FOURTH PACIFIC WOMEN’S MINISTERIAL MEETING
NADI, REPUBLIC OF FIJI, 20–22 JULY 2011
11. Ministers received the report of Pacific Regional Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, and encouraged SPC to continue its support of this group as a Co-Chair. They welcomed the preparation of a Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and also encouraged development partners to support the development and implementation of the Regional Action Plan through financial resources.
12. The Fourth Pacific Women’s Ministerial Meeting commended the establishment of the new UN women’s entity, UN Women. It noted that the existence of this body should strengthen and sharpen the focus of support from UN agencies and other development partners for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
13. In discussions on the structure and composition of the executive board of UN Women, ministers recommended that the Pacific be allocated three positions on the board and agreed to follow through on this recommendation with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Pacific Island country representative offices to the United Nations based in New York. They also recommended that UN Women establish three sub-regional offices in the Pacific – one each in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. Ministers noted the announcement by the Government of Solomon Islands to contest a seat on the executive board of UN Women in the next election.
Mechanisms to promote the advancement of women
Ministers discussed the opportunities available within government and regional structures to promote the advancement of women. They reiterated the need to strengthen these existing mechanisms and to consider innovative ways to support gender mainstreaming and the advancement of women.
The Ministerial Meeting acknowledged the need for:
Women’s legal and human rights
CEDAW is the basis for securing women’s legal and human rights.
The ministers noted the need for:
Women’s access to health services
The ministers recognised that women’s health has been a concern among Pacific Island countries and territories for many years and that many women are still dying prematurely or are unnecessarily suffering ill health and disability due to a range of factors. Although there are specific problems that affect only women, such as reproductive cancers and risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, women’s health is increasingly being threatened by noncommunicable diseases and women are often denied access to safe, sensitive, competent and responsive health services.
Leading on from discussions on Temporary Special Measures (TSM), ministers recognised:
Women in the Pacific economy
Economic empowerment for Pacific women means equal opportunities in leadership and decision-making, security and independence. It is recognised that women entrepreneurs make up a large proportion of the informal business sector; therefore building partnerships with private sector organisations and women in business organisations is essential if women entrepreneurs are to graduate to the formal sector of Pacific economies.
Ministers noted the need to:
Nadi, Republic of Fiji
22 July 2011
[i] Awareness of government structures and parliamentary processes.
pacific women’s ministerial workshop on climate change
NADI, REPUBLIC OF FIJI
20 July 2011
Promoting gender and women’s human rights in climate change strategies in the Pacific region
The Pacific Women’s Ministerial Workshop on Climate Change agreed that adverse impacts of climate change are likely to have far-reaching consequences for Pacific Island economies and the well-being of Pacific peoples. They may also affect women and men differently.
Acknowledging the different yet complementary roles of men and women in ensuring the well-being of their families and the development of their society, the ministers affirmed the necessity of taking into account the knowledge, experiences and priorities of both women and men in order to develop effective climate change strategies.
The ministers recognised that gender inequalities and the violation of human rights hamper the capacity of Pacific Island countries and territories to adapt to and mitigate differential impacts of climate change. They called for governments of the region to fulfil their commitment to achieving gender equality and human rights.
In doing so, the ministers:
1) reiterated the need for a multidimensional approach to climate change adaptation as recommended by the Pacific Beijing + 15 review report;
2) noted the need for greater and effective participation of women in the identification of climate change issues, the design of local and national policies and strategies, the implementation of adaptation and mitigation programmes and the overall decision-making processes at all levels and in the global negotiation process;
3) confirmed the need for gender analysis to be incorporated in strategic planning, programming and results-based implementation of climate change programmes and the production of sex-disaggregated data and indicators to monitor the impacts of adaptation and mitigation initiatives;
4) recommended further research on the gender and human rights dimension of climate change;
5) recommended capacity building of government and civil society organisations to mainstream gender in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in all sectors;
6) recognised the value and requested documentation of local and traditional knowledge maintained by both women and men alongside scientific knowledge, to facilitate adaptation and mitigation efforts to building resilience in communities to respond to climate change in the Pacific Islands;
7) agreed that climate change funding priorities should be gender responsive and ensure accessibility to address the needs of and benefit both women and men and recommend capacity building of the government to effectively manage climate change funds to this end;
8) advised strengthening collaboration and partnership between national women’s machineries and climate change departments and ministries as well as other organisations and stakeholders;
9) strongly urged government delegations to incorporate gender equality and human rights principles in all areas of regional and global negotiations in relation to climate change; and
10) called for gender and climate change issues to be incorporated into outcome statements of regional and international meetings.
Nadi, Republic of Fiji
20 July 2011