18 October 2013
Security Council
SC/11149

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

7044th Meeting (AM & PM)


Security Council Adopts Resolution 2122 (2013), Aiming to Strengthen

 

Women’s Role in All Stages of Conflict Prevention, Resolution

 


Senior Officials Brief on Progress, Challenges in Implementing Landmark Text


The Security Council today adopted a resolution that puts stronger measures in place for women to participate in all phases of conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, placing the onus of providing them with seats at the peace table on Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations itself.


Punctuating its open debate on “Women, rule of law and transitional justice in conflict-affected situations” by unanimously adopting resolution 2122 (2013), the 15-member body recognized the need for consistent implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) ‑ on women, peace and security ‑ in its own work, and expressed its intention to focus more on women’s leadership in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.  It was the seventh text adopted by the Council with the aim of substantially addressing the participation aspects of the women, peace and security agenda.


By its terms, the Council welcomed more regular briefings by the Executive Director of UN-Women and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict on issues relating to women, peace and security.  It also requested the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs to provide it with updates during their regular briefings on issues relevant to that topic.


Along similar lines, the Council requested updates from the Secretary-General as well as his special envoys and representatives on inviting women to participate in discussions on preventing and resolving conflict, maintaining peace and security and building post-conflict peace.  It invited all United Nations-established commissions of inquiry investigating situations on the Council’s agenda to include information on the impacts of armed conflict on women and girls.


Reiterating its intention to convene a high-level review of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in 2015, the Council recognized with concern that, without a “significant implementation shift”, women would remain under-represented in conflict prevention and resolution, protection and peacebuilding for the foreseeable future.  It requested the Secretary-General to make gender expertise available to all United Nations mediation teams and to support the appointment of women as senior mediators.  It also invited him to commission a study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).


“This is a matter of gender equality and human rights,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared as he opened the day-long debate.  Those issues were crucial to sustainable peace, economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy ‑ a fact made loud and clear by today’s resolution.  Women must be involved at every stage of efforts to reassert the rule of law and rebuild society through transitional justice.  He urged the Council to deal with the full range of violations of women’s rights during conflict, saying that peacekeeping mandates should support national prosecution for serious international crimes against women.  He said he had sought to lead by example, noting that for the first time in history, five United Nations peacekeeping operations were led by women.


At the same time, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN-Women, pointed out that while gains had been made, they had not been as consistent or as sustained as they should be.  Spending on gender equality and women’s empowerment in peacebuilding had increased, but it rarely reached the 15 per cent minimum set by the Secretary-General’s Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding.  The numbers of senior women in United Nations field missions also remained relatively stagnant.  In one positive sign, however, she said she was seeing a “new generation” of gender-responsive mediation practice from peace leaders, the elements of which included early and regular consultations with women’s rights groups, gender advisers for mediation teams, and efforts to ensure that crimes against women were addressed in ceasefire and peace negotiations.


“There is still a long and hard road ahead,” said Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, joining the meeting via video link from Geneva.  The situations in Syria and the Central African Republic underlined how the protection of women’s rights during conflict remained a challenge.  Rule-of-law and transitional justice processes were crucial, notably in order to deter recurrences.  In that context, she stressed the need for women to participate fully in gender-specific transitional justice strategies.


Brigitte Balipou, of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, called attention to the Central African Republic, saying the security situation there had spiralled into a full-blown conflict since 24 March, impacting the entire civilian population, especially women and girls.  They had been widely subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence, while children had been recruited as soldiers.  “We live in fear,” she said, adding:  “We are being killed indiscriminately in large numbers.”  It was time to dismantle barriers to women’s full participation in decision-making, especially in peace negotiations.  Full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) required increased gender parity in transitional justice systems and ensuring women’s political participation, both as voters and candidates.


When the floor was opened, more than 65 delegates said today’s resolution would strengthen the normative framework for empowering women and encouraging their full participation in all levels of decision-making in conflict and post-conflict settings.  At the same time, they decried the fact that security and justice systems continued to fail women.  While Governments bore primary responsibility for protecting women’s rights, urgent steps were needed to stop gender-based and sexual violence, and importantly, to bring perpetrators to justice, including by making all forms of sexual violence punishable by law.


Pointing out that women were more than simply victims of such abuse, other speakers cautioned against viewing them exclusively through that lens because it constituted another form of gender discrimination.  Women were pivotal actors who could steer a country’s economic, political and social future, they said.  As such, they must be involved in all decisions, from the ground up.


With that in mind, still other speakers reminded the Council to maintain a strict focus on women, but only as they related to peace and security.  It should not veer towards aspects that overlapped with the agendas of the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council, they cautioned.


Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Morocco, Guatemala, Argentina, Pakistan, Rwanda, China, Togo, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, France, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Austria, New Zealand, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, Spain, Estonia, Malaysia, Switzerland, Chile, Greece, Thailand, Belarus, Slovenia, Qatar, Ireland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, India, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Syria, Marshall Islands (on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum), Czech Republic, South Africa, Japan, Solomon Islands, Colombia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Croatia, Sweden, Uruguay, Portugal, Egypt, Indonesia, Botswana, Latvia, Georgia and Namibia.


Representatives of the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the African Union also delivered statements.


The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 5:33 p.m.


Background


The Security Council met this morning to hold an open debate on women, rule of law and transitional justice in conflict-affected situations.  Before it was a letter from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the Secretary-General (document S/2013/587), dated 3 October 2013, which transmits a concept paper for the discussion.  Also before members was a report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security (document S/2013/525), dated 4 September 2013, which provides an overview of progress since 2012 in implementing resolution 1325 (2000).  It makes several recommendations concerning the implementation of commitments and resolutions relating to women, peace and security.


At the outset of the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2122 (2013).


Opening Remarks


BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, commended the Security Council for having adopted today’s resolution, underscoring the central importance of women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution and in peacebuilding.  He welcomed calls for concrete actions not only to increase the number of women involved in peacemaking, but crucially, also to improve the way in which the Council and other entities addressed gender issues.  Women must be involved at every stage of efforts to reassert the rule of law and rebuild society through transitional justice.  He urged the Council to deal with the full range of violations of women’s rights during conflict.  Peacekeeping mandates should support national prosecution for serious international crimes against women, and measures taken to enable women to participate in the design and delivery of transitional justice.


The United Nations was developing good practices to embed gender dimensions in transitional justice and peacebuilding, he said.  “We are working to ensure that women are represented on all UN mediation support teams.”  The Organization had significantly increased the number of female police officers in peacekeeping operations and completed studies on ways in which to enhance women’s access to justice.  “The fact remains that this progress has not been matched,” he pointed out.  “Gains have been achieved through special measures like quotas.  Such measures could help to increase the number of all levels of mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.”


“I have sought to lead by example by appointing more women to senior positions throughout the UN,” Mr. Ban continued.  “For the first time in history, five UN peacekeeping operations are led by women ‑ in South Sudan, Liberia, Cyprus, Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire.”  He went on:  “Last year, Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou ‑ who heads our efforts in Côte d’Ivoire ‑ served as Joint Chief Mediator in Darfur.  And this year I appointed the UN’s first woman lead negotiator in a peace process: Mary Robinson, my Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa.”


More distance remains to be travelled, he cautioned.  “This is a matter of gender equality and human rights, and crucial to achieving sustainable peace, economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy.  Today’s resolution made that point loud and clear.”  Societies emerging from conflict faced challenges unique to their circumstances, but they all encountered crucial moments in which they could begin again, draw lessons from the upheaval and gain a new path of stability and progress.  Transitional justice had proven to play a critical role, but the success of such processes depended fundamentally on their inclusiveness ‑ the involvement of women, of minorities, of agreed parties of all stakeholders, he said.


PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA, Executive Director of UN-Women, thanked the Council for its determination in passing today’s text.  “This resolution puts the onus on all of us ‑ the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organizations and Member States ‑ to create the space and provide seats at the peace table for women.”  Mediators and their teams must encourage negotiating parties to invite women to the table and address their issues in ceasefire and peace accords, she emphasized.  It was critical that the Council now request briefings on the specific impacts of conflict on women, and that all conflict-related crimes perpetrated against women be reported by international commissions of inquiry, sanctions committees and other bodies.  Gender analysis must be used to identify the impact of all peace-related decisions on women’s rights.


To be sure, the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of the women and peace and security agenda showed progress, she said, noting that 93 per cent of directives to police components in peacekeeping missions now included instructions to address women’s security ‑ 40 per cent more than in 2012.  International commissions of inquiry now routinely included gender crime investigators.  She said she was now seeing a “new generation” of gender-responsive mediation practice from peace leaders, including early and regular consultations with women leaders and women’s rights groups, securing gender advisers for mediation teams, and ensuring that crimes against women were addressed in ceasefire and peace negotiations.


The report also showed that the gains made were neither as consistent nor as sustained as they should be, she said, noting that while 3 out of 10 peace agreements in United Nations-supported peace processes included provisions on women’s political participation or protection in 2013 ‑ more than in the previous year ‑ that number should be raised in all peace accords.  Also during the past year, the numbers of senior women in United Nations field missions had remained relatively stagnant.  While spending on gender equality and women’s empowerment in peacebuilding had increased, it rarely reached the 15 per cent minimum set by the Secretary-General’s Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding.  Among other recommendations, she said, the report set out strategic measures for all stakeholders to accelerate implementation, with a focus on removing obstacles to women’s leadership in peace processes and on building United Nations capacity to address gender issues across all peace and security work.


Emphasizing that respect for the rule of law was integral to peacebuilding, she pointed out that the law was itself gender-biased in its failure to criminalize some forms of violence against women.  Even where laws were in line with international human rights standards, authorities could be inconsistent in their application, which led to the well-known result:  a climate of impunity for crimes committed against women.  The public forms of gender-based violence in wartime were founded on private violence against women in many homes, and on serious gender inequalities, she stressed.  Women’s leadership was central to the reconciliation, conflict resolution and peacebuilding that brought results for families and communities around the world.


NAVANETHEM PILLAY, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke via video link, citing the situations in Syria and the Central African Republic in explaining how the protection of women’s human rights in conflict remained a challenge.  Rule of law and transitional justice were crucial not only for justice and reparations, but also to deter recurrences.  She stressed the need for full participation by women in context- and gender-specific transitional justice strategies.  There had been efforts to include gender considerations in the inquiries conducted in such places as Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said, noting that such expertise could make an important contribution in ensuring gender-sensitive justice.  There was also greater international awareness of the need for gender-specific reparations, she said, adding that a guidance note was being prepared by her Office and UN-Women.


She said there had been targeted efforts to punish perpetrators and establish legal clinics for victims.  As a result, an increasing number of convictions had been achieved.  “There is still a long and hard road ahead,” She cautioned.  Efforts for judicial accountability should take account of a whole range of violations as well as the underlying structures.  The obligations of States should be enshrined in national laws.  Underlining the interrelated and interdependent nature of human rights, she said that in some places, women faced pressure while making legislation, while in others their space was restricted.  In focusing on temporary measures like quotas, it was necessary to address the wider structural problems.  It was crucial to seize the opportunities provided by transitions to make situations more gender-sensitive for the sake of genuine peace and development, she said.


BRIGITTE BALIPOU, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, said that, among other capacities, she was also present as a magistrate in the Central African Republic, which had suffered two decades of crisis that had undermined unity and national cohesion.  Since 24 March, the country’s security situation had spiralled into a full-blown conflict that had impacted the entire civilian population, especially women and girls.  They had been subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence on a wide scale, and children had been recruited as soldiers.  “We live in fear,” she said.  “We are being killed indiscriminately in large numbers.”  Amid rampant looting, there was a lack of food and supplies.  Children had not attended school since March, and the country needed urgent security and humanitarian intervention.


It was time to dismantle barriers to women’s full participation in decision-making at all levels, she said, demanding their full involvement in peace negotiations.  That demand had been echoed by women in Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Colombia, Libya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) required increased gender parity in transitional justice systems ‑ including reconciliation ‑ and ensuring women’s political participation as both voters and candidates.  All such efforts should ensure the payment of reparations for crimes under international law.  Specifically, the Central African Republic’s justice infrastructure must be rebuilt and those committing abuses held accountable.


The core factors behind conflict, such as the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, must be addressed, she emphasized, calling also for a stronger focus on demilitarization.  Traditional security areas such as disarmament and demobilization must be fully responsive to women, an issue that must be considered in the planned deployment of African Union peacekeeping troops to the country.  In communities ravaged by conflict, humanitarian responses must be mobilized in line with international humanitarian law, and with women and girls included in the design, delivery and evaluation of relevant programmes.  “Implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) is too urgent to wait,” she stressed.  Women’s groups must be engaged as key partners in peace, mediation, negotiation and governmental processes.  Women’s rights must be prioritized through the implementation of national and regional action plans on resolution 1325 (2000).  “We call on you to make these priorities non-negotiable,” with the resolution’s principles embedded in the post-2015 development goals and indicators.


Statements


PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said that security and justice systems had failed women time and time and time again, exacerbating existing injustices.  Transitional justice allowed opportunities to work for positive change.  The representation of women in the justice sector was crucial and barriers must be removed.  The United Kingdom had established a team of rule-of-law experts who were providing training and mentoring to national authorities, building laws and capabilities and working on the frontlines, he said.  Women continued to be seen as mere victims of violence rather than leaders of change, as people to be protected rather than respected, he said, adding that excluding 50 per cent of humanity could never lead to long and lasting peace.  Two years before the high-level review, the international community must invigorate its efforts.


SAMANTHA POWER ( United States) said that sexual predators did their worst during armed conflict.  Amid such abuse, one standard to live up to was that of inclusion.  There was no excuse for denying women fair representation when negotiating peace.  Some progress had been made in 2013:  women had been included in every formal peace negotiation process led or co-led by the United Nations.  Moreover, gender crimes investigators had been part of all commissions of inquiry since 2009.  Less impressive was women’s participation in police and military deployments, which stood at 10 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.  Every country needed to develop an action plan for involving women in peace and security, she said, adding that the United States had done so.  Cautioning against conflating efforts with concrete results, she called for concrete steps to ensure women’s full participation.


GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) said the links between women’s participation and the Council’s work were all too often not made, and the consistent inclusion of women, peace and security objectives in mission mandates was fundamental to addressing that issue.  For the Council to remain responsive, timely and relevant information must be provided by all United Nations actors deployed in conflict-resolution efforts.  Pointing out that 78 per cent of the more than 2 million refugees from Syria were women and girls, he stressed the importance of involving women early in peace talks.  Also, local justice must include justice for crimes of sexual violence.  In post-conflict settings, full participation by women was critical to rebuilding the justice sector and to security-sector reform, he said, urging the Council rigorously to strengthen its consideration of the gender dimensions of conflict.


MOHAMMED LOULICHKI ( Morocco) said the effective empowerment of women in peacebuilding involved collective and cohesive action by the United Nations system in specific contexts.  Peace needed equitable and sustainable economic and social structures.  While welcoming the Organization’s efforts to build women’s capacities in peacebuilding, he noted with concern that women refugees continued to suffer the most.  By upholding their commitments on the registration of refugees under international law, countries would make a positive impact, he added.  Coordinated action between national authorities and the United Nations was important in halting the tragic consequences of armed action.


GERT ROSENTHAL ( Guatemala) said that without security for women, there could not be lasting peace.  Although the Council had hosted seven debates on the rule of law, insufficient progress had been made towards full participation by women in transnational justice processes.  It was also of paramount importance to advance the fight against impunity, improve access to justice for women and strengthen judicial infrastructure to deal with such crimes.  The international community must intensify efforts to meet and fund the psychological recovery needs of women and girls, especially those who heading households, he said.


MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL (Argentina) emphasized the need to incorporate women more fully into the peace agenda, which required the involvement of women at all levels of peace processes.  Describing violence against women during conflict as an old problem that was used to undermine communities and families, she said it had ceased to be an invisible crime.  The international tribunals had made progress in criminalizing sexual violence and in declaring its worst forms war crimes and crimes against humanity.  In step with that progressive position, there was an increasing awareness of the need to end other forms of discrimination.  Refusing to allow impunity for perpetrators would ensure truth and reconciliation, and ultimately build lasting peace, she said, adding that weak States, corrupt and authoritarian Governments and a pervasive culture of impunity allowed the persistence of violence and other ills.


MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said appreciable progress had been made in promoting the women, peace and security agenda, but much remained to be done in translating them into more tangible action on the ground.  The resolution adopted today strengthened the normative framework, and the world should focus attention on bridging the gaps.  Urgent steps were needed to stop gender-based and sexual violence and to bring perpetrators to justice, he said.  Given women’s strong stake in peace, their role as peacemakers and peacebuilders must be integrated at different stages of peace processes, he said, calling for more investment in capacity-building and in the empowerment of women.


EUGÈNE-RICHARD GASANA (Rwanda) condemned all forms of violence against women and girls, stressing that sexual violence in conflict should qualify as “sexual terrorism”.  Rwanda had created a favourable environment for fostering women’s empowerment, having adopted supportive policies and legal frameworks.  Its lower chamber of Parliament attested to the fruitfulness of its policies, with women’s representation standing at 64 per cent.  Rwanda had also adopted a national action plan on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), as well as policies governing responses to violence against women and girls, he said.


LIU JIEYI (China) said the United Nations should strengthen coordination among its agencies, while the Council focused specifically on conflict-prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, in order to facilitate the political security that was vital to women’s security.  Strengthening the rule of law was an important basis for upholding women’s rights, and it was essential to include women in security- and justice-sector reform processes, as well as in national reconciliation efforts.  Women should also participate in mediation efforts and in post-conflict peacebuilding and development.


KODJO MENAN ( Togo) said the situations in Syria, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued to demonstrate the difficulty of the road ahead.  Gender advisers should be deployed in all missions, he said, calling for the apprehension and prosecution of perpetrators.  That should be a commitment for all actors.  There was a need for appropriate national laws within which the fight against impunity could be waged.  Quotas must be maintained for women in elective and senior decision-making positions, and judicial and legal reforms must be pursued.  However, measures to prevent conflict were the best protection, he stressed.


EVGENY T. ZAGAYNOV (Russian Federation) emphasized that, while the continued killing of women and children in conflicts should not be considered collateral damage, not all threats to international peace and security required intervention by the Council, adding that some mandates could be tackled by other bodies.  The division of labour established in the United Nations system must be upheld.  The Council’s effectiveness would depend on its “unswerving focus” on fulfilling its mandate to uphold international peace and security.  Questioning the usefulness and relevance of individual indicators, he said they must be more transparent and open.  The establishment of national action plans to assess State policies must be voluntary on the part of non-belligerent States and not an obligation on all, he stressed.  The prevention of violence against women should be pursued not in a predetermined way, but according to specific situations, with national Governments playing the leading role, and the United Nations system as well as civil society supporting and complementing their efforts.


JOON OH (Republic of Korea) welcomed the Council’s increasing incorporation of gender perspectives into its resolutions, but said that such efforts must be carried out in a more systematic way to be truly effective.  The Council must be supported with timely information, he said, urging more regular updates from field missions on the status of women and girls in armed conflict.  More attention should also be paid to women in post-conflict recovery and post-conflict situations, and women’s priorities must be reflected in peace and justice mechanisms.  Transitional justice was important for bringing perpetrators to account and ending impunity, he said, recognizing the role of the International Criminal Court in ensuring justice for such crimes.


GÉRARD ARAUD ( France) said women must be consulted as full stakeholders.  In the field, the Secretary-General’s special envoys should engage with women’s civil society organizations, while in New York, women’s participation should be reflected in the briefings delivered to the Council by the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Political Affairs.  As for the Council, he said:  “We must restore order, peace and law in the Central African Republic.”  In Syria, women had been frontline actors against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, he said, adding that they must be heard and associated with peace negotiations.


SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said justice operated imperfectly in conflict and post-conflict situations, and the obstacles could be crippling for women, with justice often beyond their reach and the judiciary itself ill-prepared to address their situation.  Transitional justice afforded an opportunity for transformation, she said.  Women must be heard during peace and justice-sector reform processes.  They must be full-fledged stakeholders in reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts.  It was difficult to imagine that a society could truly be respectful of women’s rights when female victims of sexual violence were routinely denied the right to see perpetrators brought to justice, she said.


AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan), Council President, speaking in his national capacity, said that while the Council increasingly considered women and security, less attention was paid to the gender impact of the breakdown in the rule of law during and after a conflict.  Despite a strengthening of political will and international frameworks for ensuring justice for conflict-related sexual violence, little had been said about the full range of violations and the serious crimes suffered by women, including forced disappearances, foreign occupation, mass forced displacement, restrictions on humanitarian aid, trafficking and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.  Transitional justice measures to rebuild the rule of law while ensuring redress, justice and reconciliation were important tools for furthering women’s rights in post-conflict societies.


GUILHERME DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA ( Brazil) said the rule of law provided vulnerable groups, such as women, with normative tools that promoted their empowerment and emancipation.  It was essential to uphold the equal rights of women by ensuring their full participation in governing institutions and the judicial system, thereby establishing a legislative framework that secured their full access to justice.  Their participation in conflict-resolution and mediation processes not only contributed to the elaboration of balanced rules in post-conflict situations, it was also an important factor in achieving sustainable peace.  Supporting and promoting women’s participation in the maintenance of international peace and security was an increasingly important aspect of the Security Council’s responsibility under the United Nations Charter, he emphasized.


THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the European Union Delegation, said transitional justice processes must address the broad range of conflict-related violations of women’s rights, including enforced disappearances, early and forced marriage, human trafficking and violations of economic and social rights.  The European Union was working to establish its policy on transitional justice, and today almost all its civilian missions and military operations had a human rights and/or gender adviser on the ground, he said.  Calling upon the United Nations to increase the participation of women in mediation activities, and to include gender experts in mediation teams, he emphasized the importance of enhancing the links between information provided to the Security Council and the outcomes of its work, particularly mandates for peace operations.  The European Union also called for more national and regional action plans for the implementation of Council resolution 1325 (2000).


CHRISTIAN WENAWESER ( Liechtenstein) said sexual violence was often used as a method of warfare, with disastrous long-term effects that tore the fundamental social fabric of communities.  The International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute recognized it as a war crime and a crime against humanity, and 18 of those currently accused in 14 of the Court’s cases were charged with sexual crimes.  Women’s participation in peace processes was of key importance, yet it was unacceptable that out of 10 peace agreements signed in 2012, only three included provisions on women, peace and security.  Liechtenstein welcomed recent efforts to address that issue, including the Peacebuilding Commission’s declaration on women’s economic empowerment.  “The United Nations must lead by example and scale up efforts to deploy more women as leaders in mediation and other transitional processes,” he said, emphasizing that the Council must recognize the need for consistency concerning the inclusion of women, peace and security in its work.


MARI SKÅRE, Special Representative of the Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said there was a greater awareness that mainstreaming gender into the broader security context would strengthen the ability to meet security challenges.  NATO’s collaboration with partner nations focused on joint political leadership and practical cooperation in the security and defence fields.  Reform and the rebuilding of security institutions should be gender-sensitive and ensure women’s participation in the security sector as in any other sector.  Experiences in Afghanistan and Kosovo provided a good opportunity to learn, he said.  A key lesson was the need to sharpen the focus on implementing existing policies, action plans and directives.  Training, education and exercise were also key tools for ensuring that security institutions and armed forces had the necessary competence.  NATO was defined not by the threats it faced but by the values it shared, he said.  “We are united by the principles of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and rule of law.”  There could be no respect for those principles if women could not make decisions, participate or gain access to justice.


JORGE MONTAÑO ( Mexico) said his country was pushing forward a review of its legal framework to ensure it was in line with resolution 1325 (2000).  All national activities must be gender-sensitive, and the Government had created a programme for training the armed forces on the rights of women.  In terms of political rights, Mexico had launched an initiative to ensure the equitable representation of women in the Senate and the House of Representatives.  Women’s role in mediation, peace and ceasefire agreements encouraged national reconciliation.  Legal changes must ensure that there was objective justice, and gender-sensitive programmes must reconstruct social fabrics that excluded women’s participation.


GERHARD DOUJAK, Head of the Human Rights Department in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria, said post-conflict transitional justice mechanisms must be victim-centred and gender-sensitive.  Legal, institutional or social obstacles to women’s access to formal and informal justice systems must be addressed alongside reparations programmes targeting victims of sexual and gender-based violence.  The International Criminal Court and similar tribunals played a crucial role in fighting impunity, he said.  Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in political, public and economic life must become the rule rather than the exception, he emphasized, calling on the Council to make the best use of the time leading up to the high-level review of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in 2015.  Regarding press safety, he said female journalists often faced gender-specific risks of violence and intimidation.  Austria had implemented resolution 1325 (2000) by revising its national action plan, enhancing the gender expertise of civil and military staff in peacekeeping operations and developing a training curriculum.


JIM MCLAY (New Zealand) agreed with Special Envoy Mary Robinson’s June speech in which she had spoken of women not as victims, but as stakeholders, and called for them to be placed at the core of peacebuilding.  Women’s perspectives must be included in the design, implementation and monitoring of transitional justice processes.  The Council should make clear its expectation that women would play a prominent role both as leaders and active participants in consultative processes to establish transitional arrangements.  United Nations field presences must fully engage with women in civil society and the community, he added.  New Zealand encouraged the consistent deployment of gender advisers in peacekeeping missions and transitional arrangements.


EMILIA GATTO ( Italy), associating herself with the European Union, said the increased participation of women in decision-making would help remove traditional and cultural attitudes that often obstructed their access to justice.  Gender-sensitive laws must allow women access to land and criminalize sexual and gender-based violence.  Reparations were also critical to transitional justice processes, he said, adding that while Governments bore primary responsibility for steering them, the International Criminal Court had a unique role in complementing their efforts when national courts were unable or unwilling to bring perpetrators to justice.


MIROSLAVA BEHAM, Senior Gender Adviser, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said her organization had acknowledged the importance of the women, peace and security agenda by passing a number of Ministerial Council decisions and launching many initiatives to implement them.  It was undertaking every effort to mainstream the participation of women into a variety of activities relating to justice for war crimes, trial monitoring, criminal justice reform, judicial independence and administrative justice.  It also helped increase women’s access to legal aid in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and worked with participating States to increase the number of women in the police and military.  OSCE would launch its Guidance Note on Gender-Responsive Mediation in Istanbul on 24 October, with the purpose of promoting women’s participation in mediation, dialogues and quiet diplomacy initiatives, as well as highlighting the importance of gender inclusivity for the sustainability of conflict resolution and reconciliation.


RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), associating herself with the European Union, said transitional justice could not be a substitute for accountability, and should not limit victims’ access to reparations.  Blanket amnesties could not be extended to conflict-related sexual violence.  Moreover, the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms disproportionately impacted women and girls, she noted, emphasizing that their participation at all levels in economic, political and social life was as crucial to sustainable peace as it was to poverty reduction, economic recovery and sustainable development.  The decrease in women’s share of senior positions in United Nations field operations was also of particular concern and should be reversed, she stressed.


BÉNÉDICTE FRANKINET (Belgium), associating herself with the European Union, emphasized the importance of rebuilding justice systems.  To attain that goal, it was essential to support the facilitation of access to justice for women and girls, and to mainstream gender perspectives into rule-of-law and transitional justice initiatives and processes.  She reiterated the urgent need for countries to implement the broadest definition of sexual violence in order to fight the practice.


JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain) stressed that placing women at the centre of the decision-making process was the only way to generate more equal societies and avoid perpetuation of civil unrest.  However, the inclusion of policy matters directly affecting women and their rights remained insufficient.  Highlighting several international initiatives that his country had participated in, he said that on a national level, Spain had devoted significant effort to the promotion of the gender perspective in conflict situations through its Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security.  Within that framework, it had carried out diverse actions in the scope of foreign policy, cooperation and defence in order to guarantee the sufficient application of resolution 1325 (2000).


MARGUS KOLGA (Estonia), associating himself with the European Union, said his country’s particular focus was on the rights of women and children, the gender perspective in conflict settlements, and the fight against impunity.  The rule of law must promote justice and accountability in such a way as to further the rights of women, including through gender-sensitive legal and institutional reforms.  Women’s representation in the justice sector played a significant role in increasing the reporting of crimes and in enhancing public trust in rule-of-law institutions.  The struggle against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern against women and girls had been strengthened through the work of the International Criminal Court, as well as the ad hoc and mixed tribunals and specialized chambers of national accountability, he said.  However, the Court’s prosecutions would not be sufficient to ensure complete accountability, and it was essential to translate the Rome Statute’s gender provisions into national prosecutions.


RAJA REZA BIN RAJA ZAIB SHAH (Malaysia), expressing concern over the inadequacy of legal frameworks on women’s rights in post-conflict countries, said the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia could offer insightful lessons from the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes.  Governments that had suffered conflict could consider allocating greater financial resources to investigate cases of sexual violence.  Access to health care was critical, especially for victims of sexual and gender-based violence, he said.  Noting the continuing deficit in opportunities for women to exercise leadership in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes, he said more women must be involved in high-level decision-making positions.


PAUL SEGER (Switzerland) said that, since violent conflicts affected women and men in different ways, prosecuting gender-based violence was a key component of reconciliation and reintegration into post-conflict societies.  Women’s participation in transformation processes must be strengthened to guarantee sustainable peace and help to combat sexual violence, he said, emphasizing that sexual and reproductive rights must also be safeguarded in conflict and post-conflict situations.  Moving forward, gender equality must be both a stand-alone target and a component of other goals of the post-2015 development agenda.


OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ (Chile) said he was concerned about the lack of opportunity for and the persistent shortage of women in leadership positions.  Further, there was a trend towards a decline in financing gaps and in the numbers of women in middle or senior management, as well as the lack of age- and sex-disaggregated data.  He endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendation for an independent global study in implementing resolution 1325 (2000).  While appreciating the work of experts deployed in the field, it was essential that system and national training must be provided for both leadership and management positions.  Women’s access to political office must also accelerate.  He urged States to support the Arms Trade Treaty, an instrument for the prevention of violence against women and girls.


MICHEL SPINELLIS (Greece), associating himself with the European Union, said women’s participation and leadership in decision-making processes in times of conflict was the only way to ensure their needs were addressed.  Prevention, rather than reaction, must be a priority.  That called for early-warning mechanisms, the collection of data on sexual violence and the strengthening of national justice responses to all crimes committed against women.  To make the rule of law a reality beyond the formal establishment of institutions, however, required accessibility for all individuals and groups, he said.  A major obstacle was the cost of legal advice and legal representation.


NORACHIT SINHASENI ( Thailand) noted that transitional justice mechanisms were increasingly responding to war crimes against women by providing specific arrangements to protect women witnesses.  He also welcomed the adoption of a Council resolution that focused on accountability for the perpetrators of sexual violence in conflicts and stressed women’s political and economic empowerment.  Though there was no situation of armed conflict in Thailand; the Council’s resolutions on women and peace and security had been used as domestic guidelines.  A subcommittee on women and the promotion of peace and security also had been established by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.  That body was drafting policy and strategy as a basis to create a national action plan.  Because women’s access to justice was a national priority, the Independent National Rule of Law Commission worked to ensure all State organs carried out their duties based on the rule of law, without discrimination.  As well, his country would, in November, host “The Bangkok Dialogue on the Rule of Law:  Investing in the Rule of Law, Justice and Security for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.


Mr. VELICHKO (Belarus), stating that bodies such as UN-Women and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHR) had critical roles in the women, peace and security agenda, stressed that Council resolutions provided the parameters for responding to sexual violence and laid down prohibition on such acts in waging war.  Any act of sexual violence required immediate punishment of the perpetrators.  The international community’s coherent and collective efforts were central to success in that regard.  The key issue was to determine how and in what way the world could come together.  She said she was seriously concerned by recent “hasty” efforts by an “inner circle” to advance the cause.  While acknowledging the purity of the motive involved, she was opposed to alienating or disregarding any country.  Such hurried actions on paper would undermine genuine partnership, she said, adding that the policy should be to abide by respectful partnership even if that went against short-term plans.


ANDREJ LOGAR ( Slovenia), aligning himself with the European Union delegation, said that because women were particularly vulnerable in conflict, they were the first to feel the grave consequences of the breakdown of the rule of law.  Hence, it was imperative to end impunity for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence.  In the justice sector, he said that women must participate in order to ensure justice for all, not just women.  Further, the primary responsibility for the prosecution of conflict-related crimes lay with States.  At the same time, strengthening the international legal framework for judicial assistance, including extradition, between States would support the effective prosecution of international crimes at a national level.  The International Criminal Court would play an essential part establishing rule of law, particularly in cases where States were unable or unwilling to pursue it.


SHEIKHA ALYA AHMED SEIF AHMED AL-THANI (Qatar), pointing out that women’s rights were disproportionately violated in the Arab World, said that women’s access to transitional systems must be facilitated to ensure their participation in those mechanisms, especially when women and children were victims and faced social and cultural impediments to the justice system.  Women’s rights must also be strengthened to enable their participation in politics.  Women in armed conflict shouldered the heaviest burden.  In Palestine, women were subject to unjust practices carried out by Israeli forces, she said, pointing out that the Gaza blockade prevented their mobility.  In Syria, women were being targeted and subjected to physical and psychological violence, degradation and torture, she said, stressing that the Syrian regime must take full responsibility for their sexual exploitation and trafficking.


DAVID DONOGHUE (Ireland), aligning himself with the European Union delegation, said that today’s resolution was the pivot towards women’s leadership, which was often overshadowed by the appalling crimes afflicted on them during conflict.  Peace was more effectively secured when women were involved.  Peace agreements tended to be more resilient when women were at the table.  It was time to fundamentally restructure women’s role in society.  Active support for participation of women in peace processes was growing and some peace agreements were even including gender-sensitive clauses.  However, real transformative progress would only be possible when national leaders, almost all of them men at present, adopted gender-sensitive policy.  Only when men stood up as champions for women’s rights could there be concrete progress.


MIRSADA ČOLAKOVIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina), noting the increasing attention to sexual violence against women, said there was still a deficit of opportunities for women to exercise leadership in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding.  Women and children were most affected by conflicts, she said, and sexual violence continued after peace deals had been reached.  Peace could not be sustained unless women played a central role in the process at all stages.  Citing her own country’s experience and activities, she said Bosnia and Herzegovina had taken steps towards increasing women’s role in all levels of power, including those in police and security forces, in peacekeeping missions. 


GAREN NAZARIAN (Armenia) said, as a host of refugees, his country could attest to how women and girls played the primary price of conflicts.  Inclusion of women in all phases of the peace process had helped established lasting peace.  Emphasizing national ownership and reform of justice systems, he said that such reform must start from the enactment and implementation of laws ensuring women equal rights in all spheres.  Transitional justice and reparations, as well, had a tremendous impact in post-conflict recovery and transforming underlying inequality.  The United Nations had made significant gains in securing commitments to gender equality, and Member States should take advantage of the Organization’s resources and expertise that had been accumulated over time.  Without women’s leadership, there could be no effective prevention.


M. KRISHNASWAMY (India) stressed the need for a sustainable holistic approach to conflict resolution and reconstruction of impacted societies.  The participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict rebuilding efforts was necessary for a durable peace.  Noting that his country was one of the leading contributors to United Nations peacekeeping operations, he said the Council must make available the resources necessary for implementing the expanded scope of peacekeeping mandates.  India was the first Member State to successfully deploy an all-women police force as part of the United Nations.  Including women peacekeepers as well as women protection advisers could assist in empowering women to deal with the crime of sexual violence in armed conflict and play a major role in post-conflict reconstruction of traumatized societies.


Y. HALIT ÇEVIK (Turkey), condemning the gender-based violence in Syria, said that a culture of impunity tended to prevail in conflicts and in post-conflict situations.  Violators were not adequately punished ‑ if punished at all ‑ while victims lacked sufficient access to justice.  Ensuring the access of women and girls to judicial institutions and guaranteeing their proper representation was key.  Further, the international community had a responsibility to promote gender-sensitive judicial reform and capacity-building.  It was also important to provide gender expertise in peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding efforts.  Women must participate in those efforts.  As well, access to health services and rehabilitation dealing with mental, physical and psychological trauma was imperative to assist victims of sexual violence rebuild their lives.


TÉTE ANTÓNIO, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said that the African Union took note of its Member States’ international commitments in respect of women's rights.  While transitional justice mechanisms and processes were anchored at the national level, the Union and subregional bodies continued to play a pivotal role in influencing adoption and implementation of such justice processes on the continent.  A report by its Panel of the Wise recommended than the African Transitional Justice Policy Framework be developed and implemented by Member States.  The draft had gone through a final review by experts and would be further considered by all member States.  The organization remained convinced that the document would be s significant contribution to comprehensively promoting justice and accountability in ways that furthered the equal rights of women and their right to equal participation in decision-making.


PETER WITTIG ( Germany), associating his delegation with the European Union, said today’s debate emphasized the importance of gender-sensitive systems.  Women needed to be a part of all truth and justice commissions, which should address their concerns.  The adoption of the national action plans on women, peace, and security was another tool by which more Member States and the United Nations could ensure implementation of the full agenda laid out in resolution 1325 (2000).  The German national action plan was adopted last year.  The Security Council should begin to systematically mainstream women’s issues into all relevant spheres of its work.  Finally, women’s protection advisers to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) should be deployed as rapidly as possible and included in mission budgets where necessary.


MICHAEL GRANT (Canada) underscored that women’s inclusion in justice and the economic and social spheres was a necessary precondition to securing sustainable peace.  What was particularly egregious was the practice of child, early and forced marriage, which denied girls’ rights and put their very lives at risk.  Conflict situations exacerbated that practice, and the Council should take action to ensure the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention, mediation and resolution.  Initiatives by his country included a forthcoming resolution on child, early and forced marriage at the General Assembly, as well as a resolution adopted in June by the Human Rights Council under Canada’s leadership on the elimination of violence against women.  Canada was working with partners to assist the empowerment of women in conflict-related situations such as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he continued, and looked forward to strengthening efforts to empower women and girls as “active decision-makers”.


BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) pointed out that while a woman was Vice-President of his country, in other countries they were not even allowed to drive.  Syria’s conflict had been caused by mercenaries recruited from all parts of the world to impose unjust ideas that degraded women and turned them into concubines.  They also encouraged women to commit adultery in the name of Islam.  The regimes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia must also be held accountable for assisting those who commended rape, trafficking, and forced marriage.  Syrian refugees, some younger than 14, were being sold as slaves in the name of religion.  He called on the United Nations to put pressure on those Powers who sought to destabilize his people for profit.  The plight of Syrian women living under the Israeli occupation in the Golan Heights must also be addressed.


AMATLAIN ELIZABETH KABUA (Marshall Islands), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum member States, said that despite some positive gains, overall progress in the region towards gender equality was slow, with the number of women in parliament the lowest of any region in the world.  The region continued to be affected by armed conflicts, civil unrests, clashes over resources, increasing violent crimes and political crises.  Women and children constituted a disproportionate number of those affected.  However, in his region, women had demonstrated their capacity to contribute to conflict prevention, management and solution, as well as post-conflict recovery.  A Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security had been developed, which provided a detailed framework, among others, that enhanced women’s leadership in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and ensured their human rights were protected in humanitarian crises, transitional periods and post-conflict situations.


EDITA HRDÁ, (Czech Republic) stated that the international community should focus on preventive efforts, particularly in the case of violations of international law.  International tribunals had recognized rape as a powerful tool of war used to intimidate, persecute and terrorize the enemy.  Effective prosecution of such crimes was an important element for lasting peace and justice.  Through its human rights activities, the Czech Republic promoted the protection of women in post-conflict situations, as well as in countries of transition.  Her country also provided long-term financial support to victims of sexual violence in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The funds were used for comprehensive medical, psychological and legal assistance, shelter for women and children, and awareness campaigns for medical personnel and the general public in the affected area, to name a few.


JEREMIAH N. MAMABOLO ( South Africa) emphasized that the full and effective implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was not a panacea for existing challenges, and host States must play their rightful roles in addressing specific long-term problems.  Women must lead negotiation processes, and more of them were needed in political leadership and decision-making positions, including in the security and judicial sectors.  In post-conflict settings, space must be opened for women in the political and socioeconomic domains as a prerequisite for building sustainable peace.  During the last 18 years of democratic rule in South Africa, the Government had instituted specific gender-inclusive measures, including quotas for women candidates at the national, provincial and local levels, he said.  As a result, women now represented a powerful constituency and were at the forefront in driving reform and developing and advancing responsive policies and legislation.


KAZUYOSHI UMEMOTO ( Japan) said his country planned to provide more than $3 billion in official development assistance over the next three years for the social advancement of women in the areas of capacity-building, health care and protection.  Gender-responsive transitional justice measures, as well as justice-sector reform, were needed to protect women’s rights, he said, emphasizing that their access to justice systems must be strengthened.  Japan supported various efforts to assist victims of sexual violence in refugee camps in Sudan, Somalia and Iraq, he said.  In collaboration with UN-Women and civil society, the Government had been developing a national action plan that would articulate measures for promoting women’s participation in conflict prevention, protection of sexual violence victims, as well as peacebuilding and restoration processes.  Japan remained one of the main contributors to the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, which directly supported civil society organizations, he said.


COLLIN D. BECK (Solomon Islands), associating himself with the Pacific Islands Forum, cited his own country’s transition from conflict to recovery, recalling that women’s role as a “bridge” had been instrumental in the process.  A regional assistance mission had been established in 2003 to allow the country to recover from the conflict.  The mission had restored stability, the economy was now growing and State institutions were functioning.  The mission’s success belonged to the people and to the regional partners who had addressed the challenges in accordance with the country’s specific needs, he said, describing the mission as an example of South-South and triangular cooperation providing a model of peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.  The Solomon Islands had come a long way in implementing the five Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, he said.  The economic empowerment of women and rural development were important conflict-prevention tools and must be incorporated into the post-2015 development agenda, he said.


NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) called for strict adherence to the agreed terms of its resolutions on women, peace and security, which were intended for the protection of women in situations of violence, particularly sexual violence and especially in conflict and post-conflict situations.  The Government of Colombia had approved the national policy on gender equality and the comprehensive plan to guarantee a life free of violence with a focus on peacebuilding, cultural transformation and the participation of women in decision-making positions.  The Government had actively encouraged women to participate in Colombia’s current peace process, he said.


KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM, (Netherlands), associating himself with the European Union, said his country had established “Women on the Frontline” for women’s organizations in transitional countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  It was designed to support them through organizational and capacity development to ensure their voices would be heard.  Women and girls should have equal access to fair and transparent justice services, and be able to influence national judicial policies and institutions, he said, adding that the prevention of and protection from sexual violence deserved full attention.


AMINA SMAILA (Nigeria) said the lack of sex-disaggregated data on security threats prevented action that could contribute to greater security for women.  Sexual violence against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations should remain a matter of high priority, she said, calling for justice and more systematic monitoring of such acts.  The Council should develop appropriate mechanisms to ensure women’s participation in all aspects of mediation, post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding, she said, urging Member States to adopt and implement comprehensive legislation on violence against women as a concrete step towards enhancing women’s access to justice.  Strong advocacy to break the culture of silence and promote zero tolerance across the globe was fundamental to restoring the rights and dignity of women in all circumstances, she added.


DANIJEL MEDAN (Croatia) said it was critical to establish gender-responsive transitional justice measures when restoring the rule of law and governance systems in areas affected by conflict.  Women were widely recognized as effective agents of peace and their equal participation in decision-making was essential for sustainable peace and stability.  Recalling his country’s experiences during the 1990s when rape was used as a method of intimidation and terror, he said he was convinced that the issue of sexual violence in conflicts could only be adequately addressed through a comprehensive approach.  On a national level, legislation was being prepared by which the survivors of sexual violence from the 1990s would be entitled to the status of “civilian victims of war”.  However, despite global efforts, violence against women and girls still posed a serious threat, with no borders or nationality.


MÅRTEN GRUNDITZ (Sweden), emphasizing that the rule of law was an integral part of engagement for peace and security, said that paramount steps for establishing that principle must include safeguarding women’s access to justice and applying a gender-sensitive approach to transitional justice mechanisms.  In order to play a role, women must also have access to basic rights in all phases of conflicts.  Conflict-related gender-based crimes must also be investigated.  “Let us underline that gender justice is not merely about women’s needs as victims, but also about women’s valuable contributions to bringing about peace and their participation at the forefront in transitional justice and rule of law measures,” he said.


CRISTINA CARRION (Uruguay) underscored the importance of a gender perspective in all conflict situations, saying that women’s participation in post-conflict and transitional justice processes was essential for achieving durable peace.  Welcoming the adoption of today’s resolution, she said accountability was crucial and required a multisectoral response, which should include social and economic integration for victims.  The United Nations must fight the impunity of the perpetrators of such abuse, including by promoting international justice mechanisms.  Peacekeeping operations had incorporated civilian protection mandates, but they failed to meet the expectations of local populations and the international community.


ÁLVARO JOSÉ COSTA DE MENDONÇA E MOURA. ( Portugal) said the rule of law was all too often the second victim of conflict, with women and girls the first.  Sexual and gender-based violence, child and forced marriage, and the disruption of education were magnified for girls. There was a tendency to consider transitional justice as the second-to-last aspect of peace agreements.  Only through women’s systematic participation in peace processes could transitional justice lay the foundations for reconciliation.  The Council had heard requests to strengthen the implementation of protection mandates and he hoped targets set by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in that regard would be attained.  On a national level, Portugal promoted the recruitment and retention of women in the military and police forces and looked forward to sharing its experiences.


OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt), reaffirming the role of women as outlined in resolution 1325 (2000), said that the increasing rates and patterns of violence against women and girls around the world was of concern.  He emphasized the indispensable role of transitional justice and holding perpetrators to account, underscoring that transitional justice must address the full range of violations and abuses of women’s human rights.  Women, peace and security should be included as a cross-cutting issue in the post-2015 development agenda.  As the Council prepared to hold a high-level meeting in 2015 to assess progress in implementing the resolution, there was a need to address the existing gap related to quality data collection and analysis in conflict settings.  He supported conducting a global study to highlight good practices and implementation challenges, as well as emerging trends and priorities of action, and stressed the responsibility of the United Nations System, as well as all international organizations towards women under foreign occupation.


DESRA PERCAYA ( Indonesia) said today’s resolution was another clear reflection of the Council’s strong resolve concerning the critical role of women in conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.  Women’s involvement in all aspects of life unleashed a vast and dynamic pool of ideas, creativity and skills which inspired society to move on and gain prosperity.  Regrettably, reflecting the rule of law in conflict-situations remained a significant challenge, he said.  That was a strong reason for inclusive, durable, sustainable and long-lasting peace negotiations that would include the participation and engagement of women.  Any assistance from the United Nations must be carried out in a concrete manner and include a gender perspective.


NKOLOI NKOLOI ( Botswana) expressed grave concern that, despite the existence of resolution 1325 (2000), rape and other crimes of sexual violence persisted.  Preventing sexual violence in armed conflict was, therefore, both a matter of upholding universal human rights and of maintaining international security, in keeping with relevant Council resolutions.  Impunity for sexual violence perpetrated by armed groups was unacceptable, he emphasized.  Respect for the rule of law, accountability and access to justice were critical in protecting women’s rights in the aftermath of conflict.  Gender-sensitive legal and institutional reform, in conformity with international standards, should be a priority.  The full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) could only be achieved through increased recognition of women’s crucial role, as well as their participation and involvement in all efforts aimed at preventing and resolving conflicts.


INESE FREIMANE-DEKSNE ( Latvia), associating herself with the European Union, said women’s participation should be promoted at all level of decision-making in conflict and post-conflict contexts.  The gender expertise of the United Nations was crucial for building capacity and increasing the engagement of women in peacemaking and peacebuilding processes.  She stressed the need for greater coordination on the women, peace and security agenda, both within and outside the United Nations, in order to minimize the costs and maximize the impact on the ground.  It was time to consolidate knowledge and expertise, and to choose the most effective ways to deliver the best results for women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings, she said.


VAKHTANG MAKHAROBLISHVILI ( Georgia), associating himself with the European Union, highlighted the steps his country had taken in advancing the women, peace and security agenda.  Georgia’s National Action Plan was the first initiative in the south Caucasus to ensure implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), he said.  The role of women in Georgia, including in the political and military fields, had grown significantly, he said.  Women police officers underwent regular training to enhance their skills and capacities.  Despite sustained efforts, however, Georgia faced major challenges in its occupied regions, where heavy restrictions on freedom of movement had been extending to the most vulnerable people in need of medical assistance, as well as expectant mothers.  He said that he remained hopeful that the international community would react adequately to the illegal activities in Georgia’s occupied regions and to ongoing violations of human rights.


WILFRIED I. EMVULA (Namibia), noting that women faced intolerable hardships as targets when sexual violence was used as a weapon of war, welcomed the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, the first international legal instrument to include a gender criterion in arms transfers.  Namibia supported the inclusion of women in armed forces and peacekeeping operations, and was proud to be among the troop-contributing countries to have complied with resolution 1888 (2009).  He welcomed the partnership between Justice Rapid Response and UN-Women in organizing a training course for investigators of sexual violence, to be held in 2014.  Sexual abuse must be prosecuted at both national and international levels, especially since the crime was underreported, he stressed, urging support for strengthening judicial systems and de-stigmatizing sexual violence so that victims could gain access to justice.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 2122 (2013) reads as follows:


“The Security Council,


Reaffirming its commitment to the continuing and full implementation, in a mutually reinforcing manner, of resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010) and 2106 (2013) and all relevant statements of its President,


Recalling the commitments of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and reaffirming the obligations of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Optional Protocol thereto, and urging States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to them,


Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, and noting the focus of this resolution is, in this regard, the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda,


Reaffirming that women’s and girls’ empowerment and gender equality are critical to efforts to maintain international peace and security, and emphasizing that persisting barriers to full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) will only be dismantled through dedicated commitment to women’s empowerment, participation, and human rights, and through concerted leadership, consistent information and action, and support, to build women’s engagement in all levels of decision-making,


Taking note with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General of 4 September 2013 and the progress and emergence of good practice across several areas, including in prevention and protection, and the significant heightening of policy and operational focus on the monitoring, prevention and prosecution of violence against women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, but remaining deeply concerned about persistent implementation deficits in the women, peace and security agenda, including in: protection from human rights abuses and violations; opportunities for women to exercise leadership; resources provided to address their needs and which will help them exercise their rights; and the capacities and commitment of all actors involved in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions to advance women’s participation and protection,


Expressing concern at women’s exacerbated vulnerability in armed conflict and post-conflict situations particularly in relation to forced displacement, as a result of unequal citizenship rights, gender biased application of asylum laws, and obstacles to registering and accessing identity documents which occur in many situations,


Expressing deep concern at the full range of threats and human rights violations and abuses experienced by women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, recognizing that those women and girls who are particularly vulnerable or disadvantaged may be specifically targeted or at increased risk of violence, and recognizing in this regard that more must be done to ensure that transitional justice measures address the full range of violations and abuses of women’s human rights, and the differentiated impacts on women and girls of these violations and abuses as well as forced displacement, enforced disappearances, and destruction of civilian infrastructure,


Recognizing the importance of Member States and United Nations entities seeking to ensure humanitarian aid and funding includes provision for the full range of medical, legal, psychosocial and livelihood services to women affected by armed conflict and post-conflict situations, and noting the need for access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including regarding pregnancies resulting from rape, without discrimination,


Reiterating its strong condemnation of all violations of international law committed against and/or directly affecting civilians, including women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including those involving rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, killing and maiming, obstructions to humanitarian aid, and mass forced displacement,


Recognizing that States bear the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the human rights of all persons within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction as provided for by international law, and reaffirming that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to ensure the protection of civilians,


Reaffirming that sustainable peace requires an integrated approach based on coherence between political, security, development, human rights, including gender equality, and rule of law and justice activities, and in this regard emphasizing the importance of the rule of law as one of the key elements of conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding,


Recognizing the need for more systematic attention to the implementation of women, peace and security commitments in its own work, particularly to ensure the enhancement of women’s engagement in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding, and noting in this regard the need for timely and systematic reporting on women, peace and security,


Taking note of the critical contributions of civil society, including women’s organizations to conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding and in this regard the importance of sustained consultation and dialogue between women and national and international decision makers,


Recognizing the need to address the gaps and strengthen links between the United Nations peace and security in the field, human rights and development work as a means to address root causes of armed conflict and threats to the security of women and girls in the pursuit of international peace and security,


Recognizing that the economic empowerment of women greatly contributes to the stabilization of societies emerging from armed conflict, and welcoming the Peacebuilding Commission’s declaration on women’s economic empowerment for peacebuilding of 26 September 2013 (PBC/7/OC/L.1),


Acknowledging the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty and noting the provisions in Article 7(4) of the Treaty that exporting States Parties shall take into account the risk of covered conventional arms or items being used to commit or facilitate serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against women and children,


Looking forward to the important contribution that implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty can make to reducing violence perpetrated against women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations,


Welcoming the efforts of Member States, and recognizing the efforts of regional and subregional organizations, in implementing resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent women, peace and security resolutions at the regional, national and local levels, including the development of action plans and implementation frameworks, and encouraging Member States to continue to pursue such implementation, including through strengthened monitoring, evaluation and coordination,


“1.   Recognizes the need for consistent implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in its own work and intends to focus more attention on women’s leadership and participation in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including by monitoring progress in implementation, and addressing challenges linked to the lack and quality of information and analysis on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peacebuilding and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution;


“2.   Recognizes the need for timely information and analysis on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peacebuilding and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution for situations on the Council’s agenda, and therefore:


(a)   Welcomes more regular briefings by the Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director of UN-Women and the Under-Secretary-General/Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict on issues of relevance to women, peace and security;


(b)   Requests DPKO, DPA and relevant senior officials, as part of their regular briefings, to update the Security Council on issues relevant to women, peace and security, including implementation;


(c)   Requests the Secretary-General and his Special Envoys and Special Representatives to United Nations missions, as part of their regular briefings, to update the Council on progress in inviting women to participate, including through consultations with civil society, including women’s organizations, in discussions pertinent to the prevention and resolution of conflict, the maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peacebuilding;


(d)   Requests DPKO and DPA to systematically include information and related recommendations on issues of relevance to women, peace and security, in their reports to the Council;


(e)   Invites all United Nations-established Commissions of Inquiry investigating situations on the Council’s agenda to include in their briefings information on the differentiated impacts of armed conflict on women and girls, especially emphasizing recommendations to advance accountability, justice and protection for victims, during armed conflict and in post-conflict and transitional contexts;


“3.   Expresses its intention to increase its attention to women, peace and security issues in all relevant thematic areas of work on its agenda, including in particular Protection of civilians in armed conflict, Post-conflict peacebuilding, The promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security, Peace and Security in Africa, Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and Maintenance of international peace and security;


“4.   Reiterates its intention when establishing and renewing the mandates of United Nations missions, to include provisions on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, including through the appointment of gender advisers as appropriate, and further expresses its intention to include provisions to facilitate women’s full participation and protection in: election preparation and political processes, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs, security sector and judicial reforms, and wider post-conflict reconstruction processes where these are mandated tasks within the mission;


“5.   Requests United Nations peacekeeping mission leadership to assess the human rights violations and abuses of women in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, and requests peacekeeping missions, in keeping with their mandates, to address the security threats and protection challenges faced by women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict settings;


“6.   Recognizes the importance of interactions of civil society, including women’s organizations, with members of the Council at headquarters and during Council field missions and commits to ensuring that its periodic field visits to conflict areas include interactive meetings with local women and women’s organizations in the field;


“7.   Recognizes the continuing need to increase women’s participation and the consideration of gender-related issues in all discussions pertinent to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict, the maintenance of peace and security, and post-conflict peacebuilding, and in this regard, the Council:


(a)   Requests the Secretary-General’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives to United Nations missions, from early on in their deployment, to regularly consult with women’s organizations and women leaders, including socially and/or economically excluded groups of women;


(b)   Encourages concerned Member States to develop dedicated funding mechanisms to support the work and enhance capacities of organizations that support women’s leadership development and full participation in all levels of decision-making, regarding the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), inter alia through increasing contributions to local civil society;


(c)   Requests the Secretary-General to strengthen the knowledge of negotiating delegations to peace talks, and members of mediation support teams, on the gender dimensions of peacebuilding, by making gender expertise and gender experts available to all United Nations mediation teams; further requests the Secretary-General to support the appointments of women at senior levels as United Nations mediators and within the composition of United Nations mediation teams; and calls on all parties to such peace talks to facilitate the equal and full participation of women at decision-making levels;


“8.   Stresses the importance of those Member States conducting post-conflict electoral processes and constitutional reform continuing their efforts, with support from United Nations entities, to ensure women’s full and equal participation in all phases of electoral processes, noting that specific attention must be paid to women’s safety prior to, and during, elections;


“9.   Encourages troop- and police-contributing countries to increase the percentage of women military and police in deployments to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and further encourages troop- and police-contributing countries to provide all military and police personnel with adequate training to carry out their responsibilities, and relevant United Nations entities to make available appropriate guidance or training modules, including in particular the United Nations predeployment scenario-based training on prevention of sexual and gender-based violence;


“10.  Stresses the need for continued efforts to address obstacles in women’s access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings, including through gender-responsive legal, judicial and security sector reform and other mechanisms;


“11.  Urges all parties concerned, including Member States, United Nations entities and financial institutions, to support the development and strengthening of the capacities of national institutions, in particular of judicial and health systems, and of local civil society networks in order to provide sustainable assistance to women and girls affected by armed conflict and post-conflict situations;


“12.  Calls upon Member States to comply with their relevant obligations to end to impunity and to thoroughly investigate and prosecute persons responsible for war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity or other serious violations of international humanitarian law; and further notes that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern against women and girls has been strengthened through the work of the International Criminal Court, ad hoc and mixed tribunals, as well as specialized chambers in national tribunals;


“13.  Recalls in this regard applicable provisions of international law on the right to reparations for violations of individual rights;


“14.  Urges Member States and United Nations entities, to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in efforts to combat and eradicate the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons;


“15.  Reiterates its intention to convene a High-level Review in 2015 to assess progress at the global, regional and national levels in implementing resolution 1325 (2000), renew commitments, and address obstacles and constraints that have emerged in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000); further recognizes with concern that without a significant implementation shift, women and women’s perspectives will continue to be underrepresented in conflict prevention, resolution, protection and peacebuilding for the foreseeable future, and as such encourages those Member States, regional organizations as appropriate, and United Nations entities who have developed frameworks and plans to support the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) to start reviewing existing implementation plans and targets, and for Member States to assess and accelerate progress and prepare to formulate new targets, in time for the 2015 High-level Review;


“16.  Invites the Secretary-General, in preparation for the High-level Review to commission a global study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), highlighting good practice examples, implementation gaps and challenges, as well as emerging trends and priorities for action, and further invites the Secretary-General to submit, within his annual report to the Security Council in 2015, on the results of this study and to make this available to all Member States of the United Nations;


“17.  Expresses its intention to make the implementation of the Council’s women, peace and security mandate a focus of one of its periodic field visits in advance of the 2015 High-level Review;


“18.  Requests that the Secretary-General continue to submit annual reports to the Council providing a progress update on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and to submit his next report by October 2014 and to include in that report an update of progress across all areas of the women, peace and security agenda, highlighting gaps and challenges;


“19.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


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For information media • not an official record