1st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women

YB Pehin Hazair, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports delivering his statement during the 1st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women held on 19th October 2012 at Don Chan Palace Hotel, Vientiane, Lao PDR
The first ever ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women was held on 19th October 2012 in Vientiane, Laos. With the exception of Malaysia, all the other ASEAN member states were represented by the Minister or Deputy Minister responsible for women affairs in their respective countries. Malaysia's current Minister is actually the Prime Minister, so it was not as easy for him to attend the meeting.

The Brunei Delegation for the 1st AMMW was led by YB Pehin Dato Hazair Abdullah, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. The "Vientiane Declaration on Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women's Partnership for Environmental Sustainability" was issued by the Ministers after the meeting.

The 1st AMMW was preceeded by meetings at Senior Officials Level - the 11th ASEAN Committee on Women and the 4th ACW+3 Meetings. The Brunei Delegation for these meetings from 16th to 18th October was Haji Mohd Rozan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

The official media statement of the 1st AMMW with the theme “Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women’s Partnership for Environmental Sustainability” is as follows:

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19 OCTOBER 2012, VIENTIANE, LAO PDR

1.    We, the Ministers/Heads of Delegations of ASEAN Member States, convened the First ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW) on 19 October 2012 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, which carried the theme “Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women’s Partnership for Environmental Sustainability”. The Meeting was convened following the ASEAN Leaders’ approval on the establishment of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women at the 19th ASEAN Summit held on 17 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. The AMMW was established to furtherstrengthen ASEAN cooperation on women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming.

2.    We shared information and exchanged views on the policies, strategies, practices, achievements and experiences of ASEAN Member States as well as the challenges encountered in mainstreaming gender perspective and strengthening women’s knowledge, skills and participation in policies, programmes and strategies to sustain the environment and build a disaster-resilient region.

3.    We adopted the Vientiane Declaration on Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women’s Partnership for Environmental Sustainability. We tasked the ASEAN Committee onWomen (ACW) to effectively implement the commitment reflected in the Vientiane Declaration and monitor its progress in collaboration and coordination with other relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies.

4.    We acknowledged the progress of work of the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) in implementing the planned projects and activities under its Work Plan for 2011-2015. We noted with satisfaction the completion of several regional activities in 2012, notably the ASEAN Multi-sectoral Workshop on MDGs: Acceleration Strategies and Priorities Beyond 2015 which was held on 30-31 July 2012 in Yangon, Myanmar; the Workshop on Strengthening National Capacities to Collect Violence Against Women (VAW) Statistics in the ASEAN Region which was convened on 6-9 August 2012 in Jakarta, Indonesia; Regional Workshop on the Promotion of Female Entrepreneurs to be Leader of Local Wisdom Products and Business under the Skill Development Promotion for the Advancement of Women (2010-2012) which was convened on 29-31 August 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand; and the Consultative Meeting on HIV and Key Affected Women and Girls: Reducing Intimate Partner Transmission of HIV within ASEAN which was convened on 24-25 September 2012 in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR.

5.    We acknowledged the development of key indicators by the ACW to monitor the achievements of goals and targets concerning gender equality and women’s advancement in the ASCC Blueprint towards the ASEAN Community that is socially responsible and people-oriented by 2015. We supported the effort of the ACW to collect data against the agreed key indicators for the first report of the ASCC Scorecard by the end of 2012.

6.    We commended the efforts of the ACW through various initiatives towards the integration of gender perspective and analysis in the work programmes and commitments of ASEAN across the political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars. For this purpose, a consultation has been convened between the ACW and ASEAN Task Force on AIDS on 26 September 2012 in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, to identify joint actions to prevent and curb HIV transmission among key affected women and girls in the region. We tasked the ACW to continue its consultations, coordination and cooperation with other ASEAN sectoral bodies.

7.    We welcomed the adoption of the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’Network by the ACW aiming at improving the capacity of ASEAN women entrepreneurs and boosting their development and networking. We noted with appreciation that Viet Nam would be the Network’s coordinator for the first two years of its work. We tasked the ACW to nominate the initial members of the Network from national women entrepreneurs’ associations and/or micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, associations, clubs and/or other economic entities owned or managed by women in all economic sectors, as well as organisations participating in promoting business skills and opportunities of women entrepreneurs in ASEAN Member States.

8.    We noted the convening of the 4th Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Committee on Women (ACW+3) on 18 October 2012 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, which, among others, reviewed theimplementation of completed projects as well as status of on-going and planned projects for implementation in the period of 2012-2015. We further noted that the 5th ACW+3 Meeting would be hosted by Malaysia in 2013.

9.    At the Informal Session, we exchanged views with the Ministers/Heads of Delegations of the Plus Three Countries on ways to strengthen the cooperation for gender equality and women’s advancement in the region through the existing mechanisms of the ASEAN Plus Three Countries and East Asia Countries. We expressed our sincere appreciation to the continued support and cooperation of the Plus Three Countries in promoting gender equality and women’s advancement in ASEAN.

10. We applauded the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) for the finalisation of its Work Plan 2012-2016 and Rules of Procedure. We exchanged views with the ACWC Chair and Vice-Chair and agreed to continue the coordination and collaboration with one another in empowering women as well as promoting gender equality, social justice, well-being and rights of women in the region.

11. We appreciated the Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls for its support to ASEAN and interest to cooperate with the AMMW in empowering and promoting substantive participation of women and girls in the region.

12. We also appreciated the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Assistant Director for its support to the work of the AMMW. We agreed to continue the cooperation in fostering gender responsiveness of policies, programmes and strategies of ASEAN Member States to accelerate the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and ASEAN’s development agenda beyond 2015.

13. We thanked the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, particularly the Lao Women’s Union, for their warm and generous hospitality accorded to us and our respective delegations and the excellent arrangements of the Meeting.

14. We welcomed the generous offer of the Philippines to host the Second AMMW in 2015.

15. The First AMMW was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN solidarity and cordiality.

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