievements in the field.

The ASEAN member states have taken concrete steps across the spectrum of peace and security at the national level, including mobilising female officers to join the UN’s peacekeeping activities, issuing policies and regulations on prevention of violence against women and girls in conflict-related situations, he said, affirming ASEAN will continue joining hands with the UN and its partners in implementing the agenda on women, peace and security to create meaningful changes both in policies and practice.

On the sidelines of the open debate, Giang had a meeting with Canadian Ambassador for women, peace and security Jacquelines O’Neil, during which both sides discussed measures to bolster coordination, cooperation and support for each other to carry out the UNSC’s agenda at national, regional and global levels.

Adopted on October 31, 2000, the UNSC’s Resolution 1325 reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

The resolution urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all UN peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict. The resolution provides a number of important operational mandates, with implications for Member States and the entities of the UN system.

Vietnam has made practical contributions to promoting women’s role in global and regional peace and security while it served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in the 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 terms.