DIPLOMACY

NZ Champions Women at UN Commission

Wednesday 3 March 2010, 8:01AM
By Pansy Wong
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"A record turnout of 9,000 participants to the fifty-forth Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is second only to the 10,000 participants at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. This large attendance is a sign of the value that nations and women place on the importance of women's rights as human rights in the Beijing declaration 15 years ago" said Pansy Wong.


"I am privileged to represent New Zealand at this important occasion to reinforce the leadership shown by our country 116 years ago when our women were the first in the world to win the right to vote."


"In the spirit of New Zealand's pioneering leadership, last year we worked with Colombia to sponsor the historic resolution acknowledging maternal mortality as a human rights issue at the Human Rights Council. The USA is now sponsoring a resolution this year. With 1,500 women in the world dying every day from maternal mortality, this is a catastrophe that must be addressed."


New Zealand was also instrumental in the development of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This gender inclusive document is a standard for all countries to work towards to protecting the rights of women with disabilities.


"Our leadership also includes fronting up to the problems of violence against women, equal pay & opportunities and women in leadership; these are all issues we are committed to progressing. We can be proud of our record in the advancement of education and employment at all levels."


"We therefore feel compelled to call upon the eight remaining countries to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) without further delay."


"While some progress has been made on the goals set out in the Beijing Declaration, 15 years on there is a feeling amongst attendees to CSW that in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 much more must be done. Therefore New Zealand supports the establishment of the new UN gender entity and we call on the Secretary-General to appoint the new Under-Secretary General on Gender without delay."