UN Women’s Assistant Secretary General Lakshmi Puri Visits to Thailand to Promote Good Governance of Labour Migration and Mobility and to Indonesia for ASEAN-UN Secretariat-to-Secretariat Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016
Authors: Montira Narkvichien in Bangkok and Radhiska Anggiana in Jakarta
UN Women and the ASEAN Secretariat reaffirm that gender equality is central to the attainment of ASEAN Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
During her mission to South East Asia, United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Ms. Lakshmi Puri participated at the breakfast dialogue convened by the Government of Bangladesh as chair of Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), the intergovernmental body on migration and the GFMD Thematic Workshop on Migration, Connectivity and Business.
In her remarks to both meetings, Ms. Puri noted that migrant women and girls often face two layers of discrimination. First, even if they do not migrate, they are discriminated as women. Second, legal restrictions hinder mobility for women more than for men. She stressed that UN Women advocates for three main policy approaches to labour migration and connectivity: expanding remote work opportunities within and across countries; expanding safe and legal pathways for migration; and reducing the transaction costs for remittances.
She also drew attention to the importance of Agenda 2030, which provides inspiration with its attention to integration of development, human rights, governance and peace and security. To realize this impactful agenda, the UN and member states need a sound appreciation of the indivisibility of the agenda, will have to ensure inclusion and focus on the most marginalized, share information for monitoring and increase investments for gender equality.
On 30-31 March, Ms. Puri and four senior level United Nations Delegation attended the ASEAN-UN Secretariat-to-Secretariat Meeting, where she met ASEAN Secretariat Leadership headed by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh, at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The two-day meeting focused on the cooperation between the two organizations. In the meetings, Ms Puri reiterated UN Women’s commitment to functional cooperation with ASEAN to achieve gender equality and women empowerment. She spoke about women’s role in peace and security and in countering violent extremism, “women and girls must be part of the counter strategy of the counter narrative for countering violent extremism.”
In addition, Ms Puri also expressed the need for gender mainstreaming and shared information on three UN Women campaigns: Planet 50:50 by 2030 Step It Up For Gender Equality, UNiTE to End Violence against Women and HeForShe. On this occasion, Ms Puri provided information on the HeforShe Campaign and pinned four senior officials of ASEAN: Secretary General Le Luong Minh, Deputy Secretary General for Political Security Community Hirubalan V P, Deputy Secretary General for Community and Corporate Affairs AKP Mochtan, and Deputy Secretary General for Socio Cultural Community Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee.
Ms Puri also had a meeting with Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, where she congratulated her on her appointment as the first woman Foreign Minister in Indonesia. She thanked Indonesia as the strong supporter of the gender equality, and recalled that the President has become a HeForShe IMPACT Champion. Thus we were privileged that Indonesia had push a strong prioritization on gender equality,” said Ms Puri.
Ms. Puri’s visit to Jakarta also included a meeting with representatives of women’s civil society organizations to engage with them, find out key priorities of gender equality and development issues in Indonesia, and to share an overview of UN Women’s global works. Ms Puri also had an interaction with three Indonesian respective media.