|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the General Debate of the 57th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women|
The Chinese delegation associates itself with the statement by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. We’d also like to express our appreciation and thanks to Under-Secretary-General Ms. Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women for her report, and to the Secretariat for their hard work for this Session. We wish this Session full success.
Women are a great force in the creation of human civilization. Promoting gender equality and safeguarding women’s rights and interests are in the fundamental interest of women and also relate closely to world peace and development. In recent years, thanks to the driving by the UN and the common effort of the international community, the women’s cause of the world has taken great strides. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the spirit championed by the 23rd Special Session of the GA have become increasingly evident in the national plan and action of member states to varying degrees. Women of various countries have seen improvement of their living conditions, right to development and social status.
At the same time, it must be noted that the intertwining problems of financial crisis, regional turbulence, natural disasters, digital divide and inadequate public service have impeded the development of women and exacerbated the “feminization” of poverty. How to realize women’s development, protect their rights and interests and ensure gender equality have become issues that require urgent consideration and solution by the UN and the international community.
2015 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Women’s Conference as well as the deadline for the realization of the MDGs. While the attention of the international community is now focused on the preparation of the post 2015 international development agenda, the UN should take real actions on the issue of women in the run-up to 2015. In this connection, China wishes to make the following observations:
First, greater attention should be given to eradicating poverty of women and promoting women’s development. The MDGs contain specific goals on gender equality, women’s empowerment, and improvement of maternal health care to guide member states’ effort in this regard. However, women remain the poorest group of the world’s poor and each year there are still large numbers of death related to pregnancy and child-bearing. There is still a long way to go before these goals are realized. China believes that the women issue is ultimately the issue of development and can only be addressed through development. The post 2015 development agenda will not only chart the future path of global development, but also bear significantly on the rights, interests and wellbeing of all women. Therefore, the post 2015 development agenda should prioritize eradication of poverty so as to seek the solution to the poverty of women and promote their development.
Secondly, no effort should be spared to carry out a comprehensive review and appraisal of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at its 20th anniversary. As the most comprehensive and authoritative UN documents on women, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome document of the 23rd Special Session of the GA have laid down goals for women’s development in 12 priority areas. China supports the recommendation contained in the Secretary General’s report to have the CSW to carry out in 2015 a comprehensive review and appraisal of the implementation of the above documents. We look forward to the global report to be submitted by UN Women on the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. We support the UN system and all regions and countries in initiating as early as possible the relevant review and appraisal and welcome the scheduled 2015 UN commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as a means to further galvanize the political will and to respond to all the challenges facing the global women’s cause.
Thirdly, the coordination and coherence of the UN’s work in the field of women should be further strengthened. The current Session of the CSW is an important session bridging the past and the future, and it will determine the priority themes of the coming three years and its relevant organizational work. China attaches great importance to this Session. As a result of common effort and energetic support of the member states, the CSW has over the years made important contribution to the enhancement of women’s status and the realization of gender equality, a fact clear to the international community. China supports the CSW in further improving its working method and increasing efficiency so as to continue to work actively and pragmatically for women’s development. China also supports the CSW in providing guidance to the operational activities of the Executive Board of UN Women and engaging in positive interaction with the Board.
Fourthly, the international community should continue to be prompted to work vigorously to eliminate violence against women. It is of great significance that the current CSW sets as its priority theme “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls”. Since last year, a series of egregious violent incidents against women have shocked the world. Violence against women not only violates women’s rights, but also undermines family harmony and hinders social progress. A society that tolerates violence against women is a hopeless society. China calls on all parties to seek common ground and put aside differences in order to enable the current CSW to reach an agreed conclusion on the elimination of violence against women, and to use it as policy guidance and action guideline for countries’ efforts in this regard.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the issue of women and has tried its utmost to promote women’s advancement and development. In the area of promoting women’s development, in 2012, all the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities formulated and started to implement a new round of plan for women’s development. The amount of small secure loans to women has now exceeded 100 billion RMB since it was introduced three years ago; and nearly 10 million women in urban and rural areas were helped to find employment or start their own business. In the area of eliminating violence against women, China’s Criminal Law, Civil Law, and the Law Safeguarding Women’s Rights and Interests all provide provisions against violence against women. The government has established a cross-department cooperation mechanism to stop various forms of violence against women and provide timely assistance to the victims. In the area of protecting women’s rights and interests, China’s State Council issued in 2012 the Special Provisions on Labor Protection for Female Employees, which contain rules on prolonging maternity leave for female employees and preventing and stopping sexual harassment at work places.
China always attaches great importance to international cooperation in the field of women, especially within the UN framework. It has taken an active part and played a constructive role in the work of the CSW and the Executive Board of UN Women. In the future, China is committed to continuing to work with other countries to contribute to the advancement of women’s cause throughout the world.
Thank you, Madam Chair.