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Friday, November 21, 2014, Agrahayan 7, 1421, Muharram 27, 1436 Hijr

Bangkok Ministerial Declaration Adopted
Gender equality in Asia-Pacific still below desired level
Banani Mallick
Publish Date : 2014-11-21,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 17
A five-day regional conference that dealt with a host of issues concerning women and climate in the Asia-Pacific countries concluded in Bangkok on Thursday.
The "Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing +20 review," was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with UN Women.
The conference made a ministerial declaration which observed that the present status of the Asia-Pacific countries regarding gender equality, eliminating violence against women and girls, empowering women financially and ensuring women's political participation was yet to reach the desired level, according to a message received in Dhaka from the relevant sources.
It committed to accelerate actions on achieving gender equality and women's empowerment across the region.   The Asia-Pacific Conference was held in advance of the historic and global commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which will take place next year in New York.
During its 59th session, the Commission on the Status of Women will review the progress and remaining challenges in realizing gender equality and women's empowerment across the globe.
The  59th  session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at  United  Nations  Headquarters  in  New  York  from  9 to 20 March 2015. Representatives   of member- states, UN entities and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental  organisations  (NGOs)  from all regions of the world will attend the session.
Sohel Rana, one of the officials of UN Women in Bangladesh, told this correspondent on phone that over 700 ministers, policy makers and civil society representatives from across the region gathered at the conference.
About the outcome of the conference he said, "This action-oriented document will help us consolidate our achievements, identify the gaps and priorities, and tackle these through stronger institutions and partnerships, with greater accountability, gender equality and women's empowerment in Asia and the Pacific.
He said that addressing emerging environmental challenges and advancing peace and security for women and girls were some of the issues addressed in the conference.
Representing a strong and united regional   voice,   leaders  from  more  than  40  countries  committed  to reinforce   their   efforts   to   eliminate  gender  discrimination  and inequality as a matter of human rights and for the development and prosperity of the region, he said.
The conference delegates applauded gains in advancing the status of women and girls in Asia and Pacific, but challenges remain.
Accelerated actions are needed for all women and girls to be able to fully and freely exercise their fundamental human rights, and to exercise choice and taking advantage of opportunities.
In closing remarks, Roberta Clarke, Regional Director of UN Women Asia and the Pacific and Representative in Thailand emphasized, "This Beijing review therefore must be connected to the other ongoing development discourses on post-2015 and the sustainable development goals which culminate in September 2015."
Montira Narkvichien, Regional Communications Specialist, UN Women, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific corresponding over mail inform that  with adoption of the "Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on  Advancing  Gender  Equality  and Women's Empowerment", governments from across   the  region  have  pledged  to  strengthen  institutions,  enhance accountability, increase resources, forge stronger partnerships and support regional  cooperation  in  order  to  advance  gender  equality and women's empowerment.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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