UN Agencies Organize Congress on Women in Politics Focusing on Climate Change and DRR

23 October 2008: The Third Congress on Women in Politics and

Governance: Focus on Gender, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

took place from 19-22 October 2008, in Manila, Philippines. The event was

organized by the Center for Asia-Pacific Women in Politics in partnership with

the UN/International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the UN

Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), among

other organizations.

The Congress aimed to provide a forum for legislators and

decision-makers to: provide an understanding of climate change, its impacts and

its implications, and study the appropriate risk reduction strategy; review and

examine the gender aspects in climate change and DRR and formulate appropriate

actions to address them; define the roles women can play in addressing the

impacts of climate change and DRR programmes and policies at all levels; and

identify and define the action agenda for parliamentarians, policy advocates,

and women leaders to support global and national actions to adapt gender

responsive legislation and programmes related to gender in climate change and


Speakers at the event included: Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director;

Hanna Uusimaa, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific; Linda Milan,

World Health Organization; and Feng Min Kan, UN/ISDR Secretariat. UN Conference

on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi

underlined that gender inequalities underlie women's greater vulnerability to

climate change and, in turn, its impacts reinforce the inequalities. He offered

several suggestions for national and international action to break this

“vicious circle of worsening inequalities and impact,” which he said has a

devastating effect on economic and trade growth. [Congress Website] [UNCTAD

Secretary-General Statement]