23 Dec 2020


ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

A prominent group of women leaders representing the Central Asian states and the United Nations launched a new platform, the Central Asian Women Leaders’ Caucus, today to support women in the region to attain a more prominent political, economic and social role and enable them to increasingly influence the decision-making process on issues related to peace, stability and sustainable development in the region. 

The launch took place at the Dialogue of Women Leaders from Central Asian states, which is organized by the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and was held online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.   

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNRCCA, Natalia Gherman in partnership with UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger convened the meeting with  Tanzila Narbaeva, Speaker of the Parliament of Uzbekistan; Gulshat Mammedova, Speaker of the Parliament of Turkmenistan; Gulmira Isimbayeva, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Kazakhstan; Elvira Surabaldieva, Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan and Hilolby Kurbonzoda, Head of the Tajik Government Committee on Women and Family.

“I believe that the Central Asian Women Leaders’ Caucus can be a key platform for continuing to strengthen regional cooperation more broadly. In recent years, the countries of the region have expanded their cooperation in all spheres,” said Ms. Gherman. “As important women leaders in your home countries, each of you has the unique ability to rally political support around common objectives and to serve as role models to influence and drive change.”

Recalling a disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, Ms. Spoljaric Egger said that women must be both the architects and beneficiaries of the efforts to build back stronger and better. “The Caucus can become a driver for the acceleration of SDG implementation in the countries and regionally, through its high-level leadership, promotion of values and advancement of women’s engagement in societies.” 

During the meeting participants reiterated the commitments of UN Member States under the global agenda for Women, Peace and Security, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals.

The high-level representatives of the Central Asian states adopted a Declaration pledging to harness the potential of women leadership throughout Central Asia. They also unanimously agreed the candidacy of Ms. Tanzila Narbaeva, Speaker of the Parliament of Uzbekistan, as Chairperson of the Women Leaders’ Dialogue of Central Asia in 2021.