The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commits to working closely with the international community to safeguard the rights and promote the role of women, said Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Vietnamese Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Nga delivered a speech on behalf of the ten ASEAN member states at the Open Debate of the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Women, Peace and Security in New York, on October 28.

She reaffirmed the bloc’s backing for the world’s joint efforts to enhance the involvement of women in peace and security issues.

ASEAN praises the progress made during the implementation of Resolution 1325 on women’s peace and security approved by the UNSC in 2000, and agrees that the international community should deal with the conditions that give rise to conflicts by promoting political reconciliation, and speeding up socio-economic development and poverty eradication, she stated.

The diplomat also stressed the need to enhance women’s participation in peace and security matters, especially at decision-making levels, and to mainstream gender-sensitive approaches in promoting inclusive and effective responses to conflicts, displacement and other humanitarian emergencies.

“ASEAN is deeply concerned with the increasing number of refugees,” she said, adding that the bloc “welcomes the initiative to focus on the issue of women and girls as refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs)”.

She cited the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ statistics that in 2013, 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced, a staggering 6 million more than the number a year before.

At the meeting session, UNSC member states approved the Presidential Statement which reaffirms the international community’s determination to remove inherent barriers in gender equality and calls on the states to exert efforts to promote the empowerment for women in order to ensure their participation in peace and security issues is equal and adequate.-VNA