Appeal from the International Forum on Women, Peace and Development, Hanoi, Vietnam

We, 170 delegates from many countries in the world, United Nations agencies, embassies and international organizations in Hanoi as well as Vietnamese agencies and organizations participating in the International Forum on Women, Peace and Development, hosted by the Vietnam Women’s Union with the support by the United Nations in Viet Nam on October 6th, 2015 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, realize that:


Women, peace and development are closely interrelated. Women participate in creating and building peace; and peace in return serves as the environment for each country and its citizens including women to develop. At the same time, women’s advancement and gender equality are the development goals of most countries. Thus, ensuring a peaceful environment and security o­n the basis of respect for international law and ensuring women’s rights are prerequisites for the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda for Sustainable Development by 2030.


The role of women has been increasingly recognized for their positive contribution to each country’s development. Women actively participate in peace making and keeping, conflict resolution, post-war reconstruction and building a culture of peace. It is the empowerment of women that leads to sustainable development in countries.


After 20 years of implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, at the global level, a number of advances have been achieved in gender equality: discrimination in laws has been removed; many laws have been passed to promote gender equality and address violence against women and girls; there has been a remarkable increase in girls’ enrollment in primary and secondary education; women’s participation in the labor force has increased in some regions; maternal mortality rate has decreased by 45% compared to 1990; women’s representation in Parliaments has been doubled compared to 1995; significant normative advances have been made in theglobal agenda o­n women, peace and security.


However, women still face many development challenges due to systemic, socio-cultural and personal causes, which impede effective participation and contribution of women to different realms of social and economic life. In many countries, laws and policies lack gender sensitivity and discriminate against women, particularly the family law. Education attainment and greater participation in the labor market are not coupled with better working conditions and equal pay. The burden of unpaid care work restricts the enjoyment of women’s rights. Violence against women and girls still exists in various forms. The participation of women in decision making at all levels in both public and private spheres remains limited. Besides, there remains a number of challenges facing women in relation to peace and security, including traditional security challenges such as tensions, conflicts, civil wars and regional disputes; as well as non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, epidemics, climate change, water resources, maritime security, terrorism, transnational crimes, etc.


We call o­n all the concerned parties:


1. To promote the sharing of information, initiatives, experiences, best practices; to strengthen the understanding, solidarity, friendship and cooperation among women and peoples of all countries for the sake of peace and security, for substantive gender equality and sustainable development of women in particular and the country in general that will contribute to the implementation of Agenda for Sustainable Development by 2030;


2. To mainstream women’s issues and gender equality into national strategies, policies, programs and plans to ensure women’s participation, contribution and enjoyment in all fields of social and economic life and at all levels; to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of laws, policies and strategies related to women and gender equality, and of the monitoring over their enforcement; to advocate for prioritizing the implementation of SDG5, gender equality and women empowerment targets; to eliminate gender prejudice; to better produce and use gender statistics for evidence-based localizing SDGs; to strengthen the voice, participation and contributions of women's organizations and people's organizations in efforts for gender equality and sustainable development of every country;


3. To strengthen the sharing of responsibility, accountability, and the investment of resources for gender equality and women's development;


4. To strengthen initiatives o­n peace and security, to resolve traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including the peaceful settlement of disputes o­n the basis of respecting international law to better ensure the rights of women and girls;


5. To strengthen the global partnership, including the United Nations and international organizations, people’s organizations, private sector, South-South and triangular cooperation that support and accompany countries in efforts for peace, security, gender equality and sustainable development.


Adopted in Hanoi, Vietnam, o­n October 6th, 2015