ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children to Visit United States

The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) is set to embark on a 10-day visit to the United States from April 17 to 26.  The ACWC will meet a wide range of officials and discuss a broad scope of subject matters in both Washington D.C. and New York.  The visit is an important example of efforts to strengthen and deepen U.S. engagement with ASEAN, a key partner in the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.  The visit will help build relationships between U.S. and ASEAN public and private human rights bodies in support of the rights of women and children worldwide.

Following a similar successful visit by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in 2010, the United States Government committed to support the official visit by ACWC representatives, who will be accompanied by senior officials from the ASEAN Secretariat.  The nearly two dozen person delegation will meet with senior officials from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. civil society organizations, academic leaders, and, in New York, multiple United Nations agencies working for women and children.

“We are looking forward to learning more about U.S. work and priorities in the area of women and children’s rights, and sharing with our U.S. colleagues the issues affecting the lives of women and children in the ASEAN region,” said ACWC Chair, Kanda Vajrabhaya, Thailand’s Women’s Rights Representative.

Discussions will include the role of development assistance in supporting women’s and children’s rights, the role of women in supporting entrepreneurship and economic development, and expanding and protecting the legal rights of women and children.

Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, said she looked forward to welcoming the delegation.  “Exchanges such as these enable us to share experiences and knowledge to advance gender equality and raise the status of children worldwide.  We hope this visit will assist the ACWC in their efforts to ensure that women and children are central to the progress of ASEAN Community.”

“This visit marks the fulfillment of an important deliverable of the 2010 US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting”, said U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David L. Carden.  “The full participation of women in a nation and region’s political, social, and economic affairs is a pre-condition of their positive development.  And the ultimate purpose of our cooperation is to leave a better world for our children.”

The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children was established in 2010, during the 16th ASEAN Summit, to promote the well-being, development and participation of women and children in ASEAN.

The visit to the United States is supported by the U.S. Government-funded ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility.