Remarks by CHOI Jong-moon
Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, MOFA
Equal Futures Partnership
New York, 22 September, 2016
Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women,
It is my honour and pleasure to be a part of this auspicious occasion this morning and say a few words on behalf of new members joining this year, namely the Republic of Korea, Canada, Columbia, and Montenegro.
The membership of the Equal Futures Partnership has sharply increased over the past years, which is the testimony of the valuable role that it has played in advancing women’s political participation and economic empowerment.
Today’s meeting is especially timely and appropriate as it is being held in the very first year of implementing the SDGs, which include not only a stand-alone goal, goal 5 for women and girls, but also cross-cutting gender-respective targets and indicators.
Since the designation of 1975 as International Women’s Year, the international community has continued to invigorate the discussions on gender equality and women’s empowerment, holding a World Conference on Women in Mexico City, Copenhagen, Nairobi and Beijing, to name a few. Indeed, it has come a long way and progress has been made. And one notable achievement has been the creation of UN Women as a global champion and standard setter for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
As for the Republic of Korea, there have been great advances in the status of women. I don’t have to look far for an example. When I joined the foreign services in 1983, in the 20 batches there was not one woman. However, today, there are more female diplomats joining the Ministry than male diplomats.
However, we are well aware that we still have a long way to go before we sleep. Korea, in particular, is now facing challenges such as discontinuation of women’s careers due to pregnancy, childbirth and childbearing.
In this regard, Korea looks forward to the different experiences, policies, and assets of the EFP member countries contributing greatly to the full realization of gender equality and women’s empowerment not only in my country but also across the world.