Ha Noi, 7 April 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great honor to take part in this Inauguration of the ASEAN Commission on Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). On behalf of the Government and people of Viet Nam, I would like to warmly welcome you all to this grand event.
We have witnessed the launch of ACWC, which stands as a milestone in the development of ASEAN.
As the Chair of ASEAN 2010, I wish to commend the Working Group, officials of Meetings on Social Welfare, ASEAN Committee on Women, relevant ASEAN institutions, Ministers of Social Welfare and Ministers of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community for their tremendous efforts in making this very significant event possible.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
ASEAN has experienced four decades of building and growth, and has evolved into an important political and economic entity, a comprehensive regional cooperation organization and a common house of the Southeast Asian peoples. In the next two days, the ASEAN Leaders will meet for the 16thth ASEAN Summit, where they will deliberate and give instructions on the acceleration of ASEAN integration process on the basis of the ASEAN Charter and the building of the ASEAN community by 2015.
The establishment of the ACWC represents the common will of the ASEAN Leaders enshrined in the Vientiane Action Programme in 2004 and the roadmap for the ASEAN Community for 2009-2015, which rests on the three pillars of politics – security, economics and socio-culture and the plan for narrowing the development gap. This event contributes to the implementation of the theme of ASEAN 2010: “Towards the ASEAN Community: from Vision to Action”.
The foundation of the ACWC is one of the important measures to enhance social welfare, development, empowerment for and participation of women and children in building the ASEAN Community.
The ACWC is now in operation with the high mandates of realizing the aspiration of ASEAN women and children, thus translating into reality the objectives on women and children set out in the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Community Building Roadmap and in other documents.
I hope that the ACWC will work closely with the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights and other relevant institutions within and outside ASEAN to promote the protection of ASEAN Women and Children. They make up over half of the ASEAN population and are most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of the development process.
May I wish the Ministers, distinguished participants and you all good health, happiness and renewed efforts for the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015.