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Danang Declaration pushes for women’s empowerment
“A change of focus toward more women empowerment” has been recommended by the 6th Regional Roundtable on MDGs’ implementation held in the Vietnamese port of Đà Nẵng on April 22nd-23rd and hosted by the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF).
The Roundtable’s final document, to be jointly presented by the VPDF and the Japan-based Peace Boat to the ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly in New York next July, reads in full:


The 6th Regional Round Table on MDG+10 and Beijing+15 was held in Danang, Vietnam on April 22-23 of 2010. The Round Table was convened on Peace Boat while the ship, carrying approximately 1,000 passengers, was docked in the port of Danang as part of it 69th Global Voyage for Peace. The Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF) hosted the event, and participants included Parliamentarians, Government, NGO and Civil Society Organization representatives from the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, as well as representatives from the Asian Institute of Technology (ARCMDG-Thailand), AICESIS (France), UBITAR, AIFOMD (Switzerland), and survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After their deliberations, the following DANANG DECLARATION was issued in view of the upcoming July 2010 Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) of the ECOSOC in New York.
RECOGNIZING that the Beijing Platform of Action adopted in 1995 constitutes the benchmark for any future progress in gender equality and the empowerment of women world wide and that, 15 years later, most of its goals and objectives remain to be achieved and to be met in various countries of Asia, as concluded in the 2010 Secretary-General’s Report entitled “Keeping the Promises” (A/64/665);
CONSIDERING that the 2000 Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (2001) and the 2005 Islamabad Declaration by UN-NGO-IRENE have outlined the centrality of women in the achievement of the MDGs and have pointed to the importance of women and of mothers in the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, illiteracy and gender disparity in education, pandemics, maternal and child mortality, gender discrimination, and have stressed the importance of women’s empowerment and of their role in partnerships in development and environmental sustainability;
CONSIDERING the reports submitted at the ASEAN Workshop on Gender Equality and Empowerment held at AIT (ARCMDG) in Thailand on 28-29 January 2010 has summarized the progress and obstacles found in the ASEAN region in order to achieve the Beijing Platform of Action goals as well as the MDGs; the Workshop conclusions point to serious economic setbacks and political events of recent years in SEA which aggravate the gender situation in many parts of ASEAN. The workshop also reaffirmed the interlinkages of Genmder with each of the MDGs and proposed a menu of expanded gender sensitive operational indicators which may simplify applications in countries and allow for better comparison, assessment and monitoring of MDG achievements.
CONSIDERING the major discrepancy observed between the responsibilities imposed by MDGs on women and on mothers, and the minimal resources and means made available to them for these purposes, which are not always commensurate with the world community expectations;
1.    The Secretary-General be congratulated for reaffirming the emphasis on achieving the MDGs by 2015, as well as on the full implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action, and for his commitment to reducing military expenditures in order to boost MDG achievement.
2.    The Secretary-General of the MDG Task Force and the UNITE against Violence project intensify their actions in support of achieving the MDGs by 2015, in much closer cooperation and connection with relevant government agencies, NGOs, and CSOs.
3.    At the local/grassroots level, GOs, NGOs and civil societies should be brought together to a common platform for implementing MDG related activities with reallocation and additional allocation of resources with mandates and Gender Responsive Budgeting.
4.    The leadership for and centrality of women should be made paramount in all UN projects and programmes related to the MDGs in closer cooperation with national women machineries and NGOs and CSOs – especially those that are women-run – for project delivery.
5.    The next 5-year Beijing Platform of Action and projects on MDGs should reflect a change of focus toward more women empowerment and leadership at the grassroots level, and govenment and relevant ministries should have appropriate and sufficient policies and resources to educate girls and women so that they can have qualifications to assume real leadership.
6.    Peace Boat continues its peace and development activities, including the nuclear disarmament campaign, for the MDGs and Beijing+15 goals throughout its venues worldwide and, jointly with VPDF, submits this Danang Declaration to the attention of the ECOSOC High Level Segment and AMR meetings of July 2010 in New York, and to the president of the UN General Assembly.
7.    Training and education on MDGs, in collaboration with the UNMC, academic and other institutions must be expanded.
8.    Development and strengthening of strategic partnerships between Government Agencies, Development Partners, NGOs and Civil Society must be intensified in order to promote genuine participation of all stakeholders in all aspects of decision-making.
9.    International cooperation for the implementation of the MDGs and the Beijing Platform of Action be further encouraged and strengthened./.




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