Statement of the Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing +10

AP Forum on Beijing +10
Amidst growing turmoil, insecurities, and crises caused by neo-liberal globalization, war, militarisms and extremisms, as these interplay with persistent patriarchy, several hundred women from the Asia Pacific region gathered Thailand.
Amidst growing turmoil, insecurities, and crises caused by neo-liberal globalization, war, militarisms and extremisms, as these interplay with persistent patriarchy, we, more than seven hundred women from various women’s movements in the Asia Pacific, gathered in Salaya, Nakornpathom, Thailand, strongly and fully re-affirm our commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action.
We celebrate the Beijing Platform for Action as a strategic document for women’s empowerment, human rights, and development that has catalyzed women to organize, act and search for alternatives. With the Platform, women’s movements have deepened understanding, expanded recognition, and broadened definitions, perspectives and strategies for women’s human rights, empowerment and development, as well as for transnational networking and solidarity.

However, we recognize the enormous and complex challenges still facing women in the Asia Pacific Region. Among these are:

- the uneven gains from varying interpretations and inconsistent implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, Beijing +5 Outcomes Document, ICPD Program of Action and CEDAW, due to lack of political will and commitment of governments, institutions and other decision makers;

- the consequences of backlash against women’s choices, autonomy and overall gender equality;

- shifts in the macro environment that have systematically eroded women’s status, kept women and their families in chronic poverty and restricted the “policy space” needed by governments to effectively work for equality, development and peace.

At the global level, we are deeply concerned about the diversion of energies and resources from the Platform to the narrow framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the attainment of which, in fact, depends on women’s empowerment and gender equality.

We deplore the rise of unilateralism, neo-conservatism, and corporate power in global governance, institutions and processes. We deplore the persistence of state violence in the name of national and international security and in some states, the criminalisation of political dissent. We deplore the fact that in every part of the region, social movements, women NGOs and women’s human rights defenders are at risk from persistent and new forms of extremist and fundamentalist forces. These forces play on ethnic, communal, caste and religious identities and seek to eliminate democratic spaces, pluralisms and voices of dissent. We deplore how these same factors work to repress women’s sexuality, reproductive rights and bodily integrity. We deplore women’s co-option into such political projects of social disciplining, exclusion, and control.

At this forum ten years after Beijing and in the midst of these major challenges, we declare our resolve:

- to carry on the spirit and realize the intent of Beijing and to celebrate our gains over the last ten years

- to protect one another as defenders of women’s human rights and peace, and

- to assert ourselves as equal partners in the creation of a just, democratic, humane and peaceful world.

We recognize the efforts of governments and the UN system to realize the objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action. We strongly urge them to safeguard the gains, secure the commitments, and ensure full and effective implementation.

We, in turn, will strengthen our efforts, continuing to draw on our diverse experiences and creativities, our struggles and hopes, our constructive debates. In solidarity with marginalized groups, we commit ourselves to work with other social movements in enlarging our struggle for a better world for future generations!

Salaya, Nakornpathom, Thailand
3 July 2004