Her Excellency Mme. Ha Thi Khiet,

Distinguished Delegates.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak here today. It is a great honor for me, o­n behalf of Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN), to present the work and progress we have made since last years meeting. You may know, that as endorsed by Leaders and recommended by Ministers at the 2nd Ministerial Meeting o­n Women in Mexico in 2002, the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) was established to provide a sustainable and effective mechanism to integrate gender considerations in APEC. It works to advance the implementation of the Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC (Framework) based o­n the principle that gender is a cross-cutting theme in APEC. The GFPN provides policy and practical advice o­n gender issues to APEC fora, Ministers and Leaders, and monitors and reports o­n progress achieved.


This year GFPN continued to improve its function with a range of measures. Number 1: As a means to ensure greater continuity and create close links between past, present and future chairs, the role 'Friends of Chair' was established, and was successful. Number 2: A three year plan, which outlines the vision and direction of GFPN, was finalized. This plan will guide the Network as it moves from economy to economy and will promote the sustainability of GFPN's projects. Number 3: Report guidelines were streamlined as an effective mechanism to help economies and APEC Fora more accurately and uniformly determine the successes and results of the implementation of the Framework. Number 4:Within the margins of SOM III, a Gender Analysis Training Workshop was held in Da Nang. This provided training for delegates from APEC economies, fora, working groups and committees o­n ways to apply gender analysis as a tool, for implementation of the Framework to APEC policies, project designs, monitoring and evaluation. Other training seminars, a result of the “Initiative for APEC's Women's Participation in the Digital Economy” have also been held throughout the 2006, and will continue to be held in 2007. Lastly, number 5: the “Supporting Potential Women Exporters” project is going to implementing by CTI showing as a best practice of collaboration o­n gender integration between APEC bodies and GFPN.


Especially, the fourth GFPN Meeting was held o­n the 13-14th of September, in the margins of SOM III.Delegates from 16 APEC economies in addition to various members of APEC fora, Working Groups and Committees attended the meeting.


Distinguished Delegates,


The outstanding achievements just mentioned, strongly reflect the commitment and dedication of GFPN delegates. There is still considerable work to be done in having the tangible and economic impact of gender taken into account in APEC’s work. For example, a large number of APEC project proposals still do not adequately address the questions o­n gender, illustrating that more gender analysis skills are needed within APEC. Capacity building o­n gender analysis still remains a challenge, as do the collection and use of sex disaggregated data and the increased participation of women in APEC fora and activities.While these challenges are substantial, the results of overcoming such obstacles will be highly beneficial to APEC development.


As such, GFPN put forward three recommendations to SOM. We recommended SOM to strongly reiterate that integrating gender in APEC activities should remain a high priority. We, GFPN, also recommended SOM instruct Lead Shepherd of Working Groups and Chairs of Committees that have not already done so, to appoint a person to be responsible for gender issues and serve as a member of the GFPN. Lastly, the GFPN, recommended that SOM endorse in principle the Indonesian proposal for a study and workshop o­n the disproportionate effects natural disasters and emergencies have o­n women.


These recommendations, if followed, with further strengthen the implementation of gender equality in APEC, thus further advancing sustainable development and prosperity in APEC.


Distinguished Delegates,

WLN and GFPN share a common mission of advancing gender equality and promoting women’s involvement in APEC. Last year we approved the Supplementary Implementation Strategies to the GFPN Terms of Reference, of which strengthening cooperation between GFPN and WLN was stated. In 2006, the WLN and GFPN Chairs worked closely together to ensure the effectiveness of both Networks as well as holding the GFPN and WLN meetings back to back and close to the SME Ministerial Meeting.


We highly appreciate the efforts made by WLN. You have done an excellent job to provide more opportunities for women’s businesses in the region. I myself and the GFPN want to work even closer to with WLN to advance gender equality in APEC. I am confident that our relationship will develop and our collaboration will become even stronger.


I wish the meeting very best success. I do hope you enjoy our beautiful city of Hanoi and have a pleasant stay in Viet Nam.


Thank you for your attention.