Foreign Affairs Minister on Post-pandemic Recovery Strategy: "Women and Girls are No. 1 Priority"
On November 9, 2021, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne attended an ASEAN-Australia dialogue themed “Women, peace and security: progressing implementation on the road to recovery from COVID-19”.
This was the first event jointly held by the ASEAN and Australia after both sides set up a comprehensive strategic partnership, which drew many senior officials of ASEAN and Australia, ambassadors of ASEAN countries in Hanoi as well as leading experts and scholars in the region and the world.
In addition, the dialogue is one of the highlight events of Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne on her visit to Vietnam to advance the bilateral relationships and strengthen their shared work, committing more cooperation to ASEAN.
Women and girls are No.1 priority on the road to recovery from COVID-19
Foreign Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son. Photo: Dang Cong San
In his opening remarks, Foreign Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son said that promoting the extensive participation of women in regional peace and security is an key discussion topic. The Minister affirmed that this event is important, both to continue the agenda of empowering women, and to encourage and create conditions for partners to cooperate with ASEAN, thereby creating a premise for discussions on the role of women in the region.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minister emphasized that women and girls are the most vulnerable social components but play an important and respectable role on the front lines in the fight against the epidemic. Hence, 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 continue cooperation for women, to support the process of community building, in the comprehensive process of recovery post-pandemic, towards long lasting peace and security in the region.
The Australian Foreign Minister pledged to work with ASEAN to coordinate the implementation of international commitments and the United Nations Resolution on Women, peace and security. She proposes further strengthening the participation of women in international peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, as well as more investment in the protection of women's rights in the community.
ASEAN - Australia relations upgraded
Australia's Foreign Affairs and Women's Minister also shared that cooperation for women is a high priority in Australian policies and the Australian Government will support ASEAN in implementing projects such as digital transformation, high-skill training, institutional capacity building training, gender cooperation programs, etc. For the road to recovery from Covid-19, Australia is willing to invest AU$10 million (US$ 7.1 million), including a recent AU$500,000 addition, and an investment of AU$154 million is part of the Australia Security Partnership to strengthen cooperation for women, peace and security in the region.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne. Photo: Dang Cong San
The delegates discussed strengthening women's leadership and participation in decision-making and increasing women's economic empowerment, making gender equality and women's empowerment an integral part of the world.
It is an important priority in the process of building a Post-2025 Community Vision, promoting the role of women amidst Covid-19, along with efforts to respond to other major challenges around the world such as armed conflict, violent extremism, climate change, poverty, social inequality.
Delegates agreed that it is necessary to promote mechanisms led by ASEAN and take advantage of the support of international partners and organizations to promote the initiatives in this field in 2020.
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.
The delegates at the event with online participants. Photo: Dang Cong San
Foreign Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son thanked the Government of Australia for accompanying Vietnam in its pandemic fight as well as in the road to recovery. In addition, he expected Australia continue assisting the country's health sector, climate response, and manpower training.