Hon. Ms., Barbara Kuriger, Member of Parliament, New Zealand, Chairperson of NZPPD
Lord, Fusitu'a, Member of Parliament, Tonga, Standing Committee on Population and Development
The past decades have witnessed a steadily increasing awareness of the need to address the issue of gender equality and women's empowerment. Measures have been considered and adopted to increase social, economic and political equity, broaden access to fundamental human rights, and improve nutrition, basic health and education. Despite the progress and increasing awareness, inequalities still remain in many societies. Violence against women and girls remains at alarmingly high levels across all regions. Achieving gender equality and women's rights for all is a grindingly slow process, since it challenges one of the most deeply entrenched of all human attitudes. Parliaments and their members are uniquely placed to ensure the enforcement of laws and the allocation of appropriate resources to prevent all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls and ensure the advancement of gender equality and women's empowerment for equal political, economic and social participation.
The establishment of the Standing Committee's main purpose is to share knowledge, advocate and exchange experiences among its members for advancing gender equality and women's empowerment across the region. Members of the Standing Committee will be informed of progress made and provide guidance to future plans and gender related activities of AFPPD.
Hon. Ms., Dina Mahalaxmi Upadhyay, Member of Parliament, Nepal, Chairperson of NFPPD
Hon. Ms., Khayriniso Yusufi, Member of Parliament, Tajikistan, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Social Issues, Family and Health Care
The Asia-Pacific region is home to more than 60 per cent of young people aged 15 to 24. They are a major human resource for development, key agents for social change and driving force for economic development and technological innovation. However, the full potential of many young people across the region remains untapped as many of them still face obstacles in their access to education, health care, employment and civil participation. Many of them are unable to protect themselves from HIV, STIs and unwanted pregnancies among other SRH challenges. As a result, they are unable to engage in decent work, thus jeopardizing their futures and limiting their ability to contribute to the development of their families, communities and nations.
Members of this Standing Committee will be expected to examine and advocate on issues which affects young people and share policy options and recommendations with other member countries to achieve sustainable human development. Through this joint action, members of the Standing Committee will therefore highlight parliamentarians' role and responsibility in safeguarding the rights, needs and aspirations of young people through targeted policies and investments.
Hon. Prof., Keizo Takemi, Member of Parliament, Japan, Chairperson of AFPPD
Hon. Dr., Wang Longde, Member of Parliament, China, Vice-Chairperson of AFPPD
The Asia-Pacific region is currently home to over half of the world's elderly population. The region is experiencing population ageing at an unprecedented pace, due to the tremendous improvements in life expectancy combined with falling fertility rates. The number of older persons in the region is expected to triple from 438 million in 2010 to more than 1.26 billion by 2050. This demographic transition towards an ageing society in the Asia-Pacific region has deep social, economic and political implications. Shrinking working-age populations will affect future economic growth. Increasing old-age dependency ratios will mean fewer people in work will have to support a growing number of older persons. This will also place a significant strain on social security systems, infrastructure and the provision of health care services.
In light of the above, the Standing Committee on Active Ageing was established with an aim to promote healthy and active ageing and protect the rights of older persons through policies and legal frameworks. The Standing Committee is expected to provide guidance and lead advocacy effort on issues related to older persons, which may include strengthening of social protection, enhancing health care for healthy life expectancy, as well as addressing the specific needs of older women.