Security Council Stresses Importance of Increasing Role of Women in Conflict Prevention, Resolution, Mediation; Peacebuilding
Security Council Stresses Importance of Increasing Role of Women in Conflict Prevention, Resolution, Mediation; Peacebuilding
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6642nd Meeting (AM & PM)
Security Council Stresses Importance of Increasing Role of Women
in Conflict Prevention, Resolution, Mediation; Peacebuilding
Calling for Change, Secretary-General Says Women’s Participation Remains
Low in Official, Observer Roles; Pledges United Nations ‘Will Lead by Example’
The Security Council today stressed the importance of promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls, as well as increasing women’s participation in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding, as it reviewed progress on implementation of its landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on Women and Peace and Security.
Approving a presidential statement (S/PRST/2011/20) submitted by its President U. Joy Ogwu of Nigeria, the Council took note of the analysis and recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report on women and peace and security (document S/2011/598) on progress in implementing commitments on women and peace and security, including on the representation and participation of women in decision-making forums, institutions and mechanisms related to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict and to peacebuilding.
At the same time, however, the Council voiced concern that there were “persistent gaps and challenges that seriously hinder the implementation of [the resolution],” including what it saw as continued low numbers of women in formal institutions of conflict prevention, especially in preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts. It therefore not only stressed the need to bolster the role of women in such institutions and fields, but also incorporating the gender perspective into United Nations field missions.
Welcoming the contributions and role of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — known as UN-Women — in implementing resolution 1325 (2000), the Council noted with satisfaction the increased coordination and coherence in policy and programming for women and girls within the United Nations system since the creation of the gender entity.
Noting that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern committed against women and girls had been strengthened through the work of the International Criminal Court, ad hoc and mixed tribunals, as well as specialized chambers in national tribunals, the Council reiterated its intention to enhance its efforts to fight impunity and uphold accountability for serious crimes against women and girls with appropriate means.
By its statement, the Council further reiterated its call to increase the equal participation, representation and full involvement of women in preventive diplomacy efforts, and recalled in that regard General Assembly resolution 65/283 on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes and conflict prevention and resolution. It also reiterated the need to support, as appropriate, local women’s peace initiatives, processes for conflict resolution and initiatives that involved women in implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements, including through the local-level presence of United Nations field missions.
Recognizing the need for more systematic attention to and implementation of women and peace and security commitments in its own work, the Council expressed its willingness to ensure that measures to enhance women’s engagement in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding would be advanced in the 15-nation body’s work, including on preventive diplomacy. The Council reiterated 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 had emerged in the resolution’s implementation.
At the opening of the day-long meeting, which featured nearly 60 Government interventions, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that involving women in conflict prevention and mediation was essential for building peace and reinforcing the foundations of democracy. Women’s participation in both official and observer roles remained low, however, he noted, saying, “This has to change, and I am determined that the United Nations system should lead by example.”
Giving numerous examples of progress made within the United Nations system on implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), he said: “While there is undoubtedly progress, I am deeply concerned about the persistence of serious abuses of women’s rights.” Referring to last year’s mass rapes in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said: “We must respond swiftly and effectively to such crimes wherever and whenever they occur. We must hold those responsible to account. Let us make women’s dignity, safety and needs a priority.”
Introducing the Secretary-General’s report, Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Executive Director of UN-Women, highlighted progress made, but pointed to areas where more must be done to fully engage women in conflict resolution and mediation. “Women’s full participation in peacemaking is fundamental to building peace and security,” she said.
She underlined the report’s recommendations for the Council’s consideration, including: a call for targeted actions in situations on the Council’s agenda to build women’s roles in conflict resolution and recovery; a need to improve the information the Council received on women and peace and security; and a need for specific catalytic measures by Member States. She said Member States were urged to develop national planning instruments to advance their women and peace and security commitments, to devise practical measures to increase the number of women in security, governance and foreign- service sectors, and to invest in women’s post-conflict recovery and justice needs and reparations.
The President of the Economic and Social Council, Lazarous Kapambwe of Zambia, welcomed engagement by the Security Council on the issue of women and peace and security built on the work on gender equality and women’s empowerment by that Council. He called on the United Nations system to develop a more coherent response to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, with special attention to the linkage between HIV/AIDS and sexual violence.
Also briefing the Council, Orzala Ashraf Nemat, of the Non-Governmental Organization Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, said that implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was “highly uneven”, particularly in regard to its call to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms from the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. “It is particularly frustrating that we are repeatedly marginalized,” she said, adding that urgent steps must be taken to increase women’s participation in the prevention of conflict.
In the ensuing debate, speakers expressed support for the Presidential Statement, although the representative of the United Kingdom regretted that, due to the opposition of some Council members, the report of the Secretary-General could not be accepted as a whole.
The representative of the Russian Federation stressed that the Council’s consideration of the women and peace and security agenda could only be taken up against the broader context of its mandate, namely protection of international peace and security, and that the issue should be considered by the Council only in those situations that were on the its agenda. Artificially linking gender issues exclusively to the Council violated its mandate. There should be no duplication of mandates, and the issue should also be addressed by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council. He suggested that more attention must be paid to such problems as the killing and maiming of women due to the use of excessive force, often referred to as “collateral violence”.
Speakers welcomed the awarding of the 2011 Nobel Peace Price to three women — Liberia’s President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian activist, and the Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman — which had emphasized the important role women could play in peace processes. Many also noted that the “Arab Spring” underlined the timeliness of consideration of participation of women in the resolution of conflict.
Several speakers stressed that indicators such as those used in the Secretary-General’s report were not an end in themselves but must be linked to concrete outcomes and made truly useful in supporting implementation. Others welcomed the strategic framework to guide United Nations implementation of that resolution. More attention should be paid, however, they believed, to the role of women in the field regarding their meaningful participation in decision-making related to conflict resolution, development and security, and in building democracy.
A more comprehensive approach to conflict prevention was needed that would allow women to become main actors in the national political life, several speakers stressed. Member States, regional and subregional organizations should strengthen the capacities of women’s organizations and support their conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Some underlined the role the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund could play in supporting women’s participation in peace processes. Lebanon’s representative added that investing in youth, girls and boys was also essential in peacebuilding efforts, as had been underlined by the role of Arab youths during the Arab Spring.
Several speakers drew attention to the fact that the protection of the human rights of women and girls continued to pose a pressing challenge. There should be “zero tolerance” for gender-based violence and pre-deployment training on protection of civilians, including of women and girls, must be improved, they said. Gaps remained in holding those serving in United Nations mission accountable for sexual violence and exploitation. The United Nations system still lacked a mechanism for the safe submission of complaints in that regard.
Representatives of small island developing States, including the representative of Vanuatu, speaking on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States, drew attention to the fact that unabated climate change risked increased violent conflict, with the ensuing impacts on women and girls during and post conflict.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Brazil, South Africa, India, Gabon, Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, United States, Portugal, China, France, Nigeria, Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Austria, Canada, Republic of Korea, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Australia, Israel, Japan, Tunisia, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland (on behalf of the Human Security Network), Argentina, Angola (on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)), Senegal, Ukraine, Solomon Islands, Estonia, Burundi, Ireland, Turkey, Nepal, Bangladesh, Kenya, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Chile, Peru, Spain, Indonesia, Croatia, Lithuania, Armenia, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Mexico, Afghanistan and Fiji.
The Head of the Delegation of the European Union also made a statement, as did the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Civilian Liaison Officer to the United Nations.
The meeting was called to order at 9:08 a.m. and suspended at 1:10 p.m. The meeting resumed at 3:15 p.m. and adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2011/20 reads as follows:
“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the full and effective implementation of resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) on Women and Peace and Security and all relevant statements of its Presidents.
“The Security Council urges all parties to fully comply with their obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women of 1979 and the Optional Protocol thereto of 1999 and strongly encourages states that have not ratified or acceded to the convention and optional protocol to consider doing so.
“The Security Council recalls the 2005 World Summit Outcome (A/RES/60/1), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled ‘Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century’ (A/S-23/10/Rev.1), and the Declaration of the fifty-fourth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2010/27-E/CN.6/2010/11).
“The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security of 29 September 2011 (S/2011/598), and takes note of the analysis and recommendations it contains on progress in implementing commitments on women and peace and security, including on the representation and participation of women in decision-making forums, institutions and mechanisms related to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict and to peacebuilding.
“The Security Council welcomes the commitments and efforts of Member States, regional organizations and the Secretary-General to implement its resolutions on Women and Peace and Security. The Security Council, however, remains concerned about the persistence of gaps and challenges that seriously hinder the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), including the continued low numbers of women in formal institutions of conflict prevention and resolution, particularly in preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts.
“The Security Council stresses the importance of: promoting and protecting the human rights of women and girls in the context of the implementation of 1325 (2000); fully implementing international humanitarian law and human rights law in armed conflict and post-conflict situations; increasing women’s participation in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding and incorporating a gender perspective into UN field missions.
“The Security Council welcomes the contributions and role of UN-Women in implementing resolutions on Women and Peace and Security. The Council expresses its intention to welcome briefings by the Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director of UN-Women. The Council notes with satisfaction the increased coordination and coherence in policy and programming for women and girls within the United Nations system since the creation of UN-Women. In this regard, the Council underlines the importance of the mandates of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and for Children in Armed Conflict that contribute to the work on the Women and Peace and Security agenda.
“The Security Council reiterates its strong condemnation of all violations of applicable international law committed against women and girls in armed conflict and post-conflict situations and urges the complete cessation by all parties of such acts with immediate effect. The Security Council also urges Member States to bring to justice those responsible for crimes of this nature.
“The Council notes that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern committed 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. The Council reiterates its intention to enhance its efforts to fight impunity and uphold accountability for serious crimes against women and girls with appropriate means and draws attention to the full range of justice and reconciliation mechanisms to be considered, including national, international and mixed criminal courts and tribunals, truth and reconciliation commissions as well as national reparation programs for victims, institutional reforms and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms.
“The Security Council welcomes the efforts of Member States to implement resolution 1325 (2000) at the national level, including the increase in the number of states that have formulated or revised national action plans and strategies. The Security Council reiterates its call to Member States to continue to implement resolution 1325 (2000), including through the development of national action plans or other national level strategies.
“The Security Council recalls the Statement of the President (S/PRST/2011/18) on preventive diplomacy, which inter alia recognized the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and reiterated its call to increase the equal participation, representation and full involvement of women in preventive diplomacy efforts. The Security Council recalls General Assembly resolution 65/283 on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution and the encouragement it contains to promote equal, full and effective participation of women in all forums and at all levels of the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, particularly the decision-making level.
“The Security Council encourages efforts by Member States, the UN Secretariat, UN field missions, UN agencies, funds and programmes, international financial institutions, regional and sub-regional organizations to, as appropriate, provide support and strengthen the capacities of relevant government institutions and women’s organizations engaged in issues related to armed conflict or post-conflict situations. The Security Council underlines the importance of the participation of women in conflict prevention and resolution efforts, including in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements, as well as international dialogues, contact groups, engagement conferences and donor conference in support of conflict resolution. In this regard, the Security Council reiterates the need to support, as appropriate, local women’s peace initiatives, processes for conflict resolution and initiatives that involve women in implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements, including through the local-level presence of UN field missions.
“The Security Council acknowledges the significant contribution that women can have in conflict prevention and mediation efforts and encourages Member States, international and regional organizations to take measures to increase the numbers of women involved in mediation efforts and the numbers of women in representative roles in regional and international organizations. The Security Council therefore stresses the importance of creating enabling conditions for women’s participation during all stages of peace processes and for countering negative societal attitudes regarding full and equal participation of women in conflict resolution and mediation.
“The Security Council continues to encourage Member States to deploy greater numbers of female military and police personnel to United Nations peacekeeping operations and reiterates that all military and police personnel should be provided with adequate training to carry out their responsibilities.
“The Security Council encourages negotiating parties and mediation teams to adopt a gender perspective in negotiating and implementing peace agreements and to facilitate increased representation of women in peacebuilding forums. In this regard, the Council requests the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations entities to assist, as appropriate, in enabling regular consultations between women’s groups and relevant participants in conflict mediation and peacebuilding processes. The Security Council also requests the Secretary-General to ensure that regular briefings are provided to his mediators and their teams on gender issues relevant to peace-agreement provisions and specific obstacles to full and equal political participation of women.
“The Security Council recognizes the need for more systematic attention to and implementation of women and peace and security commitments in its own work and expresses its willingness to ensure that measures to enhance women’s engagement in conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding are advanced in its work including on preventive diplomacy. The Council welcomes the intention of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa to incorporate gender perspective in its work.
“The Security Council 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).
“The Security Council requests the Secretary General in his next annual report on resolution 1325 (2000) to include, inter alia, a comprehensive overview of specific actions, achievements and challenges to the implementation of this Statement of its President, in particular those concerning the participation of women in mediation and preventive diplomacy. ”
The Security Council had before it a report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security (document S/2011/598), covering progress made in implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) since the issuance of presidential statement S/PRST/2010/22 of 26 October 2010 and based on contributions from 38 Member States, 4 regional organizations and 27 entities of the United Nations system. Based on a set of indicators contained in the Secretary-General’s report S/2010/498 for use as an initial framework to track implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in situations of armed conflict and post-conflict, the report gives an overview of progress made in such areas as prevention; participation; protection; and relief and recovery.
According to the report, prevention includes promoting targeted and coordinated measures to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and exploitation; ensuring that women’s conflict prevention efforts are supported and that early warning systems are in place; and explicitly addressing women’s rights and violations of such rights in reports to and resolutions of the Council. Over the last five years, a growing number of reports to the Council, as well as mandate renewals, have included references to women and peace and security. Welcoming that positive trend the Secretary-General notes, however, that more attention needs to be paid to women’s roles in conflict prevention, to human rights violations against women and girls and to issues of long-term prevention and participation, adding that elimination of impunity is critical for preventing gender-based crimes.
As for the call for representation and participation of women in decision-making mechanisms related to conflict prevention and resolution, the Council, in its aforementioned presidential statement, noted with concern that women’s participation at all levels of peace processes remained to low. It is therefore time for all international, regional and national actors that provide support to peace processes to take proactive steps to engage women and ensure gender expertise. Quotas and other temporary special measures, such as reserved seats, can play a significant role in increasing women’s representation in decision-making, the Secretary-General notes, and women’s full participation in United Nations field missions is an integral aspect of resolution 1325’s implementation of the prevention and protection agendas.
Although significant progress has been achieved at the normative level in the area of protection, the report says that normative framework still needs to be fully translated into more effective and better coordinated efforts on the ground. Addressing security challenges and the distinct protection needs of women and girls requires long-term concerted efforts by all stakeholders and the unfaltering attention of the Council. It is critical to continue to invest in strengthening the capacities of national, regional and international actors to integrate gender perspectives in security policies. Effectiveness of measures taken depends upon women’s and girls’ participation to ensure that assistance directly responds to their specific needs and contributes to long-term prevention of violence against women and girls.
The report also notes considerable strengthening of the work on women’s participation and gender equality in relief and recovery. The past year has seen more consistent inclusion of gender analysis in relief and recovery planning frameworks. Women and girls, however, largely continue to be an afterthought in most economic recovery programming, and financing for women’s and girls’ post-conflict needs remains strikingly low. Particular attention is needed for access to job creation programmes, access to basic services and investments in education, life skills and livelihood opportunities for girls affected by armed conflict, among other things.
The Secretary-General recommends, among other things, that the Council continue its “excellent” practice of giving detailed instruction, instead of giving mere reference to women and peace and security resolutions, and to add women and peace and security elements to mandates of peacekeeping and political missions. Welcoming the fact that the Council is seized of and taking action regarding instances of conflict-related sexual violence, he recommends that consistent attention also be paid to other conflict-related abuses of women’s human rights in periodic reports to the Council, including attacks on women human rights defenders and journalists and women in public office.
The Secretary-General also recommends that the Council use its deliberation on preventive diplomacy and mediation to consider means of enhancing women’s conflict-prevention role and that Member States address the low numbers of women in conflict resolution and in the implementation of peace agreements. The Secretary-General further encourages Member States to support United Nations efforts to ensure that in post-conflict planning and programming women’s needs and rights are more consistently addressed and that women benefit equally from all actions and investments.
Further, the Secretary-General invites Member States to identify means of bringing justice and redress to women and girls for the war crimes they have suffered and to end impunity for those atrocities. Member States need to invest in mechanisms such as mobile courts, one-stop centres for gender-based crimes and legal aid, to make judicial processes more accessible. He also urges Member States to develop mechanisms to ensure that women and girl war crimes victims receive the immediate services and assistance needed, as well as the comprehensive reparations that are their right.
The Secretary-General concludes that the proposed 2015 high-level review of the Council on implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) will serve as an important milestone for Member States, regional organization and the United Nations system to demonstrate measurable progress. He proposes that his report on women and peace and security in 2015 focus on the results of current efforts by national, regional and international stakeholders.
In a concept note by the Permanent Mission of Nigeria (document S/2011/654), the current Council’s presidency proposes as theme for today’s discussion “Women’s Participation and Role in Conflict Prevention and Mediation”, because, according to the note, many gaps and challenges still remain in the achievement of the goal of guaranteeing women’s participation in decision-making in all stages of peace processes as well as in conflict prevention and preventative diplomacy. The striking absence of women from formal peace negotiations in particular reveals a troubling gap between global and regional commitments and actual practice.
To accelerate implementation in that critical area, according to the note, concerted and dedicated efforts are needed by international, regional and national actors, in particular those providing technical and financial support to peace processes. Positive results appear to emanate from a range of specific strategies, including: the use of targeted special policies and measures to increase women’s participation including in negotiations; increased availability and quality of gender expertise; training to prepare women candidates for deployment as mediators; and creating enabling environments for women, including arrangements for security, travel and childcare.
There is a realization that involving women in the peacekeeping, mediation and peacebuilding process has a direct impact on stability and sustainable development, but the critical role of women in conflict prevention has remained largely unappreciated, unrecognized and undocumented. There is a need for further study by the Secretary-General on the situation and role of women involved in conflict prevention around the world — to be included in his report to the high-level review meeting of 2015. There should be recognition that conflict prevention strategies should address the root causes of conflict, as well as include such initiatives as early warning, preventive deployment, mediation, peacekeeping, practical disarmament, accountability and post-conflict peacebuilding.
Statement by United Nations Secretary-General
BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General, said the Security Council had emphasized repeatedly that involving women in conflict prevention and mediation was essential for building peace and reinforcing the foundations of democracy. Women’s participation in both official and observer roles remained low, however. “This has to change,” he said, “and I am determined that the United Nations system should lead by example.”
He said that in the past year, the number of women leading United Nations peacekeeping, political and peacebuilding missions had gone up to 6 from 33 operations. Also, his Special Representatives for Children and Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence in Conflict were women. The Department of Political Affairs had increased the proportion of women candidates in its roster of senior mediators, team members and thematic experts to 35 per cent. A gender and inclusion expert was now serving in the United Nations Standby Team of Mediation Experts.
In the field, United Nations teams were supporting women so they could engage in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, management and reconciliation in West Africa, Central Asia, the Balkans and Southeast Asia. Mentioning other examples from Afghanistan, Darfur, and South Sudan, he encouraged Member States to increase the number of women in senior positions in international and regional conflict prevention. That meant more women in senior governance roles, at the top of security institutions and serving as diplomats.
He said he had presented a strategic framework to accelerate implementation of Council resolution 1325 (2000). It had targets and indicators for 2014 and 2020 and a baseline was being assembled to track progress and ensure accountability. He would welcome further improvements in the flow of information to the Council on progress in the situation of women in armed conflict. He urged Member States to do more — including through additional funding — to implement the strategic framework’s priorities and protect the rights of women and girls.
“While there is undoubtedly progress,” he said, “I am deeply concerned abut the persistence of serious abuses of women’s rights.” Last year, he had lamented the mass rapes in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “My alarm has not diminished,” he said. “We must respond swiftly and effectively to such crimes wherever and whenever they occur. We must hold those responsible to account. Let us make women’s dignity, safety and needs a priority.”
MICHELLE BACHELET, Under-Secretary-General for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Executive Director of UN-Women, introducing the Secretary-General’s report (document S/2011/598), said that while there had been progress on the issue of women, peace and security, much more could and must be done to fully engage women in conflict resolution and mediation. “Women’s full participation in peacemaking is fundamental to building peace and security.”
She said the report included a strategic framework to guide the United Nations implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) up to the year 2020 and strengthen United Nations system accountability. In the area of conflict prevention, improvements had been registered in coordinated efforts to prevent conflict-related human rights abuses of women. The Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict had displayed determination to tackle impunity and prevent future attacks on women, and the rise in prosecutions for conflict-related sexual violence was having a deterrent effect. The fight against impunity must be paired with efforts to empower women and there was also a need to strengthen the involvement of women and the inclusion of gender perspectives in early warning and community conflict prevention systems.
She said the report called for further action in the area of women’s participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and recovery. It called for specific measures and financial incentives by Member States to include women in official delegations. The report showed a “mixed picture” in the area of protection. Against examples of good practice, however, there were continuing reports of human rights violations that reinforced the need to ensure respect of international legal obligations and provide protection to women against atrocities. In the area of relief and recovery, she said the report noted improved awareness and responses to the needs of women and girls in post-conflict needs assessments, basic service design and delivery, provision of temporary employment, and transitional justice programmes, including reparations programmes.
Overall, the United Nations system was working to increase post-conflict spending on women’s empowerment and gender equality to a minimum of 15 per cent of post-conflict financing within a few years, she said. The Peacebuilding Fund had recently issued a $5 million dollar gender promotion initiative and a call for proposals to support women’s participation in peacebuilding, and had committed to doubling its spending on women’s empowerment by 2012. The United Nations system had developed a set of tools to better equip it to ensure that women engage in conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, and that stronger protection environments were built for women.
The report concluded with recommendations for the Council’s consideration, including: a call for targeted actions in situations on the Council’s agenda to build women’s roles in conflict resolution and recovery; a need to improve the information the Council received on women and peace and security; and a need for specific catalytic measures by Member States. She said Member States were urged to develop national planning instruments to advance women and peace and security commitments, to devise practical measures to increase the number of women in official and observer roles, as well as in security, governance and foreign service sectors, and to invest in women’s post-conflict recovery and justice needs and reparations.
“If women’s participation is essential, not optional, why is it often the missing ingredient in conflict prevention and mediation?” she asked by way of conclusion. Determined leadership was needed by all — the Council, Member States, civil society and the United Nations — to fully engage women in mediation and conflict prevention. That would advance peace and security and deepen democracy around the world.
Next, the President of the Economic and Social Council, LAZAROUS KAPAMBWE of Zambia, said that the welcome engagement of the Security Council on the issue of women and peace and security built on the work on gender equality and women’s empowerment by that Council, which he hoped was catalytic in that regard through its historic adoption of agreed conclusions on gender mainstreaming in 1997 and the annual follow-up that it had carried out on the matter since then. The issues of particular relevance, which called for a common approach by the United Nations system at the normative, programmatic and operational levels, included ending discriminatory attitudes, through strong advocacy for human rights, as well as the elaboration of media strategies and tools for outreach.
He called on the United Nations system to develop a more coherent response to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, with special attention to the linkage between HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. In regard to women’s empowerment, progress was needed in all spheres of society. Men and boys had a critical role in all those efforts, and special initiatives should be taken to mobilize civil society organizations in that regard, particularly in conflict-prone countries. In addition, the development and security pillars of the United Nations must work together to promote the full integration of women into the formal economy, and the coordination of humanitarian, development, health and protection actors must ensure that women and girls with disabilities were not subject to multiple and aggravated forms of discrimination.
The Economic and Social Council, he said, could do its part by ensuring follow-up and monitoring of the indicators developed by its Statistical Commission on violence against women. Member States of that body were also committed to providing the requisite guidance to the agencies, funds and programmes on taking the actions required to implement Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), particularly those linked to the coordination of humanitarian action, the transition from relief to development and the promotion of women’s active role and participation in sustainable development.
ORZALA ASHRAF NEMAT, of the Non-Governmental Organization Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, explaining that her Group was a coalition of international civil society organizations advocating for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to maintain international peace and security, welcomed increased attention to the topic at hand in the United Nations.
But she agreed with the Secretary-General that implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was highly uneven, particularly in regard to its call to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. “It is particularly frustrating that we are repeatedly marginalized, despite the many national and international commitments already made to include us at the decision-making table,” she said.
She said urgent steps must be taken to increase women’s participation in the prevention of conflict. For that purpose, national and international authorities should ask women what lessons they had already learned and what recommendations they had for addressing the root causes of conflict, while ensuring women’s safety and guaranteeing independent investigations into any attacks, as well as the effective control of arms transfers and sustained funding for the development of women’s programmes. Women’s rights to participate fully in decisions regarding the future of their countries, particularly in peace processes and in the reform of relevant political, security and justice institutions, must be fulfilled.
To ensure the voices of the most marginalized were heard, she said that greater investment and protection was needed for women’s groups’ efforts to strengthen the links between communities and national-level negotiations. In that regard, high-level commitments must be translated to the field level, she stressed, reporting that when women candidates at the provincial level in Afghanistan asked for protection from local authorities, they were dismissed and mocked and told that such protection would be a waste of resources. Similarly, in the effort to ensure that women’s equal rights were fundamental in peace accords and all political settlements, implementation had often been sidestepped on the ground. She said that that was the case in Sudan in 2005, where women were included in peace talks but their rights were neglected in the subsequent accords.
In closing, she reported that Afghan women, asked their definition of security, used the word that meant a comprehensive feeling of safety when engaged in daily public and social life. The success of peace agreements must be gauged by real, measurable security improvements for women and for all members of the community. Women were crucial to that effort. “We have seen the difference women make when they are involved in conflict prevention and resolution, highlighted most recently in the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to women from Liberia and Yemen for this work.”
MARK LYALL GRANT (United Kingdom) said he regretted that in the forthcoming presidential statement, due to the opposition of some, the report of the Secretary-General could not be accepted as a whole. Women remained underrepresented in peace processes and mediation. Only when women’s participation was included throughout the conflict cycle could sustainable peace be ensured. He welcomed efforts to improve systematic reporting and development of indicators. His country had pledged $60 million to UN-Women. All means available to the United Nations must be used in conflict prevention, and the Organization must react rapidly when tensions arose.
He said his country welcomed the call to increase the number of senior female mediators. National action plans provided an important opportunity for Member States to make their own commitments in that regard, and he encouraged more countries to develop their own plans. The United Kingdom had supported measures globally to advance the women and peace and security agenda in, among other countries, Afghanistan and Nepal. As the “Arab Spring” had shown, sweeping economic and social trends were at work in the world, and the Council should show that it was flexible enough to deal with those trends.
MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI ( Brazil) said the “women, peace and security” agenda had been a catalyst for greater civil society engagement with the Council, which had given it access to new perspectives and information. The issue of women’s participation in peace talks and other conflict-related negotiations contained more than an element of justice; it was also an issue of effectiveness, which directly impacted on the success of conflict resolution and mediation efforts. Women could bring unique perspectives about such issues as impunity, accountability and justice and security sector reform.
Indicators were not an end in themselves, she said, but must be linked to concrete outcomes and made truly useful in supporting implementation. She therefore welcomed the strategic framework to guide United Nations’ implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). Although the Council’s support to empowering women in conflict and post-conflict situations was very important, it could not stand on its own. Effective and sustainable political participation by women depended on social inclusion and economic opportunity. Therefore the work of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and of UN-Women required the Council’s full support.
BASO SANGQU (South Africa) welcomed the various frameworks that had been created for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), which allowed the issue of women and peace and security to remain at the top of the United Nations agenda. Gaps in implementation and “glaring disparities” remained, however. He therefore welcomed the standard operating procedures proposed by the Secretary-General as a response to them. He highlighted the importance of women leading negotiating processes, as well as their prominent participation in the security sector.
He also highlighted the high participation of women in all sectors in South Africa, saying that his country’s extensive contributions to peacekeeping operations maintained that level of women’s participation. From that experience, his country had learned the importance of women’s contributions to all levels of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The vast majority of women were not involved in creating wars, but were the ones who picked up the pieces afterward, and were responsible for the survival of families. The Council should mainstream a gender perspective on conflict prevention in all mandates and make increased efforts to ensure women’s participation at all levels of conflict prevention and resolution, he said.
SANTOSH CHOWDHARY (India) said that it needed to be recognized that the issue of women and peace and security cut across several areas of concern and had multidimensional implications. Therefore, the need for discussing these issues in the General Assembly could not be over-emphasized. Gender equality and the empowerment of women remained the key focus area of social development and distributive justice globally. Empowering women politically, economically, educationally and legally had also been a major objective of the Government of India. India was proud that it had given women equal voting rights more than 60 years ago. In addition, in 1992, the Constitution was amended and reserved 33 per cent of the seats for women in local and district-level governance institutions and bodies. This was raised to 50 percent in 2009. Currently, there were more than 1.5 million elected women representatives in local bodies. This was the biggest mobilization of women worldwide in politics at the local government level in rural and district levels.
Women’s empowerment was essential to promote overall sustainable development, she continued. This was also true in conflict situations. The participation of women in all stages of the peace process was essential for lasting peace. The United Nations presence in conflict and post-conflict situations must achieve greater coordination in addressing women, peace and security. India welcomed the efforts of UN-Women to significantly boost United Nations action on empowerment of women and gender equality. She agreed with those who supported increased deployment of female military and police personnel in peacekeeping. The protection of the human rights of women and girls continued to pose a pressing challenge. There should be zero tolerance for gender-based violence. In conclusion, she reaffirmed India’s commitment to contribute to United Nations efforts in protecting vulnerable sections, including women and children.
NOEL NELSON MESSONE (Gabon) noting that his country’s recent political transition had been led by women, said that the award of Nobel peace prizes to three women underlined the recognition that had been accorded to the importance of women’s participation in peacemaking since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. However, the work of ensuring women’s strong participation in that area remained incomplete. For that reason, the normative framework must be strengthened at the international, regional and national levels, capacity must be built at all those levels and root causes must be addressed.
He welcomed the fact that a majority of Security Council resolutions now addressed women’s participation. He said that more determination was needed, however, to implement such provisions. For that reason, he welcomed the proposals of the Secretary-General on women’s involvement in conflict prevention, as well as his recommendations on dealing with cultural factors. He encouraged a more comprehensive approach to conflict prevention that would allow women to become main actors in the national political life. In Africa, a greater focus on women’s empowerment and protection was needed from all players in security, development and human rights.
NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) agreed that UN-Women was the cornerstone for articulating the Organization’s mandates in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and in that context, emphasized both the role of intergovernmental consultations in analyzing the gender architecture and agreements between States on models and practices adopted in that field. That was essential for improving national capacity so that women could participate in conflict prevention and mediation. “Arduous” tasks to strengthen the gender focus at a post-conflict stage included job creation, interventions in education, life skills, opportunities for children, and access to basic services.
He went on to highlight activities being pursued in Colombia, saying that the armed forces training school now included new topics in the prevention of gender-based violence, sexual violence and sexual and reproductive health. Community councils of women, among other programmes, had been designed to promote women’s involvement in public policies, while the Legal Committee for the Equality of Women in Congress was created this year through a law intended to encourage women’s participation in Congress. The priority was to incorporate gender perspectives into national policies, including development plans for poverty eradication. Colombia was interested in promoting cooperation mechanisms to support countries and believed the General Assembly could contribute in that regard.
IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina) said that the analytical work on indicators elaborated in the report before the Council could serve as a roadmap for further planning. He also welcomed the United Nations Strategic Results Framework as an important instrument for implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and all resolutions on women and peace and security. He noted the increased coordination and coherence in policy and programming for women and girls system-wide since the creation of UN-Women and said that briefings from the Executive Director of that body should continue so as to facilitate that concerted and coordinated approach. He emphasized the importance of bringing to justice those who perpetrate crimes against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Guidelines and support were needed from the Organization and national authorities on the representation and participation of women in decision-making for the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding, including them in negotiating and implementing peace agreements, or creating enabling conditions for women peacemakers or peacekeepers, he continued. Member States and regional and subregional organizations should strengthen the capacities of women’s organizations and support their conflict prevention and resolution efforts. Gender issues should be integrated into national policies and State institutions should be informed on how to collaborate on the issue with international organizations and civil society. His country had adopted plans for streamlining relevant activities to accelerate implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) nationally. Further, he said, women needed to be involved in policy-making and post-conflict planning.
MIGUEL BERGER (Germany) said that 10 years after adopting resolution 1325 (2000), words must turn into action. He lauded the Nobel Prize Committee for honouring “three courageous and inspirational women” who could serve as role models for how women could make a difference, and welcomed the analysis and recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report. Including women in peace initiatives was key to any lasting, sustainable peace, but gaps existed between commitments and actuality. He commended UN-Women for leading efforts to include a gender perspective in all the Organization’s activities and in measuring progress in implementing the resolution. More women must have leading positions within the Organization and be given a voice at all stages of peace processes.
Implementation of the resolution had progressed within the European Common Foreign and Security Policy and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), he continued. Female military medical staff, serving in field hospitals, lowered barriers for local women to seek treatment and female soldiers had better access to local women. At the national level, the German Government conducted projects on gender training, including for United Nations peacekeepers, prevention of sexual violence, and enabling women’s participation in peace processes and their unhindered access to justice, and focused on support to organizations promoting women’s empowerment. The Government also had adopted action plans on gender in development aid programmes and on civilian crisis prevention. Finally, he said, the Security Council should systematically integrate women, peace and security issues into its daily work.
ROSEMARY A. DICARLO (United States) said the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to three women was acknowledgement of the difference women could make if they had influence on decisions in peace processes in their countries. Welcoming progress such as the establishment of UN-Women and the appointment of a Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict Situation, among other things, she said that a mere reference to women, peace and security in resolutions was not enough. Results should be delivered. Pre-deployment training on protection of civilians, including of women and girls, must be improved. Gaps remained in holding those serving in United Nations mission accountable for sexual violence and exploitation. The United Nations system still lacked a mechanism for the safe submission of complaints in that regard.
She said conflict-related sexual violence must be addressed from the start and more women must be included in mediation efforts. The United States was developing a National Action plan that centred on participation, protection, relief and recovery. The United States had, among other things, provided training courses regarding human rights and sexual violence and exploitation. In conclusion, she said that ultimately progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000) was measured by improving the daily lives of women around the world. Commitments must be turned into results.
NAWAF SALAM ( Lebanon) said that throughout the ten years since resolution 1325 (2000), had been adopted, the United Nations system, Member States and civil society had made significant efforts to implement it. The condition of women and girls in armed conflict still needed to be improved. Prevention was a crucial element of the resolution, including prevention of all forms and violence against women and girls. Combating impunity was the most effective tool to prevent that crime and conflict and post-conflict societies should be assisted in those areas.
He said more attention should be paid to the role of women in the field regarding their meaningful participation in decision-making related to conflict resolution, development and security. Their participation was also a requirement for building a solid democracy. Participation of women and addressing their needs was simply a matter of good governance. Women’s participation in peace negotiation was essential. International, regional and national actors should spare no efforts in that regard. Investing in youth, girls and boys, was also essential in peacebuilding efforts as had been underlined by the role of Arab youths during the Arab Spring.
JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) said that the Arab Spring was now providing an active platform for women to shape the future of their countries, as they had done in many situations in modern history, and as had been recognized in the joint awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Significant challenges remained, however, as women were still often excluded from peace talks and were underrepresented in may other areas.
He welcomed UN-Women’s efforts to strengthen women’s civil society groups, as well as national efforts to promote women’s participation in the political sphere. He enumerated the many obstacles to women’s equal participation in such areas. Portugal had actively been working to promote effective participation in peace and security and looked forward to concrete action toward that goal.
LI BAODONG (China) said that the Security Council should promote the use of dialogue and consultation for peaceful resolution of political conflicts and ensure women’s participation at all phases of peacemaking, including good offices and mediation. He stressed that the national ownership of the people concerned in each conflict and post-conflict situation must be respected in all peacemaking, and all efforts to increase women’s participation should recognize the particularities of each country and not try to impose one strategy on all situations. He commended the efforts of UN-Women in protecting and empowering women.
SERGEY N. KAREV (Russian Federation) said that 10 years on, resolution 1325 (2000) had underlined the key role of women in conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as in the protection of women and girls. Women must not be just seen as victims in armed conflict. They must participate in all related aspects of preventive diplomacy. The Council’s mandate was the protection of international peace and security. Violence against women and girls should be considered by the Council only in those situations that were on the Council’s agenda.
Artificially linking gender issues exclusively to the Council violated its mandate. The issue should also be addressed by the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council. There should be no duplication of mandates. It would not be proper to set up a mechanism under the Council’s auspices to supervise implementation of resolution 1325 (2000); that was a task for UN-Women, he explained.
While welcoming the efforts of that new gender entity, he said it was too early yet to assess its work overall. He suggested that in the future, the Secretary-General’s report should reflect the multifaceted nature of violence against women. More attention must be paid, for instance, to such problems as the killing and maiming of women due to the use of excessive force, often referred to as “collateral violence”. There were still questions about the relevance of some indicators regarding the resolution’s implementation in the report. Work on such indicators should moreover be carried out in a more transparent way, with the involvement of all Member States. He suggested that effective work on the ground regarding implementation depended also on taking into account specific local circumstances.
MARTIN BRIENS (France) said the Arab Spring underlined the timeliness of consideration of participation of women in the resolution of conflict. In Syria and Yemen, women fought courageously to defend their freedom and for respect for their human rights and for democracy. Women should have their place next to men to help guide transitions.
He said the effective implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was a priority for France. The country had adopted a national action plan and had sought to work internationally to protect women against all forms of violence and to support their equal participation in peacebuilding, reconstruction and development. France was implementing a number of cooperation programmes with UN‑Women to increase their access to justice, among other things.
The strategic framework and indicators mentioned in the report were useful tools when it came to following up on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and helped identify shortfalls in the area for the role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts. He said that justice was essential in the resolution’s implementation. How could women participate if they had to live with their tortures, and if their road to justice was paved with humiliation and threats, he asked. Access to justice was vital for participation by women. In that regard he mentioned the possibility of targeted sanctions in case of systematic violations of the rights of women.
Council President U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria), speaking in her national capacity, said that the Secretary-General’s report and remarks today provided a solid foundation for making further progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000). It must be acknowledged, however, that the integration of women into all peacemaking processes was less than adequate, and she welcomed the presidential statement to be made today in that regard. It recognized women’s important role in mediation and all stages of a peace process.
Further support for women’s participation was needed, she said, as the obstacles to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) were still daunting. National action plans were an important part of the effort to overcome those obstacles. Her country had agreed to accelerate implementation of the resolution in a national, regional and continent-wide manner. In particular, preventing conflicts from breaking out was the best way to protect women and girls. In that light, she encouraged greater focus in conflict prevention. She looked forward to the high-level review of the women, peace and security agenda in 2015 and to greater progress in women’s participation at all levels by that date.
JAAKKO LAAJAVA (Finland), also speaking on behalf of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, said that this year, women had taken to the streets across North Africa and the Middle East to demand change, equality, freedom and justice. He called on the Council to ensure that women’s voices were heard and reflected in planning, actions and results. Provisions on women’s full participation at all levels, as well as the protection and promotion of women’s human rights, should be included in all relevant country-specific resolutions. Efforts of women through civil society and governmental channels in the area of conflict prevention and mitigation should be supported by increased financial, political and technical support. To enhance the quality and sustainability of peace agreements, there was a need to ensure that women were fully involved from the very beginning of peace processes. Sector-specific gender-expertise and targeted actions were needed in the implementation of peace agreements and during post-conflict planning and budgeting.
She said that all Nordic countries had national action plans based on a holistic view of peace, security, development, human rights and gender equality. They were also fully committed to including civil society in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). They had committed to increase the number of women and to build gender-awareness in the military and police and among civilian peacekeepers. The group of countries had also increased efforts in the fight against impunity with a due attention to the rights of the victims.
ANDREAS RIECKEN (Austria) said the effective representation and full involvement of women in peace processes, in transitional governments and in political life was a pre-requisite for their specific needs and concerns. Efforts at the national level must go hand in hand with efforts at the international level. The United Nations and its Member States must further enhance the number of women in post-conflict operations and political mission, to ensure gender expertise in missions in all mediation efforts, as well as increase the appointment of women to senior leadership positions. He said his country had trained and deployed mission gender advisors for the Balkans and had implemented other measures to further the agenda of women and peace and security.
GILLES RIVARD (Canada) welcomed the relevant report of the Secretary-General and recent General Assembly resolution on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution as positive steps on improving cooperation and coordination. One year ago this month, Canada announced its action plan, which sought to enhance participation of women in peace processes. It also encouraged the meaningful participation of women in all elements of peacemaking. Canada also promoted efforts to protect the human rights and physical safety of women and girls, including against rape as a weapon of war. There remained much work to be done to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions on the matter, especially with regard to enhancing women’s roles in mediation and conflict prevention.
He went on to say that Libya was an example of an environment in which barriers to women’s access to peace and to reconstruction efforts would need to be addressed. Canada encouraged the Security Council to continue to provide the political leadership and take targeted actions to ensure the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention, mediation and resolution processes. In order to inform the work of the Council, Canada recommended that the Council receive regular briefings on these matters by the Secretary-General and other relevant officials. At a time when resources were scarce, Canada supported the call to use mediation increasingly as a cost-effective form of conflict prevention and resolution.
KIM SOOK ( Republic of Korea) said eliminating impunity was critical for preventing gender-based crimes, and commended the Council’s efforts to uphold accountability for serious crimes against women and girls. While that fight had been strengthened through the work of international tribunals, ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court should also be encouraged. Also, States must enhance their justice systems to prosecute gender-based crimes and improve protection for victims and witnesses. Women’s participation in all stages of the peace process must be enhanced and efforts to increase their participation in decision-making bodies must be sustained. His Government supported the United States’ draft resolution on women and political participation in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian Cultural).
He went on to say that more attention must be given to the vulnerability of displaced women and girls to sexual and gender-based violence. The Republic of Korea welcomed the target set in the Strategic Results Framework on special measures to increase the security of female refugees and persons internally displaced by armed conflict, as well as the target to ensure multisectoral prevention and response mechanisms for such abuse in camp and non-camp settings. UN-Women had a central role in coordinating work to implement resolution 1325 (2000), and his Government had significantly increased its financial contribution to the “Building Back Better” project on women’s participation in peacebuilding.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) welcomed the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report as an important step in moving from rhetoric to action and said that the Security Council must increase its efforts to incorporate a gender perspective in relevant country-specific resolutions, with a view to increasing women’s participation in peace negotiations and mediation, and meeting the specific concerns of women during post-conflict reconstruction. In conjunction with the General Assembly, it must also encourage the appointment of women as lead peace mediators and ensure that adequate gender expertise was provided for all peace processes led by the United Nations.
Outlining his country’s support for efforts to end impunity for serious crimes committed against women during conflict, he said that the International Criminal Court represented an important mechanism in the fight against sexual violence and should be better integrated into Security Council work on the issue. He announced that his country had developed an iPhone App on Women, Peace and Security with other partners in order to make that complex agenda more accessible and contribute to better mainstreaming. It included Monthly Action Points compiled by the NGO Working Group, which provided guidance on how the Security Council could systematically meet its obligations on women in conflict.
ABDUL GHAFOOR MOHAMED (Maldives), surveying situations of conflict around the world, urged the Transitional National Council in Libya to stay mindful of the specific needs and obligations they had toward women, in every area from disarmament to reconciliation to women’s participation and representation. “The path towards democracy is never easy and women are the first to be forgotten”, he said. In order to promote international security, he suggested that the discussion on women’s empowerment not be limited to conflict zones.
In the Maldives, the empowerment of the entire population began with the democratic movement, leading to the addressing of the abuse of women through call centres and protective services, security sector reform for that purpose and greater women’s participation in political life. Noting that radicalism universally featured the exclusion of women, he said: “If we are to change the dynamics of security in the world and ensure greater global stability, the only way forward is through ensuring active women’s engagement without restrictive social norms.”
PHILIPPA JANE KING (Australia) said that women represented less that 8 per cent of participants in peace processes, and fewer that 3 per cent of signatories to recent peace agreements. It was not possible to create a legitimate and durable post-conflict political system that did not include women as full and equal participants in decision-making. She encouraged the Council to issue a standing invitation to the Executive Director of UN-Women and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in conflict.
She also encouraged the United Nations to include elements of the women, peace and security agenda in all country- and mandate-specific reports to the Council. Concerted efforts were needed at all levels, in particular among those responsible for technical and financial support to national peace processes. That was the key focus of her country’s aid programme.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said empowered women were a “life source” for striving communities. That principle had been an integral part of the Jewish State since its inception. Among many examples he gave of equal rights in his country, he said that Parliament had recently passed a law requiring that all Government investigative institutions must have women participation and that women must be included in all negotiating teams.
Israel had organized seminars to promote dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian women. The connection between advancing peace and advancing equal rights for women must be recognized. He said that across the Arab world, the subjugation of women could not be ignored as an obstacle to building sustainable peace. Peace in the Middle East and the wider world depended on empowering women and ensuring their equal rights. The international community had a duty to remove obstacles in women’s path to equal rights.
TSUNEO NISHIDA (Japan) said that, as a member of the Group of Friends of Mediation, Japan had consistently advocated the importance of mediation and conflict prevention. It welcomed that the General Assembly’s first resolution on the issue, adopted in June, had underlined the importance of the participation of women and the provision of gender expertise in mediation. In order to prevent the recurrence of conflict and sustain longstanding peace, the needs of women and girls must be fully addressed in post-conflict peacebuilding. To that end, women’s full participation throughout the mediation process was required; Japan expected UN-Women, in cooperation with other partners, to coordinate and strengthen the efforts of the United Nations system in that area, and provide guidance to regional organizations and Member States in their mediation efforts.
The role of regional organizations in conflict prevention had been widely recognized, and it was “encouraging” that such groups had taken steps towards the consistent inclusion of women and women’s rights in their conflict prevention efforts. However, some challenges remained, including the strengthening of gender expertise and perspectives in the activities of peacekeeping operations and the number of female peacekeepers. In that regard, Japan had deployed a female military liaison officer to the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) this year. It also provided gender training to Japanese personnel before they were deployed to peacekeeping operations, he added, and said Japan was supporting a project to train female police officers in Afghanistan. Implementation gaps of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) also remained in all areas of prevention, participation, protection and recovery and relief. Japan, for its part, would continue to make its utmost efforts to fill those gaps before the fifteenth anniversary of the resolution.
OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) noted that his country was a non-permanent Council member in 2000 when resolution 1325 (2000) had been adopted, and he said that the country had been strongly involved in advancing women’s equality and empowerment since independence. Peace, development and democracy could not be accomplished without full women’s participation in all spheres. The recent democratic revolution in Tunisia showed the important influence of women in national politics, and women were in the forefront of voters in the recent election.
Internationally, despite progress in consolidating the framework for women’s participation and protection in the United Nations, “shameful crimes” against women continued to take place in Africa, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and elsewhere. Strong measures needed to be taken to end rape as a weapon of war. His country was developing training for peacekeepers and other programmes as part of a comprehensive approach to the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI ( Italy) welcomed the statement adopted by the Council today. For more tangible progress in women’s empowerment and protection, more work needed to be done at the national regional and international levels. Women’s rights must be consistently addressed in peace talks and peace agreements and women must be included at the highest level of negotiations. For that purpose, there must be concrete support for education and skill-building for women and social barriers hampering women must be overcome, through civic education and human rights programmes aimed at both sexes.
He said that resolution 1325 (2000) must be truly mainstreamed into all the work of the Security Council. He welcomed the framework for United Nations implementation of the resolution developed by the Secretary-General, along with the creation of a set of indicators to monitor progress. Describing Italy’s three-year action plan on the issue, which included increasing women’s contributions to the security sector and protecting women in conflict situations, he said that the focus was promoting awareness activities throughout Government and civil society.
SYLVIE LUCAS ( Luxembourg) said the recent joint awarding of the 2011 Nobel Peace Price to three women was highly symbolic as recognition of the crucial role women played in the establishment of peace. The indicators used in the Secretary-General’s report and endorsed by the Council had been a major contribution to consistency and coherence in international efforts to implement resolution 1325 (2000). She supported the Secretary-General’s recommendations. She encouraged the Secretary-General to pursue the collection of data on the basis of his report and encouraged the United Nations system to help implement the zero tolerance policy regarding sexual violence and exploitation by the “blue helmets”.
Progress was slow in the participation of women in mediation efforts and women’s economic integration. She said that Luxembourg had financed a major project of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to reinforce the role of women in political life in countries emerging from conflict. As Chair of the Guinea Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, she highlighted the role women had to play in the national reconciliation in Guinea. That Commission was helping to integrate women at all levels of decision-making. She urged for implementation of the Secretary-General’s seven-point action plan on the role of women in peacebuilding.
PAUL SEGER (Switzerland), speaking first on behalf of the Human Security Network, said that on the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000), much could be achieved in the normative and institutional area so the Security Council had adequate instruments for time-bound and measureable action in order to bring forward the texts’ agenda. UN-Women was created and had issued a first strategic plan for its work: an initial set of indicators was created and applied. The Human Security Network encouraged the Council to continue its efforts to meet obligations regarding women and peace and security, by issuing concrete instructions in resolutions to mandate or renew United Nations peacekeeping missions, regular encounters with women stakeholders during missions, and frequent exchange with UN-Women and the Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflicts.
Reverting to his national capacity, he drew Council members’ attention to the Monthly Action Points of the NGO Working Group, and the Handbook of Peacewomen, both supported by Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Those two instruments were now available as an iPhone App. This year’s report of the Secretary-General showed that increased participation of women in peace efforts remained a challenge. Capacity-building exercises of women mediators were going in different parts of the world to provide a stock of well-prepared women to be involved in future peace talks. The Security Council and the wider international community Member States needed to put in place strategies to facilitate the active involvement of women and women’s rights in peace processes. Switzerland was committed to continuing its efforts down that path, namely by its national action plan, its strategic partnership with the United Nations and specific civil society organizations in New York as well as the field.
DIEGO LIMERES ( Argentina) welcomed the comprehensive approach of the Secretary-General’s report and called for the international community to join together to ensure women’s participation in peace-process by, among other strategies, creating lists of women who could lead in mediation and other processes. His country’s plan of action for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), drawn up in conjunction with UN-Women, had a wide range of objectives and was developed through a wide, participatory approach, including expertise from a variety of areas, including trafficking in persons and sexual and reproductive health. He pledged that his country would continue training peacekeepers in the skills needed for protection and empowerment of women, and would continue to be active in all efforts needed to overcome obstacles to the full implementation of the resolution.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said that women must participate in all stages of peace processes. Women, peace and security should be systematically integrated in preventive diplomacy, early warning, human rights and security monitoring. Women’s absence from formal peace negotiations often was followed by their absence from bodies laying the foundations for new, post-conflict societies. Noting that actors involved in peace processes needed sufficient gender expertise, he welcomed the recent Department of Political Affairs and UN-Women Joint Gender and Mediation Strategy to equip mediators and their teams with that expertise, and emphasized the Secretary-General’s 7-point action plan presented in 2010. Also, the number of women in senior positions at Headquarters and in the field should be increased.
He commended UN-Women for mobilizing support within the Organization towards implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and welcomed the strategic framework, developed by the Secretary-General, which included specific targets to guide that implementation and helped to ensure coherence, coordination and accountability of United Nations action. He called for more frequent briefings to the Council on women, peace and security, and encouraged UN-Women to continue its cooperation with the Special Representatives. He also noted positively the call to consider means to enhance women’s role in Council deliberations on preventive diplomacy. Among actions taken by the European Union were: adoption of a comprehensive approach for the resolution’s implementation, establishment of indicators to evaluate gaps in action, and establishment of a support team ensuring women’s representation in mediation processes.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola), speaking on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said that progress achieved in carrying out the aims of resolution 1325 (2000) had laid the ground work for longer-term efforts by the United Nations system towards the text’s full implementation. He welcomed the increased political commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in peace processes. Achieving gender equality and empowering women were two key principles that had propelled the founding of SADC. Concerned with the widespread and systematic sexual violence that women and girls continued to be subjected to in conflict situations, SADC had developed a strategy to address sexual violence against women and girls, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations, as well as the SADC Framework for Mainstreaming Gender within its Peace and Security Architecture.
He said that despite his delegation’s commitment to efforts towards empowering woman and advancing their rights, they were still largely underrepresented in key decision-making structures and in peacemaking and peacebuilding processes. When given the opportunity, women were active agents of change and played a critical role in recovery and reintegration of families after conflict. They were also crucial in bringing about reconciliation and democracy in post-conflict societies. While progress had been registered in the resolution’s implementation, greater coordinated efforts were required to achieve its full implementation. He therefore called on the international community to continue providing support for the development of national action plans, including financial and human resources.
ABDOU SALAM DIALLO (Senegal) said that despite the creation of an international framework for the protection and empowerment of women, they were still falling prey to widespread abuse. The international community must make a firm commitment to combat impunity and end all forms of violence against women. Women still only had a tepid degree of participation in peacemaking, and education, training and health. His Government had devoted investments to that purpose and was working toward parity in representation in Government, along with a national action plan to implement resolution 1325 (2000) and initiatives at the regional level, which required the support of an “international dynamic” by the Security Council and UN-Women. Stringent measures to combat the root causes of conflict were needed, he added, along with a robust arms trade treaty that controlled small arms and light weapons.
YANA BOIKO (Ukraine), supporting the statement made by the delegation of the European Union, affirmed his country’s full commitment to the implementation of all Council resolutions on women, peace and security, stating that gender equality was an essential element for democracy and development. Her country continued to co-sponsor resolutions for women’s empowerment and protection and remained ready to undertake further steps, as a member of the Executive Board of UN-Women, to reduce gender inequality in every sphere of life.
In that context, she welcomed efforts to pay increased attention to the needs of women and girls affected by armed conflict in the spheres of health, education, legal support, water, sanitation and beyond. For the prevention of gender-based violence, eliminating impunity was critical. Welcoming steps taken to increase women’s participation in mediation and conflict prevention, she expressed pride over what she called the long record of participation of Ukrainian women as civilian police and military observers in United Nations peacekeeping operations. Calling for strengthened collaboration and new strategies to address the gender issues of conflict, she pledged that her country was resolved to do its share.
COLLIN D. BECK (Solomon Islands), associating himself with the statement to be made on behalf of Pacific Small Island States, said that, as a country emerging from conflict, his country had accumulated gender data during its peacebuilding efforts that would feed into national policy. Gender considerations had already been part of Government programmes and partnerships for two decades. His subregion as a whole was not in frequent conflict but was rather in a permanent state of adapting, mitigating and addressing challenges such as climate change and poverty. The region was developing an action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) that would be complimented by a national action plan, for which Solomon Islands had secured funding from UN-Women.
That resolution, however, had gaps in the area of development, which meant that it did not adequately address root causes such as climate change. In matrilineal societies such as that of the Solomon Islands, women land owners were disempowered by the swallowing of land by sea level rise. In addition, droughts and other severe challenges would increase dramatically if the current path continued and temperature increased more than 5-7° C. “Once we reach that point, 1325 will become irrelevant. We hope this early warning will be reflected in the presidential statement”.
MARGUS KOLGA (Estonia), aligning with the European Union, said that women’s involvement in conflict prevention and peacekeeping operations was necessary to assure success, as it was the only way to reach entire populations. Estonia was currently reviewing realization of its action plan on implantation of resolution 1325 (2000). Among activities undertaken over the past year was the organization of an international conference on Women, Peace and Security — the Afghan View, which had focused on cooperation of national and international contributors to the advancement of women in that country. Estonia’s national action plan also included its commitments under resolution 1325 (2000) stemming from its participation in international civilian and military operations and its role as a donor country and member of regional organizations and the United Nations.
The action plan also aimed to raise awareness and interest in gender issues domestically, he said. There was support for women in peace and security related posts and steps were being taken to increase the presence of women in the military, police and rescue services. Increasing gender perspective in pre-mission training was also planned, as well as consideration of gender issues during general training of officers and non-commissioned officers. Resolution 1325 (2000) should always be an important political subject at the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In that context, he welcomed the Organization’s strategic framework and the set of indicators on women, peace and security to guide the resolution’s implementation.
HERMÉNÉGILDE NIYONZIMA (Burundi) said his country had subscribed to several international commitments regarding gender equality and non-discrimination. For implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), his Government had reaffirmed that no strategy would be decided on without taking gender matters into full consideration. The National Plan of Action would be adopted next month. The substance of resolution 1325 (2000) was chiefly built around four pillars — participation, prevention, protection, and recovery. He went on to describe considerable progress made in that regard by his country. It had taken several measures to combat sexual violence and exploitation. Strong support of the international community was required, however, to assist implementation of those and other measures.
ANNE ANDERSON (Ireland) said that, as had often been emphasized, a focus on the way that conflict could victimize women should not obscure the role that women could play as agents of conflict resolution and recovery — or in the words of the Nobel Committee, which recently presented its Peace Prize, “to realize the great potential for democracy and peace that women can represent”. More than simply a question of the right of women to participate in peacemaking, and what their absence implied, efforts at peace that accorded women prominent and active roles had a better chance of successfully addressing key post-conflict issues. Exclusion of women led to irreversible setbacks from women’s rights.
The passage of resolution 1325 (2000) and the four subsequent resolutions represented a paradigm shift in relation to women and conflict. However, there remained a striking reluctance to include women as full and equal partners in peace. Of nine peace agreements signed in 2010, only two had included provisions ensuring women’s rights. There was a basic design flaw that needed to be addressed: peace processes in general were not set up to engage non-traditional actors like women’s groups. “That must change,” she said, adding that “processes need to be structured from the outset to draw more fully on non-formal and non-traditional influences where women, woven into the social fabric of societies, have so much to offer.” The mediation phase presented a good opportunity to empower. It was critical that women peace-builders were engaged. “Gender was not just a box to be ticked, a nod to political correctness,” she said.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) said that a stronger gender perspective in United Nations programmes had been steadily built in the past 10 years, but women continued to be marginalized at decision making-levels. Women’s roles needed to be increased at all levels. Women’s security needed to be addressed in a holistic manner, through peacebuilding and development. He welcomed the recognition of the inter-dependence of those two pillars of the United Nations work. In that manner, he welcomed the recommendations of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which had been held in Istanbul, regarding women’s empowerment in post-conflict situations. In regard to gender violence, he said that targeted measures must be imposed on perpetrators of sexual violence during conflict and impunity must be ended. His country, he pledged, would remain committed to ensuring that women attain their rightful place in society.
GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA ( Nepal) said that Council resolution 1325 (2000) had brought to the fore the importance of women as peacemakers and peacebuilders. The resolution had marked a historic shift from the traditional view, which took women as a passive recipient who suffered from conflict but could make no contributions to ending or preventing it. The resolution rightfully stressed the role of women as an active player with the important and indispensible role in peacemaking and peacebuilding. Moreover, he said, it rightly urged Member States to mainstream gender by ensuring increased representation of women at all decision-making levels for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. It was high time now to take stock of achievements, identify shortcomings and share experience of successes and difficulties.
There had been notable efforts on a broad range of issues, yet there were many areas which needed concerted efforts. Countries emerging from conflict needed genuine partnership to fill the gap on financial resources, or the lofty goals of the resolution would remain unfulfilled. He was proud to draw the Council’s attention to Nepal’s five-year Action Plan on implementing the Council’s resolutions on women, peace and security. The adoption of that strategy was a manifestation to make the role of women prominent in peacebuilding. Nepal had also introduced a policy of affirmative action in various areas, including in the civil service, with a view to ensuring women in the decision making level of the public sector. Nepal had accorded high priority to the promotion of women’s rights and believed that it was only in an inclusive process that the country’s progress could become sustainable and equitable.
ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN (Bangladesh) said that poverty, struggle for scarce resources and socio-economic injustice lay at the heart of conflict and created breeding found for such blights as violence against women and girls. The resulting impact not only led to insecurity of women and girls, but also impaired political and economic stability, as well as national security. Protecting women’s rights was not an option; it was a compulsion. He stressed the importance of fulfilling women’s economic needs and the necessity of their engagement internationally in all levels of decision-making processes. In order to better understand the needs of women from the South, it should be ensured that women from the global South get due recognition in recruitment for peacekeeping missions.
MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya) said that women had been the strongest, most sustained advocates for their gender, and noted that last month Kenya and the entire world lost a great champion for the cause of women in the death of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai. Reiterating Kenya’s commitment to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), he said that countries must systematically integrate women-specific issues in their action plans to tackle the growing problem of gender-based violence during conflict and also in peace time.
For that effort, more international support was needed in order to buttress preventive measures and institutions such as the police and judiciary. In addition, he urged UN-Women to continue prioritizing education and public communications in efforts to stem gender violence. Affirming the importance of women’s political participation, he said that the new Kenyan Constitution, coupled with the national gender policy, had entrenched women’s participation in all aspects of the country’s governance structures and society in general. Condemning all forms of violence against women, he emphasized a multi-pronged approach to combat it.
DAFFA-ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN (Sudan) said that the number of women representatives at the Security Council today showed that progress was indeed being made in increasing women’s participation in security issues. For the purposes of both empowerment and protection, the capacity of countries emerging from conflict must be strengthened. In his country, women had participated in the legislature since independence and the principle of equal pay for equal work, and equal retirement ages had long been in place. One quarter of the membership of the Sudanese Parliament was now women, and there were 79 women judges, serving at all levels. Women also served at all levels of diplomacy, medicine and the security sector.
A multifaceted national strategy combating violence against women was being implemented, and post-conflict programmes, in coordination, with United Nations agencies, specifically addressed women’s situations. Support for anti-poverty programmes related to attaining the Millennium Development Goals, he commented, was the best way of empowering and protecting women, since that was the best way of dealing with root causes of conflict. He called for more exchange of best practices on the agenda item, leading to an integrated approach, and commended the Secretary-General’s reports on the issues, commenting that they were better reflections of the situation than the reports of some non-governmental organizations.
TALAIBEK KYDYROV (Kyrgyzstan) welcomed the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report and the strategic framework, which presented clear guidelines for implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) for the coming ten years. Over the past two years, in Kyrgyzstan, substantive progress had been made in promoting the participation of women in political life, democratic transformation and peaceful initiatives. The first woman president in Central Asia had been elected by referendum in 2010. At present, women comprised one third of Parliament, a woman presided over the Supreme Court, and women served as Prosecutor General, Chair of the National Bank, as ministers, and a governor, and headed many non-governmental organizations. Following inter-ethnic conflict in the country’s south in 2010, there was support for women’s initiatives in managing conflict, peacebuilding and post-conflict situations.
At that time, he continued, women activists had formed a network of peacemakers to stop the violence that now served as a liaison between local communities and central authorities. In cooperation with UN-Women and other United Nations entities, “Women Peacemakers of Kyrgyzstan” had undertaken 11 projects aimed at establishing inter-ethnic harmony in post-conflict areas. He proposed expanding programmes preparing women for positions in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Kyrgyzstan planned to include more women in its contingents for political and peacekeeping operations and had related draft legislation taking account of gender aspects. In closing, he noted that work was under way on a national strategy to achieve gender equality in the Republic by 2020 and that there was a draft national action plan for the period 2012-2014.
OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ (Chile) said that despite progress made since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), the situation of women in conflict situations had not sufficiently improved. He welcomed in that regard the proposed strategic framework. The establishment of UN-Women constituted a milestone in the achievement of rights of women. The Security Council had continued to make progress in providing guidelines for better protection of women in conflict situations. He highlighted the need for involving women in political, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes.
As for peacebuilding, he drew attention to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and of the Peacebuilding Fund, which had allocated considerable resources to the enhancement of women’s participation in peacebuilding. He then explained Chile’s national action plan, which had been developed in 2009 with ample involvement of civil society, and expressed support for the presidential statement.
ALFREDO CHUQUIHUARA (Peru) said resolution 1325 (2000) constituted a fundamental milestone as, since its adoption, the issue of women and peace and security had held an essential place in the achievement of international peace and security. Participation of women in peacebuilding and peacekeeping was crucial. As women were decisive protagonists in all stages of peacemaking and peacebuilding, their participation in those processes should be encouraged.
The idea that sexual violence was an inevitable consequence of armed conflict should never be allowed under any circumstance, he continued. Combating impunity for gender violence was therefore essential in peacebuilding processes. The high-level consideration of implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in 2015 would be an opportunity to consider in a holistic manner progress achieved in implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) by the United Nations system and Member States.
EIRINI LEMOS-MANIATI, Civilian Liaison to the United Nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said that her organization’s approach to the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was firmly anchored in its efforts of building sustainable peace and security. With over 100,000 men and women currently engaged in operations from Afghanistan to the Western Balkans, the involvement of women was highly valued, particularly in the effort of establishing trust with civil society.
NATO’s Heads of State and Government had reviewed its mainstreaming of the resolution into all operations in November 2010 and set out a number of concrete goals, such as improving gender balance at senior level in operations and missions. On the ground, he said gender-related positions in operations had been filled. The gender perspective was incorporated into operational planning, and gender-perspective modules had been included in most pre-deployment training. The organization also continued to support women’s networks in its areas of operation. She pledged that NATO would continue to make resolution 1325 (2000) and related resolutions an integral part of its everyday business.
JUAN PABLO DE LAIGLESIA (Spain), aligning his delegation with the statement delivered by the representative of the European Union, said that the Council had before it an important regulatory body of resolutions and statements, and — more importantly — it had the proof that women were the best agents for peacebuilding, when enough resources and a normative framework were in place. It was fundamental that the Security Council not only dictated the efforts laid out in the Secretary-General’s report in its thematic debates, but that it also continued strengthening the regulatory body of women, peace and security matters and mainstreaming the issue in all its works and decisions.
He went on to say that Spain had approved a relevant action plan in 2007, and had since updated it twice. Six ministries and many civil society organizations were involved in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), he said. The theme had also been included in the Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation in the framework on “Gender in Development”, as a concrete plan mainstreamed into all post-conflict situations. Additionally, the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Government of the Netherlands, had organized an “International Course on a Gender-Comprehensive Approach to Operations”, held in June 2011. Its focus had been the integration of a gender perspective in the civilian and military peacekeeping operations in different conflicts, he said, adding that there had been wide and varied participation.
YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia) said that by promoting women’s roles as agents of peace, their plight as victims of conflict could be overcome. Paramount in that regard was the prevention of conflict. “Our effort in waging peace should nurture an environment that accommodates the contribution of women in conflict prevention. In post-conflict situations, however, the deficit in experience, skills, understanding and knowledge on women and peace issues was often a hindrance to having greater involvement of women. An important aspect of implementing resolution 1325 (2000) was therefore supporting capacity-building for grassroots movements and organizations established in conflict and post-conflict times. The adoption of a set of global indicators to track implementation of the resolution would help the Council to reenergize and strategize its efforts in an effective manner.
NEVEN MIKEC (Croatia) said his country welcomed the latest report on implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), the recommendations contained therein, as well as the presidential statement adopted by the Council today. The Council should intensify its efforts to provide strong and effective leadership in strengthening the rule of law, with the ultimate aim of eradicating that abhorrent behaviour. It should include sexual violence as a priority element in resolutions mandating its Sanctions Committees, and those panels should explicitly include sexual violence as a criterion for the designation of political and military leaders for targeted measures. Coordination should also be strengthened between United Nations agencies both at Headquarters and in the field, especially in monitoring and reporting on situations where parties to armed conflict engage in rape and other sexual violence as means of war, he said.
But Member States needed to integrate the resolution into national policies to ensure its success, he said, urging countries to apply a broad gender mainstreaming approach across Governments. All plans should include civil society consultations as well as monitoring and reporting mechanisms, he said. The Croatian Government had recently adopted its national action plan to support and monitor the resolution at all levels. As a country with authentic experience in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as mediation and peacebuilding, Croatia was actively contributing to the realization of this resolution; among those efforts, it was substantially employing women in peacekeeping operations, both in armed forces and police.
RITA KAZRAGIENĖ (Lithuania) said that national, regional and international activities related to peace and security should take into account gender aspects by protecting women and promoting their participation as beneficiaries, practitioners and decision-makers into consideration. Resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions provided a useful framework in that regard and should be implemented promptly.
Describing her country’s actions, she said the first National Action Plan had been drafted and Lithuania intended to apply for membership to the Group of Friends of Resolution 1325 (2000). The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including under the chairmanship of Lithuania, had sought to include gender issues in its activities related to peace and security. She called on the Security Council to use its authority to ensure that all resolutions, including on mission mandates and their renewal, integrate and advance the women and peace and security agenda.
DONALD KALPOKAS (Vanuatu), on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States, said a Pacific regional action plan would help advance resolution 1325 (2000), and build on efforts to integrate it into the wider regional peace and security agenda. It also could bring together a series of high-level regional commitments into viable national action plans, which was essential to enhancing security sector governance policies and programmes in the region. The States requested the Organization and donor partners to continue to support their efforts to implement the resolution, particularly to enhance women’s participation in prevention and broader peacebuilding. “We ask the United Nations to support pre- and post-deployment training of peacekeepers in our region, both police and military, particularly to ensure incorporation of human rights compliance,” he said.
Highlighting conflict prevention as an essential element of resolution 1325 (2000), he said unabated climate change risked increased violent conflict. Adverse impacts of climate change altered the distribution and quality of natural resources such as fresh water, arable land, coastal territory and marine resources. That created severe risk of increased violent conflict in many parts of the world, as well as the ensuing impacts on women and girls during and post conflict. “We welcome the recent statement by the President of the Security Council on climate change and the maintenance of international peace and security,” he said. “This provides a solid foundation, and indeed an imperative for the Council to undertake further work on this critical issue. As a first step, the Pacific small island developing States sought the appointment of a special representative on climate security to identify and assess threats to international peace and security resulting from the current and projected adverse impacts of climate change.”
GAREN NAZARIAN (Armenia), aligning his statement with the one delivered by the representative of the European Union, said that, during the past decade, the Security Council had put in place a normative framework on women’s participation, protection and promotion of women’s human rights and mainstreaming of a gender perspective in peacebuilding, among other activities. Many peace processes now incorporated such activities, and the number of women in the Governments of post-conflict States had grown dramatically. However, he warned, it remained the case that “the female voice is not always heard”. The slow progress in implementing some aspects of the resolution was a matter of concern.
In that regard, he said, increasing the number of women in decision-making processes around the world was a key challenge. The inclusion of women in all stages of the peace process should be promoted, he stressed, noting the importance of women’s political participation in times of peace, conflict and at all stages of conflict settlement. In that vein, he said, Armenian and Azerbaijani women’s non-governmental organizations had met to discuss ways to find peace on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, and more meetings were expected to take place. Finally, he said, specific quotas and capacity-building programmes for female candidates — as well as awareness raising for political parties and other measures — could contribute to increasing women’s roles in Government.
SOFIA BORGES (Timor-Leste), supporting the Secretary-General’s call for the appointment for women in senior mediation positions, recognized the vital role that women played in her country’s independence movement, as well as their contribution to peace through its nation-building efforts. The country was committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women and was in the process of drafting an action plan on resolution 1325 (2000), with efforts already under way to raise awareness of gender-based violence, human rights and peacebuilding through the training of women’s groups, victims of violence, men and youths.
She went on to say community mediators, 50 per cent of which are women, had been trained to assist with local conflicts and foundations had been set for women’s participation across all sectors. Women’s representation in Parliament was 29 per cent and a goal had been set to reach 35 per cent by 2015. The country, as an executive member of UN-Women, had contributed to the new entity’s budget and had benefited from its support. She finally stressed the need for support to women with disabilities and women’s organizations and affirmed the necessity of improving coordination among all actors in the issue.
MARJON V. KAMARA (Liberia) said that, one year ago, the Council had commemorated the tenth anniversary of its resolution 1325 (2000) with a “plethora of commitments” by Member States to translate the major tenets of the resolution into smart, concrete action plans, among other commitments. Initial indicators were adopted to measure progress and the Secretary-General had been requested to develop a strategic framework to guide the resolution’s implementation by the United Nations. It remained a challenge to meet the expectations that had been aroused by those activities, she said. In that regard, Liberia continued to progress in its efforts to involve women, at decision-making levels, in all areas of national governance.
She recalled that at critical junctures in the country’s history, Liberia’s women had shown the ability to lead, as evidenced by the first female president of the General Assembly, who had been Liberian, the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as President of the country in 2005, and the 2003 protest by a group of Liberian women – led by Leymah Gbowee – who sought the signing of a peace accord to end the war. Today, women’s “community peace huts” around the country served as arenas where conflict mediation and resolution were undertaken. They acted as safe havens for women escaping domestic violence and counselling centres for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Among other issues dealt with at the peace huts, women also monitored early warning signs of conflict and led peaceful demonstrations.
Liberia was moving “deliberately and purposefully” towards the fulfilment of its commitments to women’s advancement. Gender-responsive policies, strategies and programmes were being integrated into all sectors of national action, she said, adding that, in 2009, Liberia became one of the first countries to have completed its national action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). She said that in 2011, Liberia’s Minister of Agriculture, Florence Chenoweth, was awarded the Hunger Project’s prestigious Africa Prize for leadership; two Liberians — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee — were among three women to share the Nobel Peace Prize. But despite those accolades, she said, “we are humbled when we consider the enormity of the challenges that still lay ahead; the gender inequalities that still exist; the high walls that we have to scale.” Liberia therefore believed that the systematic use of quotas and affirmative action programmes would help to accelerate progress and give impetus to efforts to place women centrally in conflict prevention, mediation and peace processes.
AKAN RAKHMETULLIN (Kazakhstan) said that the time had come for the international community to revisit the spirit of resolution 1325 (2000) and its subsequent related texts, and begin implementing the various recommended actions. Kazakhstan fully endorsed the recommendations of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations for a larger proportion of women sent by troop-contributing counties and in the contingents of police force. To make this happen, a greater number of women should be recruited into the armed forces and police services of Member States. In addition, there should be pre-deployment training for military and police on gender issues. Further, her delegation supported the Secretary-General’s recommendation that at least 15 per cent of the United Nations funds for peacebuilding be dedicated to projects that addressed the specific needs of women and girls. Kazakhstan also emphasized the inclusion of women in peace processes, as mediator, as members of negotiating parties, and as signatories to peace agreements.
UN-Women, as the flagship agency on gender, she said, had already begun to prove its leadership in redoubling efforts to implement resolution 1325 (2000) by effecting United Nations system-wide coherence. It had been able to pool together a set of key United Nations and regional human rights instruments, especially focusing on women and children. Along with its development focus, “Women, Peace, and Security” matters could become a major complementary component, and further strengthened by collaborating with humanitarian, human rights, aid-to-development agencies, and the Defence Forces of concerned Member States.
HERMAN SCHAPER (Netherlands), affirming his alignment with the statement of the European Union and all other statements underlining the importance of women’s participation in mediation and conflict prevention, agreed that resolution 1325 (2000) was an imperative for human security and that its full implementation was the common responsibility of the international community. For that purpose, his country had a national action plan that was signed jointly between the Government and civil society and prioritized the ownership of national stakeholders in the fragile States concerned. Examples of the work done under that plan included the security sector development programme in Burundi and advocacy that resulted in more female candidates being nominated for political positions in Afghanistan. More needed to be done, however, and a second national action plan would focus on supporting women at the national or local level who had the “courage to step up and become leaders” and their movements in conflict-affected societies. “We believe they know best what to do in their situation and culture,” he said.
RODRIGO PINTADO (Mexico) said that with the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) the United Nations had been able to develop, integrate and fine-tune its tools to address the gender perspective in a multidimensional manner with UN-Women at the heart of the gender-architecture. He welcomed the inclusion of specific indicators in the Secretary-General’s report as well as his seven-point action plan.
There were significant implementation gaps, however, such as the persistence of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations. He said that sexual violence as a tactic of war stoked crisis led to the continuation of armed conflict, caused displacement of populations and limited development opportunities. There was no peace without access to justice and unless impunity was addressed, among others, by the International Criminal Court. The low level of participation of women in peace negotiations was also a matter of concern, as that perpetuated inequality.
AHMAD ZAHIR FAQIRI (Afghanistan) said violence and anguish still took a toll on every Afghan life, and women continued to bear the bulk of the burden of the conflict. However, he said, women also had an imperative role to play in the peaceful settlement of such conflicts; the “tangible fruit” of efforts to that end had already been seen in Afghanistan through the decisive presence of women at the Consultative Peace Jirga in 2010, and the continuing efforts to ensure women’s participation in leadership positions outside of the Government. The present debate was particularly appropriate, he added, as Afghanistan was entering into the second phase of leadership transition and ownership.
The implementation of the 10-Year National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan had begun, with Gender Units established in 14 out of 25 Government Ministries. In the area of the rule of law, a national Commission on the Elimination of Violence against Women was established following the enactment of a law by the same name in December 2010. Women had taken part in two presidential and two parliamentary elections as candidates, election staff, poll watchers and electorates; it was important to note that they often did so at great personal risk. Additionally, international partners had aided in the Government’s endeavours. UN-Women had administered a multi-donor trust fund for the elimination of violence against women, which provided grants for national organizations to that end. In that regard, he said, the continued collaboration of the Government, international partners and both Afghan and international civil society groups would be vital to ensuring the full realization of women’s rights in a strong and stable Afghanistan.
PETER THOMSON (Fiji) said that progress had been achieved in implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), thanks to UN-Women, but that much remained to be done in the resolution’s national implementation. To that end, States needed guidance and input from the United Nations system, including from the Peacebuilding Commission, and assistance of civil society and regional organizations.
He said that lessons learned and best practices should be taken to heart. One must also learn from good practices and lessons learned of others. The Secretary-General’s set of indicators should be complemented by national frameworks and policies. He supported the development of a regional framework of the Pacific small island developing States, geared to that region’s specific and unique characteristics, with clear policy guidelines for applications. Fiji strongly encouraged recruitment of women in security forces and their participation in peacekeeping missions.
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