JAKARTA, 28 January 2022 – Recognising the transformative roles that women fulfil in building, maintaining, and fostering peace and security in the region, ASEAN is currently developing the Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN (ASEAN RPA on WPS).

This initiative moves forward the implementation of the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN that was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders in 2017. Moreover, the development of the regional plan of action is one of the key recommendations of the ASEAN Regional Study on Women, Peace and Security that was launched in 2021 with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and UN Women.

“The core tenets of the women, peace and security agenda are even more relevant now than before,” said Ekkaphab Phanthavong, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, in his remarks. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed a lesson known from other crisis situations—to seek and achieve sustainable solutions to intractable social issues, it is critical to apply a gender lens to understand the impact and create inclusive responses for recovery and resilience of communities and nations,” he added.

The ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) lead the coordination on implementing the women, peace and security agenda across the three ASEAN Community pillars and the development of the regional plan of action.

The development of the regional plan of action engages multiple ASEAN Sectoral Bodies overseeing regional cooperation on gender equality and women empowerment, defence, transnational crime, human rights, disaster management and humanitarian assistance.

“A cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach is necessary in order to strengthen women’s meaningful participation in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, resolution, and post-conflict processes, in line with regional and international commitments, notably the UNSCR 1325 and the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN,” said Samvada Kheng, Secretary of State, Ministry of Women’s Affairs of Cambodia, the ACW Focal Point of Cambodia, and Chair of the Expanded Advisory Group on WPS.

At the First Meeting of the Expanded Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN held virtually on 28 January 2022, members of the group shared updates on WPS-related initiatives in their respective sectors and deliberated on linkages, gaps and opportunities.

Further, the meeting was updated on the progress of developing the ASEAN RPA on WPS, particularly the scope of work and logical framework aligned focusing on five key strategies and priority actions.

The development of the ASEAN RPA on WPS is being supported by the U.S. government through the ASEAN-USAID PROSPECT project, UN Women, Canada and the ASEAN Secretariat. It is planned to be submitted for adoption by the ASEAN Leaders at the upcoming 40th ASEAN Summit in November 2022.


For media enquiries, contact:

ASEAN – Mustika L. Hapsoro at mustika.hapsoro@asean.org

USAID/ASEAN Office – Samara Sanders at jakartausaidasean@usaid.gov

UN Women – Yoomi Jun, Communication and Advocacy Officer at yoomi.jun@unwomen.org

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