Let’s Fill the Void With Good
The International Congress of Women of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS Countries took place in Novosibirsk on July 3-4. More than 300 representatives of women organizations from India, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and from the Republic of South Africa took part in it. Valentina Matvienko, Chairperson of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, greeted the guests and presented her report at the plenary session.
The cooperation of countries within the SCO and BRICS is a great model of relations between states in the modern world. The way how countries worked together was based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and a true spirit of partnership. Nowadays countries face new challenges and dangers and unite in order to stand up to them.
As Valentina Matvienko mentioned, one of the main issues of humanity is providing informational, economic, social and cultural security.
“We must team up in order to preserve the historical truth, create awareness about events happening in the world, and unite in order to create fair conditions for economy without pressure of sanctions. The elimination of poverty and the preservation of the cultural identity of each nation are the true conditions necessary for security”, she said.
The joint efforts of the women of the SCO and BRICS countries may contribute to overcoming the climate change on Earth. In Russia 2017 became the Year of Ecology. Due to this fact the Strategy of Ecological Safety of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2025 was approved. According to Valentina Matvienko, now Russia in cooperation with BRICS countries has numerous projects in energy engineering, processing resources and in the agro-industrial sector.
Another serious challenge, as Chairperson of the Federation Council says, is the threat of terrorism. She remembered that in 2015 Vladimir Putin while being at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly had called for the creation of an international anti-terrorist coalition. This year the Federation Council initiated the formation of a parliamentary anti-terrorist coalition. Valentina Matvienko called for contributing to the quickest way of adoption of the Comprehensive Convention Against International Terrorism.
Chairperson of the Federation Council thinks that women uniting and taking part in the international politics are a response to the lack of good and charity. She said that women from Europe, Asia and Africa joining the event in Novosibirsk were a guarantee that the Congress would make a worthy contribution to the development of international women's cooperation, ensuring peace and sustainable development. Valentina Matvienko proposed using the positive experience of interparliamentary cooperation not only within the BRICS, but also in the SCO format. Space bridges, according to her, are also a good means of communication providing access to facts and reliable information in real time.
In order women could participate in solving global problems, it is necessary to provide them with all-round support. Russia pays attention to improving the status of women and strengthening their role in all areas of public life. That is why women have become more active in the political, economic and social life of the Russian Federation, and their competitiveness has increased in all spheres. This year Russia adopted the Strategy of Action for Women until 2022 initiated by the Federation Council.
The Eurasian Women's Forum demonstrated the increased role of women and their willingness to participate in solving world problems. In 2015 representatives from 80 states took part in it. The resolution of the Eurasian Women's Forum was sent to the leaders of 166 states and 24 international organizations.
Valentina Matvienko invited all those present at the plenary session of the Congress to join the second Eurasian Women's Forum which is to take place in 2018. She said there would be projects aimed at supporting women and implementing their initiatives in various fields which include leadership trainings, promoting high technologies, prevention of breast cancer, women's entrepreneurship and so on.
Valentina Matvienko paid special attention to the project aimed at supporting women's entrepreneurship. In Russia women's entrepreneurship covers a quarter of small and medium-sized businesses. Last year Russia initiated an international competition of women entrepreneurs within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
Chairperson of the Federation Council proposed to discuss the issue of women's entrepreneurship in the format of the first public-private dialogue of BRICS Women and Economy and in the future to hold a forum about the role of women in economic development within the framework of BRICS.
Valentina Matviyenko believes that the expansion of women's participation in politics and economy and their being united will contribute to the creation of a system of universal security.
“Peace, social well-being and harmony are the things that all women on the planet are for. I am sure that the decisions that we will be able work out in cooperation will help to overcome the challenges and threats of the 21st century”, she said.
The plenary session also included reports of Vladimir Gorodetsky, Governor of Novosibirsk Oblast, Sergei Menyailo, Commissioning Representative of the President in Siberian Federal District, Bakhtier Kharimov, special representative of the President on the SCO issues and representatives from different countries. Among the questions discussed were women's employment in the Republic of Kazakhstan, migration of women in the SCO countries, the role of women in the economic development of Mongolia and etc. After the plenary session the discussion platforms began their work.
Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women's Community
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov