The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners vowed to invest in women’s participation and leadership in preventing conflicts and sustaining peace at the conclusion of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security Summit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
In a joint statement, ASEAN and its partners said that the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security cannot be delayed because growth and prosperity are impossible without the participation of women and vulnerable groups.
“The women, peace and security agenda is central to Indonesian domestic and foreign policies as well as to coordinated efforts to maintain peace and prosperity in the region,” Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati, Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection of Indonesia which chairs ASEAN this year, said.
“2023 is monumental as the first year for the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security . The region has a lot to share and demonstrate [in terms of] the increasing relevance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the 21st century, given the changing landscape of peace and security and emerging non-traditional threats,” Jamshed Kazi, Representative of UN Women Indonesia and Liaison to ASEAN, added.
Deputy Chief of Mission Kate Rebholz of US Mission to ASEAN noted that the Women, Peace and Security action plan outlines the critical steps necessary to address the unique challenges faced by women in conflict-affected areas.
“In order to be successful in its implementation, we have to work together and consolidate our partnerships. Investing in women’s empowerment, gender equality, and peacebuilding is not only a moral imperative, but also a smart investment in the future stability and prosperity of the ASEAN region,” Rebholz pointed out.
Will Nankervis, Australia’s Ambassador to ASEAN said supporting gender equality and inclusive policies and programs forms a core component of the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“To address our shared security challenges, we must support the full and equal participation and leadership of women and girls in the security sector, military contingents, peacekeeping forces, and peacemaking. We need the capabilities, insights, strength and transformative leadership of diverse women and girls to attain and sustain peace,” Nankervis added.
Likewise, Canada’s Ambassador to ASEAN Vicky Singmin also said that her country stands ready to support ASEAN-led efforts to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda across the region.
“Canada is delighted to see the remarkable progress and expansion of partnerships that have helped to ensure strong momentum to advance WPS within the ASEAN region and beyond,” Singmin said.
Sarah Tiffin, UK Ambassador to ASEAN, said the promotion of women’s role in peace and security is a core pillar of her country’s partnership with ASEAN.
“Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes and mediation is vital. Promoting Women, Peace and Security is a core pillar of the ASEAN-UK partnership and we are proud to be working with UN Women and the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation to effect real progress on this issue,” Tiffin said.
“Our commitments today will support ASEAN member states as they build Women, Peace and Security into their policies, and support civil society to empower women in peace and security decision-making. As our Gender Envoy reiterated in her video recording for the event, we are committed to putting women and girls, in all their diversity, at the heart of everything we do and to standing up and speaking out for women’s and girls’ rights and freedoms,” she added.
During the same summit, government representatives, gender experts, diplomats and members of civil society and international organizations also discussed the importance of integrating gender lens into the peace and security context of ASEAN to respond to emerging challenges such as climate-related security issues, disaster, cybersecurity, and violent extremism.
The Summit was hosted by the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, and funded by the Governments of Australia, Canada, Republic of Korea, and United Kingdom, UN Women, United States Agency for International Development.
Source : GMA News Online