|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
WHEN WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN PEACE NEGOTIATIONS, CRAFTING PEACE AGREEMENTS, ‘SOCIETIES
ARE THE WINNERS’, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN MESSAGE TO WOMEN FOR PEACE DINNER
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Women for Peace dinner today in New York:
It is a pleasure to greet all those attending the Women for Peace dinner.
The cause of gender equality should unite all of us. Empowering women is not only a noble goal unto itself. It is a condition for building better lives for everyone.
Yet we are still far from turning this understanding into universal practice.
In almost all countries, women continue to be underrepresented in decision-making positions.
This is particularly the case when it comes to peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
Women have been long active in lobbying and organizing for peace. They have called for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. They have campaigned against landmines and small arms.
However, women’s informal work for peace is seldom reflected in formal peace processes. Women’s concerns do not always reach the negotiating table, much less any final peace document.
At the same time, women are among those who suffer the most harm during conflicts, for example when rape is used as a weapon of war.
The essential role that women play in peacebuilding has been recognized by Security Council resolutions 1325 and 1820.
When women participate in peace negotiations, and in crafting a peace agreement, their societies are the winners.
I am pleased to join Women for Peace in paying tribute to two remarkable women who are helping to build a safer, more peaceful world. Queen Noor and Jody Williams richly deserve this recognition.
I also thank the UN Delegations Women’s Club and the University for Peace for their commitment to women’s rights.
For my part, I pledge to continue doing my utmost to keep the United Nations at the forefront of this effort.
Please accept my best wishes for a memorable evening.
* *** *For information media • not an official record