SUSTAINABLE PEACE NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT FULL, EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, AS SECURITY COUNCIL BEGINS DEBATE

28 October 2002
SC/7550

SUSTAINABLE PEACE NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT FULL, EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, AS SECURITY COUNCIL BEGINS DEBATE

28/10/2002
Press ReleaseSC/7550

Security Council

4635th Meeting (PM)

SUSTAINABLE PEACE NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT FULL, EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN,

SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, AS SECURITY COUNCIL BEGINS DEBATE

Presents Report Requested in 'Landmark' Resolution 1325 (2000);

Speakers Address Women’s Peacekeeping Participation, Gaps in Legal Framework

Sustainable peace and security would not be achieved without the full and equal participation of women, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Security Council this afternoon, as the Council met to consider the issue of women, peace and security.

The Secretary-General presented his report on the issue as requested by Council resolution 1325 (2000), a resolution he called "landmark" in raising awareness of the topic.  The report showed, he said, not only that women suffered the impact of conflict disproportionately, but also that women were the key to conflict resolution.  Women's groups and networks at the grass-roots level had provided many strategies for effective conflict prevention and had worked tirelessly and courageously in preserving social order in the midst of chaos.

The world could no longer afford to neglect the abuses to which women and girls were subjected in armed conflict, or to ignore the contributions that women made in the search for peace, he said.  It was time that women were given the voice in formal peace-building and peacemaking processes that they deserved.  For that to happen, women's skills must be built, requiring both political will and increased funding.  In United Nations operations, the Organization must not and would not tolerate sexual or other abuse by any staff -- civilian, military or humanitarian.  As the response to recent incidents showed, improved systems for recourse, investigation and discipline were being instituted.

Speakers in this afternoon’s meeting strongly agreed with the Secretary-General’s recommendations and the importance of the full implementation of resolution 1325.  Denmark's representative, speaking on behalf of European Union and associated States, said that the 21 action points provided in the Secretary-General’s report provided some very practical recommendations.  The Union was particularly happy to note that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was developing concrete tools to help mainstream the gender perspective into the daily work of all mission components.

She regretted the continued lack of gender balance in all aspects of peace operations, but noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General would make an even more determined effort to increase the appointment of women at the special representative and deputy special representative level.

Concurring with the gaps the Secretary-General found in the legal framework for the protection of women, the representative of Mauritius drew attention to the fact that in almost all armed conflicts women had been denied justice.  Crimes against them had gone unrecorded, and violence against them often continued in post-conflict periods.  Victims had been humiliated while giving testimony.

The Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda had been hampered by inconsistencies in prosecuting crimes of gender and sexual violence, she said.  Women had had to withdraw their complaints because the Tribunals had failed to provide them with support and protection.  Amnesty provisions should not allow impunity for all war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including gender-based crimes, she said.

The President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ivan Simonovic (Croatia), said that in July the ECOSOC had adopted resolution 2002/23 on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system, which had identified several key elements for progress in gender mainstreaming that resonated well in today’s deliberations.

“Peace and security, and economic and social affairs are not just linked”, he said.  “It is important that we realize that they are different sides of the same coin, and that on this coin there is a face of a woman."

Also speaking this afternoon were Council members, Syria, United States, Mexico, Ireland, Bulgaria, Russian Federation, France, Colombia, China, Guinea, United Kingdom, Singapore, Norway and Cameroon.

The representatives of Liechtenstein and Fiji also spoke.

The meeting began at 3:15 p.m. and was suspended for the evening at 6:05 p.m.  It will resume at 11 a.m. Tuesday, 29 October.

Background

The Security Council had before it the Report of the Secretary-General on women, peace and security (document S/2002/1154), as it met to consider the topic this afternoon.

The report presents the results of a study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building, and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution.  It was requested by the Security Council in resolution 1325 (2000), and builds on existing research and inputs of the United Nations, Member States, scholars and local and international non-governmental organizations.  It focuses on the challenges that must be addressed for progress towards gender equality in the area.

The report describes the differential impact of conflict on women and girls in terms of gender-based and sexual violence, and its incalculable resulting physical and mental consequences.  In addition, the loss of men and boys, disruptions of the social structure and other conflict factors increase their vulnerability.

For those reasons, the Secretary-General recommends that awareness of human rights violations, in relation to women and girls, be a factor in planning and implementing all peace support operations.  He also recommends the establishment of contacts with women’s groups and networks to increase information in those areas, as well as on the impact of interventions of peace operations on women and girls, as well as their roles and contributions in conflict situations.

The report then surveys the international legal framework for protection of individuals in armed conflict, which, in the last decade, has expanded to address some of the particular crimes experienced by women in that situation.  For example, the statutes of the Tribunals created by the Security Council for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone all include gender-based violence within the definition of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and as components of the crime of genocide.

Those advances, the report states, must be maintained and further expanded, with other forms of gender-based violence recognized and adequately acknowledged in the legal regime.  Compliance must be improved and preventive measures implemented, especially in light of the changed nature of conflict where combatants include non-State actors, including private militias and children.  In that regard, actions recommended by the Secretary-General to the Security Council include consideration of gender violence in the formulation of amnesty agreements, judicial mechanism and ad hoc tribunals.

In peace processes, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian operations, reconstruction and rehabilitation, and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration operations, the report finds that, despite all the positive efforts undertaken, gender perspectives were still not systematically incorporated into all activities related to peace and security.  It recommends numerous actions towards that goal.  Sustainable peace, it concludes, will not be achieved without the full and equal participation of women and men in all efforts to build peace and security.

Statements

KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) was a landmark in raising awareness of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, of the vital role of women in conflict resolution and peace-building, and of the way gender was dealt with in United Nations operations.  The resolution had encouraged further attention to the issue at the international and grass-roots level.

Presenting the report called for in that resolution, he said that it showed not only that women suffered the impact of conflict disproportionately, but also that women were the key to the solution of conflict.  Women’s groups and networks at the grass-roots level had provided many strategies for effective conflict prevention and had worked tirelessly and courageously in preserving social order in the midst of chaos.  The report, he said, called for greater representation of women in formal negotiations and at all levels of peacemaking, and for the incorporation of gender perspectives in all peace-related activities.

The international legal framework for the protection of women was increasingly responsive to cases of sexual violence and other experiences of women and girls in conflict, he said.  But, there remained much to be done in the areas of prevention and combating impunity.  In United Nations operations, the Organization must not and would not tolerate sexual or other abuse by any staff -- civilian, military or humanitarian.  As the response to recent incidents showed, improved systems for recourse, investigation and discipline were being instituted. Strict standards of behaviour for all staff, as well as for partners in non-governmental organizations, were being adopted.

Finally, he said, for women to play their full part in all activities that supported peace, their skills must be built, requiring both political will and increased funding.  It was time that women were given the voice in formal peace processes that they deserved.  Sustainable peace and security would not be achieved without their full and equal participation.  Just as the Council’s work could promote gender equality, so could gender equality make the Council’s work more likely to succeed.

MIKHAIL WEHBE (Syria) said men, women and children suffered catastrophically during armed conflict.  However, the effect was worse for women and children, because they were the most vulnerable members of society.  In times of conflict, women bore the burden of caring for the family and defending the family in dire circumstances.  The fact that women faced conflict and had a direct role in mitigating its consequences underlined women’s role in the settlement of conflict situations and in the negotiations leading to agreements.

Increasing the role of women in peacekeeping operations and peace-building missions was essential, he continued.  The Secretary-General’s recommendations were an excellent basis to strengthen positive steps taken so far and addressing shortcomings.  More efforts should be made to implement them.  The conclusions of the conferences held on women by the United Nations were important milestones on the road to recognizing the role of women in all walks of life, including today’s subject.

Arab women and children in the Arab occupied territories were easy targets for the Israeli forces of occupations, he said.  More than half of the population under Israeli occupation were women and children.  He stressed the need to respect international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as the need to end the practices of the Israeli occupation authorities, which daily violated the rights of Arab citizens, women in particular.

JOSIAH ROSENBLATT (United States) said he supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations that data collected in research and assessments of peace operations be sorted by topics related to sex and age and that specific data on the situation of women and girls be provided to inform future planning and operations.  But the wealth of data already available enabled the integration process to begin immediately.

He hoped there would be further opportunities to discuss, in depth, some of the issues raised in the report.  In particular, he expressed interest in the views of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on its progress in mainstreaming gender perspectives into such operations, and the challenges faced in promoting more gender diversity among staff.  He said he enthusiastically supported an increase in gender diversity in such operations, and the appointment of more women as special representatives of the Secretary-General, and as special envoys.  His delegation had provided names of qualified women candidates for that purpose.  It also had questions concerning the budget implications of some of the report’s recommendations.

ADOLFO AGUILAR ZINSER (Mexico) said the Secretary-General’s recommendations should be put into effect as soon as possible.  Once work on implementation of resolution 1325 was under way, it would be necessary to carry out a regular and detailed follow-up.  He supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations, and his delegation was prepared to take an active part in implementation and follow-up.  In conflict situations, women and girls were the victims of all forms of violence, particularly sexual violence and exploitation.  Many such attacks were supported by the high command of the armed forces.  Peace agreements should rule out any possibility of amnesty for those committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including gender-based crimes.

He said women were often rejected by the communities of origin because they had been associated with formed combatants, whether that had been voluntary or not.  Reintegration of such women should be stressed, as should measures to prevent violence in the family.  The proliferation of small arms contributed to that.  Any peace agreement under the sponsorship of the United Nations should automatically incorporate the gender perspective, including with respect to the role women could play in peace processes.  International law and guidelines in United Nations agencies provided a robust framework allowing gender perspective in the context of armed conflict.

A fundamental factor in achieving sustainable peace was giving attention to the gender perspective, along with attention to the role of women in the economic sphere.  He supported establishment of a focal point for gender in the United Nations, particularly in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  It was essential for the United Nations to demonstrate leadership by systematically including gender mainstreaming.

GERARD CORR (Ireland), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of the European Union, said that central to the work of the United Nations was the understanding that sustainable peace and lasting security could not be achieved without women’s empowerment and full involvement.  It was important to ensure implementation of the recommendations and guidelines in the Secretary-General’s report, and to ensure that when the United Nations system dealt with peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building, gender perspectives were taken into account.  It was also essential to ensure the availability of necessary financial and human resources for gender mainstreaming, including the establishment of gender advisers or units in multidimensional peacekeeping operations and capacity- building.

He said an increase in the number of women participating in the missions, including at the highest levels, would have an important impact on the effectiveness of each mission.  It was equally important to ensure that gender issues were fully addressed in the transition from peacekeeping to peace-building, so that the promotion of equality and women’s rights were integrated into the peace-building phase, as well as during humanitarian operations and reconstruction.  The full involvement of women in peace negotiations, as well as recognition of the particular needs of women and girls in the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, was also essential. 

He said from his country’s own experience with the peace process in Northern Ireland, he was fully aware of the immense contribution made by women’s civil society groups, doing what the Secretary-General had once referred to as the work of building bridges, not walls.  Accordingly, there should be continuous monitoring and evaluation of how the different parts of the United Nations family were doing; across the range of conflict and peacemaking issues in the Council, there was no more urgent task than implementing resolution 1325 (2000).

STEFAN TAFROV (Bulgaria) associated himself with the statement to be made by Denmark on behalf of the European Union.  Given the magnitude of the impact of conflict on women and girls, the international community must address the problem urgently.  He fully supported the recommendations of the Secretary-General in that regard.  It was also desirable for the Council to fully follow up on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

He also welcomed the Secretary-General’s expression of zero tolerance for abuse of women and girls by peacekeeping personnel.  However, there was still much to be done in that regard and to equalize women’s participation and concerns in peacekeeping operations.  A gender-specific approach needed to be integrated into all mandates and all peace plans.  Women should also be in decision-making positions at all levels.

SERGEY KAREV (Russian Federation) said the Secretary-General’s report was comprehensive in scope and in content.  The resources required for gender issues must be examined; he supported specific posts to strengthen women’s participation in peacekeeping.  The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) would obviate the need for conflict-specific tribunals, as gender considerations had been built into the ICC’s work. 

Women must participate at all levels in peacekeeping, he said. To strengthen their roles at the grass roots, the work of non-governmental organizations was valuable.  The exclusion of women from peace negotiations could trigger new crisis situations; their participation in decision-making, at all levels, should also be strengthened.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) fully associated his statement with the one to be made by Denmark on behalf of the European Union.  Supporting the Secretary-General’s concrete and constructive recommendations, he said that there must be more contact between women’s networks and organizations and United Nations units on the ground.  In addition, post-conflict reconstruction and the establishment of new, democratic forms of government must be based on the active participation of women in public life.  In that regard, specific measures should be implemented for the inclusion of girl soldiers in demobilization, disarmament and reintegration programmes.  Information on women and children in conflict must also be discussed in any Council discussion of a conflict situation.

In addition, he said, the United Nations must provide an example by maintaining the systematic presence of women in all aspects of peacekeeping operations.  He supported the position of gender advisers not only in field operations, but also in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations itself.  He welcomed the code of conduct prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, saying it could be a basis for more such codes.  He hoped that the recommendations for implementing resolution 1325 (2000) would be carried out in all peacekeeping operations.

ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said that the recommendations contained in today’s reports contributed to a global strategy towards the common goal of gender equality in peace and security.  The implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) must be guided by short-, medium- and long-term goals.  The next step was the preparation of a plan of action in that regard.  The Council could play an important role in facilitating the active involvement of women in peace processes by promoting the inclusion of clauses, in peace agreements, favouring such involvement.

He shared the Secretary-General’s views, in addition, on the importance of women’s organizations.  He reiterated the importance of effective integration of gender perspectives into the mandates of all missions, standard procedures, manuals and other guidance materials for operations, as well as in the provision of systematic gender-sensitive staff training.  To that end, he supported the inclusion of gender advisers in peacekeeping missions, and the policy of zero tolerance of abuses committed by peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel.

ZHANG YISHAN (China) said he attached great importance to the 21-point action plan proposed by the Secretary-General and welcomed the goals set by the Secretary-General of a 50 per cent proportion of female Secretary-General envoys and representatives by 2010.  In any armed conflict, the most grievously harmed were women.  All necessary measures must be taken to protect them.  Women played an important role in preventing conflict.  However, only through curbing conflict, promoting development and addressing the root causes of conflict could the rights and interests of women and children be effectively protected.

Special attention should be given to the gender perspective in measures to prevent conflict, he said.  He appealed to parties of a conflict to abide by international law and respect for human rights.  The Council should take all measures to avoid situations where the international community’s accomplishment in protecting the interests of women and children became unravelled because of new conflict.  The Council should also fully respect the work done by the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the relevant agencies.

BINESHWAREE NAPAUL (Mauritius) said the Council needed to prioritize the recommendations of the Secretary-General, which should all be implemented as soon as possible. The increase in participation of women in all peacekeeping operations should be implemented immediately. The presence of women in missions had helped to facilitate contact and trust among local women.  Training of personnel of missions to develop awareness of the gender perspective needed reinforcement.  She was concerned about the lack of resources to effectively promote gender mainstreaming.

In almost al armed conflicts, women had been denied justice, and crimes against them had gone unrecorded, she said.  Violence against them often continued in post-conflict periods.  Victims had often been humiliated while giving testimony.  She drew attention to the positive role of non-governmental organizations in creating awareness of such situations and helping to alleviate them.  Those committing such crimes had not been brought to justice.  Amnesty provisions should not allow impunity for all war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, including gender-based crimes.  The two Tribunals established by the United Nations had been hampered by inconsistencies in prosecuting crimes of gender and sexual violence.  Women had had to withdraw their complaints, because the Tribunals had failed to provide them with support and protection.

The need to take into account the different needs of women and men in rebuilding societies should be taken into account, she added.  There was a need for quick impact projects for women that would ensure their early rehabilitation in cases where they had been subject to severe abuse.  Women should also benefit directly from resources mobilized by bilateral and multilateral donors.

MAMADY TRAORE (Guinea) endorsed the recommendations of the Secretary-General for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and the range of subjects covered in his report, all directed towards ensuring gender equality in peacekeeping.  He hoped that the forthcoming meetings on women and small arms and women in peacekeeping operations would have useful conclusions.

He called for coordination within the United Nations and with other organizations.  He also supported the preparation of a guide for the participation of women in peacekeeping operations.  Adequate financial resources were needed for post-conflict peace-building, he said, and he welcomed the contributions of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said it was important to remember that women were not solely victims of war, but also made tremendous contributions to conflict resolution, management and peace-building.  For example, women in Northern Ireland had played an important role in the peace process.  Non-governmental organizations were important players in promoting peace and reconstruction and in protecting women’s rights, and the Secretary-General had emphasized regular grass-roots contacts.  Such contacts needed to be flexible, because, in some circumstances, women in areas of armed conflict were not organized in a formal way.

He said gender mainstreaming was essential in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and conflict management was crucial to the implementation of those goals.  The monitoring of human rights should be included in the mandates of peacekeeping operations, few of which made any specific reference to women and girls.  Personnel on peacekeeping operations should be trained on gender mainstreaming before deployment.  Respect for women, and an absence of impunity for those who did not display it, must be ubiquitous in the United Nations system.

One element not brought out in the report, he said, was the need to place the work of the United Nations for women, peace and security within the broader humanitarian framework.  The United Nations system should operate in cross-cutting ways.  It was further essential for gender mainstreaming within the United Nations system to be undertaken by the operators and agencies concerned, drawing on the support of the expert gender bodies.  Progress on gender issues would not be made unless all parts of the United Nations system assumed responsibility for leading in their own areas on related matters.  He proposed that, when jobs were apportioned among Council members each year, one delegation should be asked to oversee the implementation of gender mainstreaming.

CHRISTINE LEE (Singapore) said her delegation had chaired the Arria Formula meeting on “Women, Peace and Security” on 23 October.  At that meeting, poignant and passionate statements had been heard from women who had been personally affected by conflict, including a direct account of how women had been affected by the conflict in Burundi and how they had played a part in the Arusha Peace.  The meeting had also heard about the Lords’ Resistance Army attacks on refugee and internally displaced persons’ camps in northern Uganda, and the sexual and gender-based violence that were often inflicted during such attacks.

She said the Council was bombarded with recommendations from all sides.  A cursory glance at the recommendations showed that many were similar and could be “clustered”.  Members at the Arria Formula meeting had felt there was a need to prioritize.  The Council needed the help of relevant agencies to reorganize and integrate recommendations.  What was urgently needed was a timeline or a programme of action for the effective implementation of resolution 1325.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said that the main conclusion of the study by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues was that sustainable peace and lasting security could not be achieved without women’s empowerment and full involvement.  The point of departure was that women had a pivotal role to play in the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts and in post-conflict peace-building.  Yet women were systematically kept at a distance from the very processes that stood to gain from their participation. 

The main concern was how to ensure that women did indeed exercise their right to participate.  The goal was to let gender issues take their rightful place in Council affairs and thereby become part and parcel of the efforts to promote peace and security.  The task was to give a new impetus to the important work to mainstream a gender perspective into peace operations.  Women were a resource that should be included at all levels of peace planning and peace-making.

He said that in peace operations the Council must satisfy itself that international humanitarian and human rights law was fully implemented.  The low level of participation of women in leading positions in peacekeeping also needed to be addressed.  The proposal for the establishment of a gender focal point in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations should be approved by the Fifth Committee at the end of this year.  Peacekeeping personnel needed to be trained in the fields of protection, human rights and the special needs of women and children in conflict situations.  Norway had argued for a strategy of zero tolerance in relation to sexual exploitation of women by peacekeeping personnel.

He said gender issues had a bearing on both peace and development, and women were an asset in the promotion of both.  By focusing on women and peace in a broader contextual framework, the Council could assume an even more efficient role in addressing the inter-linked scourges of war, poverty and suffering around the world.

Council President MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU (Cameroon), speaking in his national capacity, said that resolution 1325 (2000) was aligned with his Government’s efforts to provide protection to women and girls in armed conflict.  Cameroon had acceded to the relevant conventions and was genuinely gratified to welcome the report of the Secretary-General. 

Cameroon had played an active part in the preparations of the recommendations contained in the report.  He described regional initiatives that aimed to improve the situation of women vis-à-vis peace and security, as well as to highlight women’s voices and enhance the role of non-governmental organizations on the issue.

The President of the Economic and Social Council, IVAN SIMONOVIC (Croatia), said while women and girls endured the same trauma as the rest of the population, they were also targets of specific forms of violence and abuse, including sexual violence and exploitation.  Moreover, their needs and their potential for contributions had generally tended to be at the margins of efforts to prevent armed conflict.  In July, ECOSOC had adopted resolution 2002/23 on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system.

He said that resolution had identified several key elements for progress in gender mainstreaming that resonated well in today’s deliberations.  Those elements included:  identifying gender equality as an essential element for the realization of sustainable development; stressing the need to include women in planning, decision-making and implementation processes at all levels; emphasizing the link between human rights and gender equality; recognizing that men and women were often affected differently by political, economic, social and environmental factors; and calling for sex-differentiated data and indicators as essential elements for accurate analysis.

In recent years, he added, the understanding of, and commitment to, gender equality and gender mainstreaming had increased significantly.  Many persistent constraints remained, however, including conceptual confusion, inadequate understanding of the linkages in different areas of work, and gaps in the capacity to address the necessary issues.  The report and recommendations before the Council today made a great contribution by clarifying major findings, challenges and actions that were necessary in that area.  The Council deliberations today would be of particular concern to ECOSOC as well.  Relevant findings on women, peace and security represented a valuable guideline for the ECOSOC’s newly established ad-hoc advisory group on Guinea-Bissau.

He said, “Peace and security, and economic and social affairs are not just linked.  It is important that we realize that they are different sides of the same coin, and that on this coin there is a face of a woman."

ELLEN MARGRETHE LOJ (Denmark), speaking on behalf of European Union and associated States, said that the 21 action points provided in the Secretary-General’s report provided some very practical recommendations, which could be implemented.  She supported the proposal to fully integrate the gender perspective in planning and mandates, as well as in all phases of their implementation.  That would require appropriate guidelines and training programmes.  In that regard, the Union was happy to note that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations was developing concrete tools to help mainstream the gender perspective into the daily work of all mission components.

Continuing, she reiterated the Union’s support for the establishment of gender focal points in all field missions and urged the Secretary-General to ensure the establishment of gender capacity in the Department.  She regretted the continued lack of gender balance in all aspects of peace operations, but noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General would make an even more determined effort to increase the appointment of women at the special representative and deputy special representative level.  States of the European Union would continue to provide the Secretary-General with qualified female candidates to serve in such positions.  Important lessons could be learned from the findings of the report with regard to the inclusion of women, girls and child soldiers in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.

She added that “one less-positive point in the report”, was the lack of reference to the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Observance of International Humanitarian Law, which included some valid gender paragraphs.  All United Nations-mandated military operations should operate in accordance with that Bulletin.  Further, in July, she had provided the Council with information on a European Union-Latin American conference on women in peace operations, which was to take place in Chile in November.  The Secretary-General’s report and the Council’s considerations would undoubtedly be discussed there.  Full and equal participation of women in peace processes was the responsibility not only of the Council, but also of the Member States, the bodies of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations, civil society and others.  The European Union and its Member States looked forward to doing their part.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) welcomed the study and report on women, peace, and security undertaken pursuant to resolution 1325 (2000) of the Security Council.  He also looked forward to the independent experts’ assessment on the impact of armed conflict on women and their role in peace-building.  Although women were disproportionally affected by armed conflicts, they were underrepresented in the relevant decision-making bodies and, in that regard, he warned that decision-making would continue to be paternalistic and ineffective as long as it excluded the women it affected.  He thus emphasized the need for women to actively participate in all political, judicial, economic, military and other decision-making processes, at the local, national, and international levels.

He was pleased that the study called on the international community to:  identify women’s informal peace-building initiatives; provide technical and financial support; and establish mechanisms to channel the outcomes of those initiatives into formal peace processes.  He also voiced support for greater participation of women as special representatives and special envoys.  Turning to violence against women, he acknowledged that the study clearly identified the need for international legal action to combat it.  In that context, he put his faith in the International Criminal Court’s ability to accelerate the progress towards such legal action.

He stressed the importance of gender-based approaches when administering international justice and believed that such approaches would be ensured by the greater participation of women as judges, prosecutors and other court officials.  Expressing the idea that the advancement of the rights of women was inextricably linked to the promotion of international peace and security, he maintained that resolution 1325 (2000) would serve as a tool for achieving greater global harmony.

AMRAIYA NAIDU (Fiji), on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum, said women in his region had a long history of active involvement in bringing about sustainable peace, and he cited the role they played in Bougainville, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands in that regard.  A growing network of women’s groups was supporting peace efforts in the region.  The Forum group appreciated the need to now transform those informal activities to the formal arena of peace-building, negotiation and decision-making.

He welcomed the Secretary-General’s recommendations and supported the annual review of resolution 1325 (2000), towards its full implementation.  The United Nations also needed to realize its own goals for the advancement of the status of women in the Organization, and he noted with satisfaction the commitment to set concrete targets for the appointment of women as special representatives and special envoys.  The value of a gender specialists database depended, however, on the practical support of Member States.

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For information media. Not an official record.