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On Wednesday, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Tuula Haatainen had the pleasure to receive Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, to discuss the upcoming anniversary of women's rights. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of 189 member states of the UN pledging to promote women's rights under the so-called Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
In 1995, Haatainen travelled to Beijing with the then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Tarja Halonen (Social Democratic Party) as part of the Finnish delegation to negotiate the text for the declaration and platform.
"The Beijing Declaration was revolutionary because it meant that women's rights would be recognised as an integral part of universal human rights. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the declaration, especially as Finland's presidency of UN Women will take place that same year," said Haatainen.
She emphasised that women's and girls' rights have been and will always be one of the cornerstones of the foreign and development policy of Finland. Finland has supported the operations of UN Women from the beginning and is currently the fourth-largest main sponsor of the organisation. Anita Bhatia thanked Deputy Speaker Haatainen and Finland for their role in supporting UN Women.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker Haatainen, Head of the Network of Finnish Women Members of Parliament Eva Biaudet (Swedish People's Party) and Chair of the Finance Committee Johannes Koskinen (Social Democratic Party).