Issue date
8 September 2022

“We express our unwavering support for APEC and our deep appreciation to Thailand, as APEC Chair and PPWE Co-Chair in 2022, for delivering a successful host year. 

“We commend Thailand’s leadership in hosting the 2022 APEC Women and the Economy Forum.

“We are united in our resolve to ensure peace and stability in our region and to uphold international law, recognizing these are preconditions for the well-being, dignity, and economic empowerment of women, which are key APEC goals.  As we strive for inclusive and sustainable economic growth that advances gender equality, we therefore reaffirm APEC Leaders’ commitment in the Putrajaya Vision 2040 to an ‘open, dynamic, resilient, and peaceful Asia-Pacific community.

“We express our grave concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation, including credible reports of gender-based violence perpetrated by Russia’s forces against women, men, and children in Ukraine. It has been more than six months since Russia launched its brutal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We are also deeply concerned about the impacts of the conflict on women and girls in vulnerable situations worldwide, including those in the Asia-Pacific region, who are negatively impacted by the threat of food insecurity and energy scarcity in the world caused in part by Russia’s actions, which further destabilized the global economy and global supply chains, as well as undermined our ability to recover from COVID-19.

“We express our concern regarding the conflict that threatens the well-being and safety of women in Ukraine, curtailing their ability to pursue full and meaningful economic participation.

“The displacement and the humanitarian need of Ukrainian women and children has been overwhelming; the global response to Russia’s aggression and atrocities will be the measure of our commitment towards preserving our shared vision of a sustainable and inclusive economy for women in all their diversity.  We affirm our commitment to all women’s and girls’ health and well-being, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, and to the success of our economies.  

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.  We strongly urge Russia to immediately cease its use of force and completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces from Ukrainian territory, consistent with the legally binding decision of the International Court of Justice [16 March].”

Chief Executive of Manatū Wāhine and Secretary for Women, Kellie Coombes, has been part of a small delegation at the 2022 APEC Women and the Economy Forum representing New Zealand. The Forum is an opportunity to kōrero with other economies to progress women’s economic empowerment across the APEC region.