|Address by Madame Song Xiuyan At the Opening Ceremony of the 59th Session Of the UN Commission on the Status of Women|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In 1995, over 40,000 representatives of government and civil society from 189 countries and regions gathered in Beijing for the Fourth UN World Women's Conference. Themed under "Action for Equality, Development and Peace", participants of the conference adopted the Beijing Declaration and the Program of Action after extensive and candid consultation. The two documents represented the solemn commitment of all countries in promoting women's progress and development, embodied the ardent expectation of women in the world for peace, development and peace, and became a new milestone for international women's movement.
In the past two decades, under the guidance of the Beijing Declaration and the Program of Action, women's rights and interests in most countries have been put under better legal protection, national institutions for enhancing women's status have been improved, women have gained more opportunities to receive education, participate in economic and social development and management and more attention have been given to the needs of vulnerable women groups. More and more women have stepped out of their families and got onto the stage of political, economic and social development, playing an active role in maintaining world peace and development and building prosperity and strength of their respective countries. The UN and its relevant agencies, governments of all countries and women have all made tremendous efforts to this end.
Today, the Beijing Declaration and the Program of Action remain the most important policy documents in promoting global women's progress and achieving gender equality. The spirit of the conference which includes unity and cooperation, translating resolve into action and constant pursuit for equality, development and peace still remains highly important. As we review the journey of international women's progress in the last two decades and envisage sound strategies for women's development in the new historical period, we should all the more cherish the precious legacy left by the UN World Women's Conference in Beijing.
Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the 20th anniversary of the UN World Women's Conference in Beijing, we focus on the remaining difficulties and challenges hampering women's development. We should set off and act again to meet the high expectations of women in the world. In the past year, the UN and governments of all countries have carried out various forms of Beijing+20 commemorative activities, which summarize and share the outcomes and experience achieved by the international community and various countries in implementing Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, look for problem-solving strategies and programs, and build energy and provide wisdom and impetus for us to further honor our commitments and promote gender equality.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to announce on this occasion that on September 26 this year, China will cooperate with UN Women to co-host the Global Leaders’ Meeting for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the UN Headquarters in New York during the General Assembly. Chinese President Xi Jinping and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will issue a joint invitation to heads of state or government of all Member States to participate. President Xi Jinping will attend the meeting and deliver a speech. We hope that all countries will make new political commitment and provide new financial support, to further implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and to realize the goals on women in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. China will work closely with UN Women in the preparation process.
Let us work together, hand in hand, for further advancement of women's status, for the achievement of gender equality, development and peace, and for a better future for all. Let us continue to take actions and never relent, untill our common goals becomes full reality.