CICA Deputy Secretary General highlights women's empowerment at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) International Conference
Baku, 20-21 November 2023 — Ms. Zhang Ling, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), participated in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) International Conference on Advancing the Rights and Empowerment of Women, held in Baku.
In her NAM Conference address, Ms. Zhang Ling emphasized the instrumental role of advancing the rights and empowerment of women in Asia for a collective response to current and future challenges. She highlighted the adoption of gender-responsive policies as a crucial step towards achieving this goal. Ms. Zhang Ling shared that in 2021, the CICA Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs incorporated the empowerment of women and girls into the human dimension of the CICA Member States, as outlined in the 2004 Catalogue of Confidence Building Measures.
CICA pursues women's empowerment through various initiatives, as evidenced by a recent decision during the CICA Business Council's plenary session. A UN Women representative featured as a speaker, and the Think Tank Forum was tasked with conducting research on “Involvement of women in SMEs in the CICA region”. The Business Council has also included “Empowering women in small and medium businesses across the CICA region” in its 2024 agenda.
Ms. Zhang Ling underscored the crucial role of women in addressing global challenges, particularly in agriculture, where they constitute almost 43% of the workforce. She emphasized that investing in women directly impacts food security, water conservation and renewable energy—key pillars of sustainability.
Addressing CICA's contribution to gender inclusiveness in education, the Deputy Secretary General noted progress in establishing the Partnership Network of Leading Universities among the CICA Member States. This platform aims to enhance academic collaboration, research projects and student and teaching staff mobility, addressing industry needs and emerging labor trends.
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