Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Delivered a Keynote Speech at the ASEAN Women’s Business Conference news3

Top Stories : Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Delivered a Keynote Speech at the ASEAN Women’s Business Conference

On 20 June 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, presided over the ASEAN Women’s Business Conference and delivered a keynote speech on “Globalization 4.0 and Beyond: Advancing Women Economic Empowerment through Action and Impact” at JW Marriott Hotel, Bangkok, co-organised by the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) Thailand and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a keynote speech emphasising the theme of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019 “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” that seeks to promote partnership both within Southeast Asia and with the international community and forge ahead the ASEAN Community that is people-centred, leaves no one behind, and looks to the future. Therefore, participation and empowerment of women, promotion of gender equality are very important and ASEAN must work together to enhance skills of ASEAN women in the fast-changing world and amidst challenges rising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution including skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also referred to the National Strategy 2018 - 2037, as well as the enactment of the current National Women’s Development Strategy 2017 – 2021, and the Gender Equality Act 2015, which provides a plan at national level to promote gender equality and women’s role in social development to create social cohesion and just society.

At the regional level, the Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out key women-related ASEAN documents such as the Ha Noi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of ASEAN Women and Children (2010) and the Action Agenda on Mainstreaming Women’s Economic Empowerment in ASEAN (2017), which show how ASEAN has progressed in the promotion of gender equality under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and towards achieving of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In her welcoming remarks, Khunying Natthika Wattanavekin Angubolkul, Chairperson of AWEN (2018 - 2020), stressed on the importance of ASEAN cooperation on women issues to create an equal opportunity and access to resources to help women achieve economic stability and security for themselves and their families. However, it appears that many challenges remain, especially the traditional mindset regarding the role of women.

The ASEAN Women’s Business Conference is part of the annual meeting of AWEN, led by Khunying Natthika Wattanavekin Angubolkul, Chairperson of AWEN (2018 - 2020), together with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Related activities included various workshop sessions and an award ceremony.