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OSCE | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

OSCE Asian Partners meeting discusses women's empowerment in disaster risk reduction and emergency responses, with a particular focus on the consequences of the ongoing war against Ukraine

OSCE | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

29 April 2022

Participants at today's OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group discussion shared experiences and best practices in addressing the specific needs of women, girls and vulnerable groups during natural and man-made disasters, including those resulting from armed conflict.

The meeting was the first under the Swedish Chair and was organized in cooperation with Thailand.

"It is clear that women's and girls' limited access to political, economic and material resources has a negative impact on their ability to adapt to natural or man-made disasters, such as coping with the effects of climate change or the consequences of armed conflict. Mainstreaming gender perspectives in disaster risk reduction is therefore of particular importance, not least in the context of Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine", said Ambassador Ulrika Funered, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the OSCE and Chair of the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group. She also recalled the 2021 OSCE Stockholm Ministerial Council Decision on "Strengthening Co-operation to Address the Challenges Caused by Climate Change", which calls on promoting the effective participation of women in decision-making processes on climate change prevention, mitigation and adaptation.

Ambassador Morakot Sriswasdi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations and other international organisations in Vienna underlined Thailand's efforts in promoting gender-responsive, people-centred, and multi-stakeholder disaster risk reduction and emergency responses. "It is imperative to identify the needs of women and other vulnerable groups in the process of disaster management so that we can respond and provide necessary humanitarian assistance in an effective manner", she said.

"I want to use this opportunity to pay tribute to Ukrainian women and girls who have been caught in a war started without a reason by Russian Federation on 24 February. Ukrainian women and girls have played critical roles in the response to the war and the unfolding humanitarian disaster. They are soldiers, doctors, journalists, human rights and environmental activists, volunteers, care providers, logistics experts and much more", said Polish Ambassador Adam HaƂaciƄski, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, underlining the specific context of the topic related to the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine.

"The OSCE has a long history related to the promotion of gender equality. As a matter of course, our work on disaster risk reduction integrates women's empowerment in environmental activities", said OSCE Secretary General Schmid.

Schmid recalled the launch of the OSCE Networking Platform on Women Leaders including Peacebuilders and Mediators: "This initiative aims to increase women's networking opportunities in order to strengthen their influence over formal and informal security processes."

The OSCE supports the Asian Partnership in its efforts to further promote common values in the international community and address the new challenges affecting European security and beyond.

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