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Statement of the Asia Pacific NGO Caucus

We, the members of the Asia Pacific NGO Caucus, express our appreciation to UNESCAP for the very inclusive process in enabling NGO participation in this important High-Level Meeting to review the regional implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

While commending the excellent papers presented by the panel members and the discussion that followed on critical contemporary issues on the empowerment of women, we wish to express our disappointment that the substance of these papers is somehow not well reflected in the final draft report. We also wish to express our regret that new benchmarks for acceleration of the pace of the implementation of the BPA have not been set.

It is our view that the process would have been more effective if the draft document and papers were prepared and disseminated in advance to participants so as to enable more substantive and considered input.

We express our concern at both the presence and level of influence exerted on the outcomes of the meeting by countries who are not part of the region. This is in stark contrast to the effective exclusion from the drafting process of a number of governments within the region because translation facilities in the official UN languages were not made available.

We are heartened by the support of the meeting in encouraging a greater participation of NGOs for Beijing + 5 and the recommendation that a process of accreditation similar to that of the Social Summit + 5 be adopted. We are also extremely pleased to hear governments express their desire that the partnership and cooperation between governments and NGOs established since Beijing be further promoted. We fully endorse the sentiment.

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