PH heads UN body on status of women

By Pia Lee-Brago, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 26 2014 10:03 AM | Updated as of Mar 26 2014 06:03 PM

MANILA - The Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations has been elected chair of the principal global policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka joined Philippine ambassador to the UN Libran Cabactulan during the opening of the 58th Session of the Commission on Status of Women, which ran from March 10 to 21 at UN headquarters in New York.

In his opening remarks, Cabactulan said the 58th session provides the opportunity to renew commitments made to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women.

He said the session should identify key gender equality issues that need to be addressed as well as gaps in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to fast-track the pace of progress for the achievement of goals before the 2015 deadline.

The ambassador said the session should give decisive impetus to reflecting gender equality and the empowerment of women as a core priority in the post-2015 development agenda.

Ban said gender equality and women’s empowerment are among his top priorities, and central to achieving the MDGs and the success of the post-2015 development agenda.

He said he is committed to gender equality and women’s leadership, noting that top development, human rights and humanitarian officials of the UN, and the heads of disarmament, peace-building support and peacekeeping support, are all women.

Among the session’s participants were two vice presidents, 77 ministers and 26 vice ministers. More than 6,000 representatives from 860 civil society organizations worldwide also attended the session.

This year’s priority theme is “Challenges and Achievements in the Implementation of the MDGs for Women and Girls.”

Its review theme is “Access and Participation of Women and Girls to Education, Training, Science and Technology,” including the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.

Representatives of UN member states gather at UN headquarters every year to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide.

Nearly 135 side events have been organized by UN agencies, along with more than 300 parallel events hosted by the NGO community.