Bangladesh's Fazilatunnesa Indira, state minister of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, voted in favour of the declaration
The Asia-Pacific Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+25 Review, has been adopted on the closing day of the three-day ministerial conference in Bangkok.
Ministers and high-level officials from 45 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Bangladesh, have committed to intensify priority action towards women’s rights and fundamental freedom to establish gender equality with the declaration yesterday.
Bangladesh's Fazilatunnesa Indira, state minister of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, voted in favour of the declaration.
The ministerial conference was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific this week in Bangkok, Thailand.
A total of 37 member states voted "Yes" to adopt the declaration. However, the delegate representing US voted "No."
Anita Bhatia, United Nations assistant secretary general and deputy executive director of UN Women said:"The significance of this region which holds 60% of the world's population in adopting the declaration, articulating clear and strategic action to advance the agenda, cannot be overstated.
"This [the agreement] sets out the key priorities based on national review outcomes to be undertaken in line with the normative commitments towards accelerating the realization of an equal future for all women and men."
The declaration notes several emerging megatrends slowing the progress of gender equality and women's empowerment in the Asia-Pacific region which include issues such as climate change, intensifying disaster risks, online harassment, and increasing acts of violence and extremism against females.
Echoing the same, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, said: "I am delighted that member states from across Asia-Pacific have agreed on an ambitious forward-looking declaration which strengthens the region’s commitment to action on gender equality and women's empowerment."
This declaration mandates Escap, in collaboration with other UN agencies, to support relevant national institutions in monitoring and implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action +25 commitments globally and also serve as the regional input to the 64th commission on the status of women which will be held in New York next year.
Mereseini Vuniwaqa, minister of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Fiji, who was elected as chair of the conference, during the closing remarks of the event said: "We are a diverse region based on our geography, cultures, and religions...but it is our commonality that has won today. That commonality is our unquestionable commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and all that it stands for, to gender equality and the empowerment of women across the globe."