Women Should Be at Center of Every Recovery, Development Effort

On November 9, 2021, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Australian Foreign Minister cum Minister for Women Marise Payne attended and delivered the opening speech of the ASEAN-Australia Dialogue on "Women, Peace and Security - Progressing implementation on the road to recovery from COVID-19” co-organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As the first event jointly organized by ASEAN and Australia after the two sides established the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, many senior officials of ASEAN and Australia, representatives of ASEAN agencies, and Ambassadors of ASEAN countries at the meeting, together with leading experts and scholars in the region attended the event.

In his opening remarks, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that promoting the extensive participation of women in regional peace and security was an important and widely discussed topic in ASEAN. The Minister affirmed that this event was important, both to continue the agenda of empowering women, initiated by Vietnam in 2020, and to encourage and create conditions for partners to participate deeper into ASEAN cooperation, thereby creating a premise for discussions on the role of women to be promoted in the region.

Women Should Be at Center of Every Recovery, Development Effort: Vice President
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son speaks at the ASEAN-Australia Dialogue on "Women, Peace and Security: Progressing implementation on the road to recovery from COVID-19". Photo: TG&VN

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister emphasized that women and girls were the most vulnerable in the crisis, but played an important and respectable role on the front lines of the fight against the epidemic. On that basis, women and girls need to be at the center of crisis response and post-epidemic recovery efforts.

The Minister proposed the workshop to exchange practical measures to maintain the momentum of cooperation on women, effectively support the process of community building, control and recovery after the epidemic, towards lasting peace and security comprehensive in the region.

Sharing about global and regional efforts, the Australian Foreign Minister pledged to work with ASEAN to coordinate in promoting the implementation of international commitments and the United Nations Resolution on Women, peace and security, further strengthen the participation of women in international peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, further investment in the protection of women's rights in the community.

Australia's Foreign Affairs and Women's Minister said cooperation on women was a high priority in Australian policy. Marise Payne announced that the Australian Government would support ASEAN in implementing projects such as digital transformation, high-skill training, institutional capacity building training, gender cooperation programs, and promotion of projects on women, peace and security..., earmarked A$10 million, including a recent A$500,000 addition, and an investment of $154 million Australia is part of the Australia Security Partnership to strengthen cooperation on women, peace and security in the region.

Women Should Be at Center of Every Recovery, Development Effort: Vice President
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Women's Minister Marise Payne spoke at the dialogue.

Highlighting Vietnamese women’s significant role and major contributions to the country throughout history, she noted women are accounting for 30.26 percent of deputies to the country’s incumbent National Assembly (the highest percentage over the last 45 years), 50 percent of the key positions in ministries and ministry-level agencies, and 26.5 percent of the business owners (ranking sixth in the world in terms of the rate of women entrepreneurs). They have also been actively engaging in the COVID-19 combat, especially in the frontline.

Promoting gender equality and women empowerment is a consistent policy and also one of the top priorities of Vietnam in regional and international cooperation frameworks, the Vice President affirmed.

Delegates agreed that it was necessary to promote mechanisms led by ASEAN and took advantage of the support of international partners and organizations to promote the results achieved in the past time, especially initiatives in this field in 2020.

Women Should Be at Center of Every Recovery, Development Effort: Vice President
Delegates took a commemorative photo.

The ASEAN-Australia Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security, held for the first time since 2018, is one of the important joint activities of ASEAN and Australia in the fields of women, peace and security.

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