ASEAN, Australia organize second dialogue on women, peace and security

Promoting the wide participation of women in peace and security in the region was important and has been often put on the agenda for discussions among ASEAN members, said Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn while addressing the opening of the second ASEAN-Australia Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security via teleconference in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son speaks at the econd ASEAN-Australia Women, Peace and Security Dialogue on progressing implementation on the road to recovery from COVID-19, Ha Noi, November 9, 2021

The event, entitled "Women, peace and security: progressing implementation on the road to recovery from COVID-19", was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Việt Nam and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sơn said in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, women and girls were the most vulnerable but played an important role in the fight against the pandemic. Women and girls needed to be considered as a centre of efforts in response to crises and post-crisis recovery.

He proposed participants at the meeting discuss practical measures to maintain cooperation on women and on COVID-19 prevention and control and recovery, towards long-term peace and security in the region.

Participants to the dialogue.

Opening the meeting, visiting Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Australia was committed to coordinate with ASEAN to promote the implementation of international commitments and the United Nations Resolution about women, peace and security, to promote the participation of women in international peacekeeping operations and humanitarian activities and to protect human rights in the community.

She said cooperation on women was one of the high priorities of Australia’s policies. The Australian Government would support ASEAN in implementing projects such as digital transformation, vocational training and cooperation programmes relating to gender as well as promote projects about women, peace and security, she said.

At the dialogue, delegates discussed measures to improve the leadership role and voice of women in decision making, enhance economic power for women and bring gender equality and women empowerment to become one of the key priorities in the construction process of the ASEAN Community after 2025.

They also discussed ways to promote the role of women in COVID-19 recovery in parallel with the common efforts of the humankind in response to major challenges such as armed conflicts, climate change, poverty and social inequality.

The ASEAN-Australia Dialogue on women, peace and security was first held in 2018, becoming one of the important joint activities of both sides in the field./.