Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh (third from left) and Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Việt Nam Tòng Thị Phóng (fourth) view a re-enactment of female officers engaging in demining activities, as part of an exhibition held within the framework of the international conference on 'Strengthening women’s role in building and sustaining peace: from commitments to results' in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the United Nations, opened an international conference on women, peace and security themed 'Strengthening women’s role in building and sustaining peace: from commitments to results' on Monday.
The three-day conference is being held in-person in Hà Nội and via video conference in more than 70 nations.
In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh said women across the world continue to play their role in conflict prevention and settlement and post-conflict reconstruction, participate in building and maintaining peace, and lead in promoting social development and progress.
However, women's lives and dignity are still threatened and many girls are not allowed to go to school as many countries and regions are facing wars, conflicts, poverty and diseases, Minh stated, adding that gender violence remains a problem.
Women face many political, economic and cultural barriers, and lack the necessary support to bring into full play their role. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening progress towards the realisation of sustainable development goals, and depriving resources used for protecting and promoting women’s rights on the globe.
Through the conference, Việt Nam hopes the international community will continue affirming commitments to promoting gender equality, putting forward effective measures and attracting resources to facilitate women’s engagement in building and consolidating peace and security, Minh said.
The Vietnamese diplomat suggested participants discuss the implementation of the global agenda on women, peace and security over the past 20 years and review the implementation of the UN Revolution 1325 on women, peace and security and related resolutions of the UN Security Council.
He said Việt Nam considers promoting gender equality and intensifying women’s role and contributions to peace building important policy priorities both at home and in the international arena, especially at multilateral forums like the UN and ASEAN.
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Việt Nam Tòng Thị Phóng said the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy is to promote the role and great potential of women in nation building and safeguarding, increase their position, and promote gender equality in political, socio-economic and cultural aspects.
In a pre-recorded message sent to the conference, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening women’s interests as well as peace and security, and increasing poverty, inequality and tensions worldwide.
She stressed that the world needs to put women at the centre, and listen to those who are contributing to building peace, including young women.
It is necessary to reduce global military expenses and invest more in gender equality, she said.
“Việt Nam has been a strong advocate for the women, peace and security agenda for over a decade now, working closely with the United Nations especially at the UN Security Council but also by deploying an increased number of female UN Peacekeepers,” Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Việt Nam, said, expressing his strong belief that Việt Nam will remain at the global forefront of the agenda of enhancing women’s role in achieving peace and security. — VNS