National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung has re-affirmed Vietnam's long-time policy in promoting gender equality and empowering women, when addressing the 21st Meeting of the Women Parliamentarians at the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Hanoi on March 28.

He stressed that the Constitution and the Law on Gender Equality of Vietnam recognised the rights of equality for both male and female citizens in all areas of society.

Further, the number of women serving in the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) during the last four terms remained at 25 percent, he said, adding that the NA had actively contributed to the gender equality targets in Vietnam, as well as the IPU.

He added that the Vietnamese NA highly appreciated the selection of the meeting's theme, being a review of the 20 years of the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, aimed at achieving greater equality and opportunity for women.

The declaration and platform cover 12 key strategic targets of concern and areas for action, including women and poverty, violence against women and access to power and decision-making, seeking to increase women's power and women's improvements in the world.

"The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action have reflected all women's concerns, as well as pledges towards women," the Chairman said.

"This meeting will be a chance to review the last 20 years of implementation and the role of parliaments in realising those pledges in their countries through institutionalising the nation's laws, creating a supervisory system and assigning tasks."

He added that the women parliamentarians' meeting was more meaningful when contributing to the theme of the IPU-132, which is ‘The sustainable Development Goals: Turning words into action'.

He also said he hoped the meeting would be an opportunity for members to exchange information and develop initiatives and suggestions to create a favourable environment for promoting gender equality in each country, as well as throughout the world.

Additionally, IPU President Saber Chowdhury stressed that the meeting would be an opportunity for women parliamentarians to unite, exchange and improve cooperation.

The meeting is also a tool for women parliamentarians to present their views on parliamentary issues.

Vietnamese National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan was elected chairperson of the meeting.

"The women parliamentarians will be important factors in carrying out the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on gender equality," she said.-VNA