on behalf of members of ASEAN
at the 57th Session of
The Commission on the Status of Women
New York, 4-15 March 2013
H.E. Mrs. Linda Amalia Sari
Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection
of the Republic of Indonesia
under agenda item 3
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
ASEAN aligns itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Fiji on behalf of theG77 and China.
At the outset,I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for your excellent stewardship of the Commission for the past year. Let me also assure you of ASEAN’s support for the work of the Bureau under your leadership to bring this session of the CSW to a successful conclusion.
ASEAN highly appreciates the consultations that have been conducted in preparation forthe 57th session of the CSW, includingthe UN Women Stakeholders’Forum in December 2012 and the Asia-Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting held in Bangkok, on 5 and6 February 2013. We believe that such meetings are usefulin order to deepen the discussion pertainingtothe issue of violence against women, and derive maximum benefit from thedifficultlessonslearnedsince the last session of the CSW.
For us, the priority theme“The Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”isnot only timely, but also important. Despite the achievementsand progressmade in our advocacy for women’s rights, violence against women and girls continues to occur inside the privacy of homes as well as in public spaces all over the world on a daily basis..
Against thisbackdrop, ASEAN wishes tostronglyreiterate its commitment to eliminating and preventing violence against women. Starting with theASEAN Women Leaders’ Conference held in 1975, ASEAN as a region has continued its efforts to safeguard the rights and freedoms of women. To further promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and children in the region, ASEAN formed the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Women and Children (ACWC), in 2009 at its 14th Summit in Thailand.
Such efforts were further strengthened with the adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration at the Association’s 21st Summit in CambodiainNovember 2012. This declaration not only recognizes the rights of women as an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights and fundamental freedoms, it also endorses the rights of children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, migrant workers and vulnerable and marginalised groups.
ASEAN also fully supports the use of policies and programmes within national systems as part of an integrated and holistic approach to strengthen gender mainstreaming and eliminate violence against women. This approach hasenabled us tomeasure theelimination ofall forms of discrimination against women, as reflected in ASEAN’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in 2004.
Within this framework for action, we have been formulating mechanisms in four areas of concern to help women who have been victims of violence by providing services to fulfill the needs of survivors; formulating and taking appropriate responses against offenders and perpetrators; understanding the nature and causes of violence against women; and changing societal attitudes and behavior.
With regard to the review theme of the CSW,“The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men in the context of HIV/AIDS”, ASEAN is committed and has prepared a clear roadmap toattain the goals of“zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths”as declared and adopted at its 19th summit in Bali, in November 2011.
Furthermore, through the Consultative Meeting on HIV and Key Affected Women and Girls: Reducing Intimate Partners’Transmission of HIV within ASEAN, held in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic inNovember 2012, ASEAN member states have agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation among themselves toreducetransmission of the HIV in the region, especially among key affected groups of women and girls.
Of the numerous emerging issues and trends adversely affecting the lives of women, poverty remains by farthe main obstaclein the path of their progress. The seriousness of this problem can be seen by the fact that poverty hampers the achievement of the MDGs. ASEAN is well aware that the situation whichwomen and girls face is made considerably more complexby poverty.
In the efforts to eliminate the impact of poverty, ASEAN is commited to assistingits member statestopromote and accelerate achievement of the MDGs, as reflected in the Joint Declaration on the Attainment of the MDGs in ASEANwhich was adopted at its 14th Summit in March 2009, and formed part of the ASEAN Roadmap for the Acceleration of the MDGs.
In addressing issues pertaining to poverty eradication,wehave developed,in the spirit of “ASEAN-Help-ASEAN”, a number of initiativesthat include documenting challenges and best practices of ASEAN member states in implementing their respective policies and programmes on rural development and poverty eradication. Thiscompendium of information allows for sharing among member states.
ASEAN recognises the importance of incorporating a gender perspective in different areas of development to ensure the equitable achievement of social and economic goals, It also continues to support gender mainstreaming as essential for securing human rights and social justice for women and men. Hence, ASEAN reiterates its commitment to promote gender equality and women empowermentas reflected in the Ha Noi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of ASEAN Women and Children in October 2010.
ASEAN has also developed and implemented a numberof regional projects and activitiesin keeping with the Work Plan of the ASEAN Committee of Women 2011-2015to promote gender equality, social justice, well-being and rights of women in the region. In addition, to enhance the economic empowerment of women, ASEAN established the ASEAN Women Enterpreneur Network at its 11th Meeting of ASEAN Committee on Women in the LaoPeople’s Democratic Republic inOctober 2012. This facilityaims to improve the capacity and networking of ASEAN women enterpreneurs.
It is ASEAN’s ferventhope thatthis Commission willtake a leadingrole in ensuring the inclusion and centrality of women issues inthe post-2015 development agenda.Towards this end, ASEAN wishesto emphasize the urgency of addressing equally gender concerns in both developed and developing countries in the post-2015 development agenda as well as in the current session of CSW; with the Beijing DeclarationandCEDAW as the cornerstoneforthe work of the Commission.
The fact that CEDAWhas not been ratified byall states, is indeedconsideredasan obstacle to advocacy for and protection of women's rights. ThereforeASEANencourages the remaining states to ratify CEDAWand enable theConventiontogaina true "universalacceptance", as the basis of legitimation to challenge and put a stop to violent and criminal practicesagainst women.
In conclusion, in recognizing thecollective concern to end violence against women, as well the uneven success among States in achieving gender parity, ASEAN callsfor the continuedsynergy and connectivity among stakeholders to pursue our common goal. We should resolutely strive in addressing the challenges that lie ahead, as neither equality-development-nor peace canbe achieved, in a society where women and girls live in constantfear of violence.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org