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1. The 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women, hosted by the Pacific Community (SPC), was held from 2 to 5 October 2017 in Suva, Fiji. The theme of the Conference was ‘economic empowerment of Pacific women’.

2. Meeting participants included representatives of 20 SPC member countries and territories – American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna – and civil society and academic institutions, CROP agencies,1 and international and regional non-governmental and development partner organisations.

3. The Conference reaffirmed the Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration (PLGED), the Revised Pacific Platform for Action on the advancement of women and gender equality (RPPA), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of its subsequent reviews, which laid the foundation for the implementation of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

4. The Conference reiterated that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provide an international legal framework and a comprehensive set of measures for realising gender equality, equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and empowerment of all women and girls of all diversities,2 including their economic empowerment, throughout their lives.

5. The Conference recognised that gender equality is a prerequisite for the full achievement of the objectives of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the Pacific Youth Development Framework, the Pacific Framework for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Moana Declaration and the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific.

6. The conference recognised the right of persons with disabilities, including women, to work on an equal basis with others. This includes the right to the opportunity to gain a living by work, freely chosen or accepted, in a labour market and work environment that is open, safe, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities, and to safeguard and promote the realisation of the right to work.

7. The Conference recognised the importance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards related to women’s right to work and rights at work, which are critical for women’s economic empowerment, and recalled the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Decent Work Agenda.

8. The Conference welcomed the regional overview of the current status of economic empowerment of Pacific women, which shows that women’s work, including unpaid work, is fundamental in building Pacific economies, sustainable development and resilience, and emphasises key drivers of their economic empowerment.

9. The Conference and the Ministers’ Meeting provided an opportunity to review and adopt the Pacific Platform for action for gender equality and women’s human rights 2018–2030.

10. The Pacific Platform for Action (PPA) 2018–2030 proposes measures to accelerate implementation of gender equality commitments made by Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) at the global, regional and national level, in particular the PLGED. The PPA has five strategic objectives:

  • Enhance the generation of knowledge to inform policies and decision-making, and support advocacy for gender equality
  • Mainstream gender across all legislation, policies, programmes and services delivered by government, CROP agencies and civil society organisations (CSOs)
  • Develop and strengthen effective partnerships between governments, institutions, CSOs, the private sector and faith-based organisations (FBOs), so that women and men of all ages across all levels of society are empowered as individuals and communities to prevent violence and all forms of discrimination
  • Mobilise resources and sustain investment to advance gender equality
  • Establish mechanisms and systems to make stakeholders accountable for implementing commitments to gender equality and the human rights of all women and girls