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¡°WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN DEVELOPMENT OF OUTLYING REGIONS¡±
A Recommendation Paper of
The 5th Conference of UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific to
The Annual Ministerial Review of UN ECOSOC, July 2010
April 2, 2010
Xining City, Qinghai Province, China
 
The 5th Conference of UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific themed on ¡°Women Empowerment in Development of Outlying Regions¡± was held in Xining City, Qinghai Province, China on April 2, 2010 under the co-sponsorship of China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) and the NGO Branch of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The Conference was attended by about 50 delegates representing about 30 non-governmental organizations from 10 Asian countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Mr. Sha Zukang, Under Secretary General of the United Nations sent a video message of congratulations to the Conference. Mr. Andrei Abramov, Chief of the NGO Branch of UN DESA attended the Conference and delivered a speech. The participants had extensive discussions on the three sub-themes-¡°Present Situation of Women in the Outlying Regions¡±, ¡°Empowering Women for Economic and Social Development in the Outlying Regions¡± and ¡°Tapping the NGO Resources for Women¡¯s Development in the Outlying Regions¡±.
 
-Considering that ¡°Implementing the Internationally Agreed Goals and Commitments with Regard to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women¡± has been established as the theme for the Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum of ECOSOC 2010;
 
-Recalling the United Nations Millennium Summit held in 2000, the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in the Millennium Declaration, and Goal 3-¡°Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women¡±, in particular;
 
-Acknowledging the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the outlying regions plays a key role in accomplishing Goal 3, and the 8 MDGs in general;
 
-Noting the master set of data in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2009 compiled by an Inter-Agency and Expert Group on MDG Indicators led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, in response to the wishes of the General Assembly for periodic assessment of progress towards the MDGs£»
 
-Affirming the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of the World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995, the outcome of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly on the 5-year Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 10-year Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the 15-year Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action;
 
-Referring to the UN Secretary General¡¯s report¡°Keeping the Promise¡±£¬which serves as the basis for Member States¡¯ deliberations on the outcome document for the Summit to be held in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to boost progress towards the MDGs;
 
-Recalling the documents concluded in the previous 4 annual conferences of UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific held in Beijing under the co-sponsorship of CNIE and the NGO Branch of UN DESA;
 
-Welcoming the efforts made by governments, inter-governmental organizations like the UN, civil society organizations and private sector at international, regional, national and local levels to empower women in terms of political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, educational and other rights, as well as to improve their health care, sanitation, water supply and security conditions, while noting insufficiencies and gaps in some areas and urging governments to redouble their efforts in this regard;
 
-Recognizing that although the Asia-Pacific region has been established as an economic powerhouse and experienced rapid economic growth, inequalities have grown in many countries and women in the outlying regions face most severe challenges of poverty and discrimination, especially in the wake of the recent world financial and economic crises;
 
 
We, participants of the 5th Conference of UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific, would hereby conclude the following recommendations to the Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC 2010:
 
I. Concerted efforts at international, regional, national and local levels should be intensified to guarantee the full and effective implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly;
 
II. Governments should provide sufficient political, financial, institutional and other relevant support to ensure the participation of women on an equal basis with men at all levels of decision-making processes;
 
III. More intensive efforts should be made by the governments, civil society and private sector to ensure full employment and the generation of decent work for women;
 
IV. Partnerships among the governments, civil society and private sector should be enhanced to promote gender equality. The UN-NGO-IRENE/Asia-Pacific, as a network having effectively operated for five years, should be encouraged to strengthen its role as a platform to coordinate and assist both regional and national NGOs to move further toward gender equality and help the implementation of Goal 3 as well as other MDGs.
 
V. Enterprises and corporations should adopt appropriate strategies to promote the rights, welfare of and equal pay for women workers, in particular women workers from the outlying regions with a family living on their remittance;
 
VI. The stereotypical attitudes and behavior toward women and girls should be changed, and men should be encouraged to bear equal responsibilities with women in areas such as domestic and caring work;
 
VII. With public education, vocational education and skill training becoming more accessible and affordable for girls and women in urban areas, girls and women in rural and outlying regions should have equal access to public education, vocational education and skill training at all levels, as well as other public and social services, so as to improve their productivity and abilities for making a living;
 
VIII. Governments should make sufficient investments into physical and social infrastructure, in particular in energy and water resources, to alleviate the burden of unpaid work that typically involves women;
 
IX. All women should have the rights to enjoy high-quality, affordable and accessible health care, education and services, so as to reduce maternal mortality, increase births assisted by skilled attendants, have access to safe and effective family planning and contraceptive methods and reduce the risk of diseases;
 
X. Comprehensive strategies and efforts should be made to eliminate violence against women and girls, to combat all forms of trafficking in women and girls, and to prevent sex-selective abortion. Efforts should also be made to protect women and girls victimized by or living under the threat of violence, to investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of violence, and to engage communities and civil society organizations in eliminating violence against women and girls. Shelter should be provided to them when necessary;
 
XI. Governments should improve conditions of livelihood of women living under conflict situation or being internally displaced;
 
XII. In light of the special difficulties encountered by women in outlying regions in their empowerment of economic and social rights, governments and social organizations at all levels should adopt concrete measures to initiate and support projects dedicated to improving their chances of participation and building their capacities.
 
 
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