Vietnam’s proposal to strengthen women’s empowerment receive enthusiastic response

Vietnam’s proposal “Hanoi Action Commitment” detailing activities to strengthen women’s participation in peace progress and women’s empowerment in various sectors receive enthusiastic response from 11 nations, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung delivered a speech at the closing ceremony. Photo: Tuan Anh

International delegates lauded Vietnam’s contributions to affirming women’s roles in building and sustaining peace while attending the International Conference on Women, Peace and Security held by the Foreign Ministry in partnership with the United Nations on December 7-9.

United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlombo-Ngcuka spoke highly of Vietnam’s contributions to promoting the adoption of UN Security Council’s Resolution 1889 on women’s role in post conflicts when the country played the role of a non-permanent member of the UNSC during 2008-2009.

Meanwhile, UN Resident Coordinator for Vietnam Kamal Malhotra said that the conference is a wonderful opportunity for countries to enhance their commitments to improve the roles of women.

He also appreciated Vietnam’s strong support for the UN’s agenda on women, peace and security, expressing his belief that the country will keep its leading role in the agenda.

The Plenary session 1 'Women in Peacebuilding: Progress since the adoption of Resolution 1325 and Women's leadership in the future' was moderated by Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, together with the participation of leaders and experts from member states and CSOs. Panelists shared their perspectives and recommendations highlighting the existing gaps between commitments and actions calling for meaningful translation of UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans into tangible implementation for the promotion of women’s leadership in peacebuilding, post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

The delegates kicked off Day 2 with a Breakout Sessions diving in detail on WPS agenda – women’s representation, women’s economic empowerment, financing, and trends and emerging needs to realize WPS from commitments to actions.

The Plenary Session 2 "Designing and implementing National Action Plans: Successes & Challenges from Selected countries” shared experiences at regional and country level reviewing what needs to be done for meaningful implementation of UNSCR1325 National Action Plans.

The Plenary Session 3 on "The Future of Women in Peacekeeping" invited women peacekeepers from Vietnam, Norway, Ghana, Australia as well as speakers from the UN, Member States and the academia to stress ways to increase women's participation and leadership in UN peacekeeping.

First Lieutenant Sa Minh Ngoc, first Vietnamese female peacekeeper shared her experiences with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Photo: Nguyen Minh Duc

In the session, First Lieutenant Sa Minh Ngoc, first Vietnamese female peacekeeper shared her experiences with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). "Even though the number of female peacekeepers is increasing and we have a lot of female in leadership. But the virtual and invisible obstacles are still there to challenge us. I think each and everyone of us here today can do our part by setting examples, best practices to create more role models and continue to inspire women and girls all over the world, to know that the future is in our hand and together, we stand."

The session was moderated by Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, President of Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, former Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations in New York.

On the final day of the Conference, the delegates have discussed their visions for the coming 10-20 years based on the trends and remaining challenges to increase women's meaningful, inclusive participation and representation in peacebuilding, peacemaking and peacekeeping for the acceleration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

At the closing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Hoai Trung said the conference affirmed determination of member states to realise the four pillars set in UN’s agenda on women, peace and security, including ensuring women’s full and equal participation in decision making, integrating gender perspective into women’s participation in settling the roots of conflicts, promoting women and girl children’s rights, and enhancing women’s roles in post-conflict relief and rescue work.

A wide range of initiatives and recommendations were raised at the conference, Trung said, adding Vietnam’s proposal “Hanoi Action Commitment” detailing activities to strengthen women’s participation in peace progress and women’s empowerment in various sectors receive enthusiastic response from 11 nations, namely Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Malaysia, Laos, New Zealand, Norway, the UK, Sweden, Germany and Myanmar.

The document will be introduced to other UN members in the time ahead before being sent to the President of the UN General Assembly and the UNSC, he added.

Successful organisation of the conference is significant since it reiterated Vietnam’s consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism, diversification and international integration, and that Vietnam is a trustworthy and responsible member in the international community, he stressed.

The conference, alongside with Vietnam’s contribution in the role as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UNSC during 2020-2021, continued to affirm the Vietnamese Party and State’s policies to promote gender equality and improve women’s position.

Minh Duc