Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2242 (2015) to Improve Implementation of Landmark Text on Women, Peace, Security Agenda

SC/12076
13 October 2015
7533rd Meeting (AM)

Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2242 (2015) to Improve Implementation of Landmark Text on Women, Peace, Security Agenda

Secretary-General Urged to Initiate Revised Strategy with Aim of Doubling Number of Women in Peacekeeping Operations in Next Five Years

The Security Council today outlined sweeping actions to improve implementation of its landmark women, peace and security agenda, covering its work on countering violent extremism and terrorism, improving working methods and broadly taking up the gender recommendations of a just-completed global study it had requested two years ago.

Through resolution 2242 (2015), adopted unanimously ahead of a high-level open debate on the topic, the Council decided to integrate women, peace and security concerns across all country-specific situations on its agenda.  It expressed its intention to dedicate consultations to the topic of women, peace and security implementation, convene meetings of relevant Council experts as part of an informal experts group on women, peace and security, and invite civil society to brief during its country-specific considerations.

More broadly, the Council urged the Secretary-General and United Nations bodies to better integrate gender perspectives into their work so as to address accountability deficits, including through the addition of gender targets as an indicator of individual performance in all compacts with senior managers at Headquarters and in the field.

In the area of peacekeeping, the Council urged the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs to ensure that gender analysis and technical gender expertise were included throughout all stages of mission planning, mandate development, implementation, review and mission drawdown.  It called on the Secretary-General to initiate a revised strategy, within existing resources, to double the numbers of women in peacekeeping operations over the next five years.

To address continued charges of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers, the Council urged police- and troop-contributing countries to provide “robust” predeployment training, conduct “swift and thorough” investigations of uniformed personnel, and if appropriate, to prosecute.

On terrorism, the Council urged States and the United Nations to ensure the participation and leadership of women’s organizations in devising strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism.  It encouraged the forthcoming Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to integrate women’s participation, leadership and empowerment as core to United Nations strategy and responses, calling for adequate funding in that regard.  It requested the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue within their respective mandates.

As for Governments, the Council urged States to assess strategies and resourcing around the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, calling on donor countries to provide financial and technical assistance to women involved in peace processes.  It urged States to strengthen access to justice for women, including through the prompt investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of sexual and gender based violence, and reparations.

Addressing the meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared:  “At a time when armed extremist groups place the subordination of women at the top of their agenda, we must place women’s leadership and the protection of women’s rights at the top of ours.”

He noted that, 15 years ago, the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) had underscored the pivotal link between gender equality and international peace and security.  One common theme had emerged from three major reviews — of peace operations, the peacebuilding architecture and women, peace and security:  “Any reforms must include gender equality and women’s leadership as central ingredients, and must be strongly grounded in human rights,” he said, adding that, with that in mind, he would ensure that the target of 15 per cent of peacebuilding funds were devoted to gender equality and women’s empowerment projects.  The Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was an important part of the agenda for change.

Presenting the Global Study’s findings, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), said that women’s leadership and participation improved humanitarian assistance, strengthened peacekeepers’ efforts, fostered the conclusion of peace talks and helped to counter violent extremism.  “This is not rhetoric,” she said, adding that the findings were backed by “extensive” evaluations, statistics and academic research.

It was an area that challenged the United Nations to commit to irreversible change, she said, noting that the Organization had not met its gender equality targets.  Some $9 billion was spent annually on peacekeeping, yet it was unknown how much of it was invested in that area.  She announced the establishment of the Global Acceleration Instrument on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Engagement, which would channel more resources to women’s organizations.

Following three moving frontline accounts — by Julienne Lusenge from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yanar Mohammed from Iraq and Alaa Murabit from Libya — some of the 78 speakers who took the floor used the high-level review to announce funding allocations and other commitments to improve women’s leadership.  Many decried the fact that it was still often more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in times of conflict.  Rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage associated with terrorist groups persisted.

In that context, Sandip Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, announced a $1 million contribution to the new Global Acceleration Instrument, while Mariano Rajoy Brey, Prime Minister of Spain, announced a similar €1 million contribution in 2016.  Over the next seven years, said Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser on Gender and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of the European Union, the bloc would allocate €100 million to gender equality and women’s empowerment projects.

The representative of China drew attention to the 27 September global summit on women that his country had sponsored with the United Nations, the first of its kind, during which the Chinese President had announced a $10 million commitment to support implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action.  Within five years, China would help countries address challenges in the areas of girls’ health and education, he said.

Also speaking today were ministers, senior officials and other representatives from Angola, United States, Chile, Nigeria, Russian Federation, France, Chad, Lithuania, Jordan, Venezuela, New Zealand, Malaysia, Namibia, Egypt, El Salvador, Senegal, Gabon, Ukraine, Israel, Dominican Republic, Andorra, Algeria, Philippines, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Colombia, Slovenia, United Republic of Tanzania, Netherlands, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Sweden, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Japan, Pakistan, Liechtenstein, Iraq, Germany, Luxembourg, Estonia, Romania, Slovakia, Belgium, Croatia, Qatar, Cyprus, Honduras, Panama, Latvia, Paraguay, Peru, Morocco, Ireland, Costa Rica, Gambia, Finland, Monaco, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Holy See.

Other speakers were representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), African Union, League of Arab States, Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and was suspended at 7:40 p.m.

Opening Remarks

BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that 15 years ago, Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) had underscored the pivotal link between gender equality and international peace and security.  Several resolutions on that matter had been adopted since.  Because he had placed women’s leadership in peace building as a priority, he had appointed five women who were now serving as Special Representatives in peacekeeping missions and had also appointed the first ever female Force Commander — Major General Kristin Lund — in Cyprus.  The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development emphasized the centrality of gender equality and the need to step up efforts for women’s empowerment to achieve Planet 50/50. Implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) must be aligned with the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said that at the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000), three major reviews of peace operations, the peacebuilding architecture, and women, peace and security had been conducted.  One common theme had emerged:  “Any reforms must include gender equality and women’s leadership as central ingredients, and must be strongly grounded in human rights.”  Indigenous women suffered from multiple forms of discrimination, especially in times of conflict.  Much more must be done to combat the growing spread of violent extremism.  Groups such as Da’esh and Boko Haram had mercilessly targeted women and girls.  Accountability must be ensured.

There was an ambitious agenda, he continued.  The Department of Peacekeeping Operations was restructuring the gender architecture in headquarters and field missions.  The Department of Political Affairs had highlighted the need for deploying gender advisers to all special Political Missions.  The Department of Field support was implementing strengthened measures to address sexual exploitation and abuse and to increase representation of women in peacekeeping.  His appointment of a Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict had resulted in strategic leadership and unprecedented advances in the women, peace and security agenda.

The Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs would ensure that the outcomes and commitments of the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit would have a strong focus on gender, he said.  He would ensure that the target of 15 per cent of peacebuilding funds would be devoted to projects that addressed gender equality and the empowerment of women.  He had also commissioned an independent expert’s assessment.  The Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was an important part of the agenda for change.

“At a time when armed extremist groups place the subordination of women at the top of their agenda, we must place women’s leadership and the protection of women’s rights at the top of ours”, he said.  “Let us heed the call for action and work together to empower women and girls, protect their human rights and advance world peace for everyone”.

PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), said that the voices of women leaders and frontline activists for peace were rare in the Council.  “But, I suggest they are the most important voices you will hear today,” she said.  “They are the true unsung heroes.”  In displacement camps in Central Africa, Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, and South Sudan, where women peace activists shouldered the unseen burden of keeping communities together in the worst of circumstances, the relevance of resolution 1325 (2000) was evident, and conversely, the many missed opportunities where it had not been put into effect, at dire cost.

She said she had also travelled to the Philippines and Colombia, where women continued to make extraordinary efforts to secure peace.  “Where women are at the peace table, they were able to make compromises that allowed for faster progress — but not at the expense of core aspects of sustainability,” she said, noting that in Colombia, where peace talks were ongoing, women had secured an agreement which outlined that there would be no amnesty for sexual violence.

She welcomed the Secretary-General’s upcoming Plan of Action to prevent Violent Extremism to address women’s participation, leadership and empowerment as keys to address the drivers of such abuse. She also welcomed his call to extend the 15 per cent financing goal on peacekeeping within the United Nations to cover funds addressing violent extremism.

A growing body of evidence had shown that perhaps the greatest but most under-used tool for building peace was the meaningful inclusion of women, she continued.  That was the highlight finding of the Global Study, which also had found that women’s leadership and participation ensured the inclusion of community needs, improved humanitarian assistance and strengthened protection efforts on the part of peacekeepers, among other findings.  Such findings were backed by extensive evaluations, statistics and academic research.

Detailing markers of progress, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report, she said that between 1990 and 2010, only 11 per cent of peace agreements had mentioned women or gender issues, a figure that had climbed to half of all agreements, and was even higher when the United Nations was involved.  There were more women on mediation teams, countries and regional organizations were taking more robust action against sexual violence, while courts and commissions of inquiry were focusing more on gender-based crimes.

However, there were still many areas of concern, she said.  Some 15 years on, political will, financing, accountability, attitudinal and institutional barriers, as well as a lack of expertise continued to be obstacles.  Women’s participation was still symbolic or low at peace talks.  “This is unreasonable,” she said.  Large investment in rebuilding countries typically neglected women’s economic activities.  “We need many more women in police and military forces,” she said.  The percentage of girls in secondary education in conflict countries had dropped, and maternal mortality in those settings was more than double the global average.

The United Nations itself had not met its gender equality target, she continued, noting that $9 billion was spent annually on peacekeeping, yet it was unknown how much of it was invested in gender equality.  On a positive note, she announced the establishment of the Global Acceleration Instrument on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Engagement, which would channel more resources to women’s organizations.

Every peace process must include women, she emphasized, urging the use of incentives for countries to transform the security forces and increase the number of women in leadership positions.  She stressed:  “We must take strong action against violators,” working as a group to ensure individual countries could not shield perpetrators of crimes from justice.  Steps must be taken to build the status of women human rights defenders, and where conflict was entrenched, move away from viewing peacekeeping as a series of short-term projects, and rather, treat it as a long-term action, with women as core partners.

JULIENNE LUSENGE, Director of the Congolese Women’s Fund, speaking on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, said seven years ago she had addressed the Council, describing the rapes and massacres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and had asked for concrete actions to implement resolution 1325 (2000).  The exclusion of women from social and political life, however, was the reason nothing had changed.  Women must be included in all peace processes.  Women must be included in all parts of the peace process at all levels.  Against the backdrop of violence, Congolese women were sitting at the table of the peace process.  In 2015, during negotiations with the 23 March Movement (M23), however, women had demanded to participate in the peace process but were told there were only two parties to the conflict, M23 and the Government.

If no women would participate, she said, there would be no peace.  Women were the first victims of war, but also held the key to peace.  On the ground, her group was ensuring that victims were becoming survivors through holistic services and they, in turn, were becoming agents of change.  Grass roots organizations should be supported.  Resources were necessary.  Women must have an official role in peace building.  Mary Robertson, Special Representative to the Great Lakes Region, had set up a mechanism to ensure women would take part in the peace process, but only three Member States had provided funding.

The United Nations and the international community must demand women’s participation in all peace talks and women should be provided with the necessary funds to participate.  Justice consolidated peace.  Her group was training police so that police would understand the language of women.  Justice reform started with training and adequate resources.  A programme for the restitution to victims was also necessary.  All perpetrators of sexual violence, including United Nations personnel, must be brought to justice.  The Security Council must support local actions.

YANAR MOHAMMAD, also for the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, implored the Council and the entire international community to implement their women, peace and security commitments.  Much of what Ms. Lusenge had said applied to Iraq and to neighbouring Syria.  As the world focused on Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS), it was important to remember that the militant group had arisen from ongoing conflicts in those countries, where women, girls and others had already been degraded, leaving them vulnerable to abuse by ISIS and others.  That violence had produced the largest wave of refugees in modern history.

To understand the crisis for Iraqi women, she said, one could not ignore what had happened in 2003, when a Government had been formed as a result of the politics of division, based on sect, ethnicity and gender.  That Government had failed to uphold the rule of law, allowing extremists to take up positions of power.  Ten years ago, Iraqi women had addressed the Council about women’s situation.  “What would Iraq look like if you had heeded those calls then, and promoted an inclusive process in which women and minority groups were fully engaged?” she asked.

She said Iraqi women’s rights had been hijacked by the constitution, which guaranteed the interests of religious and extremist groups, at the expense of human rights, making Iraqi women vulnerable to Sharia law.  Since then, Iraqi women had experienced “unprecedented” disempowerment and violence.  Building a State on a corrupt foundation subjected millions to poverty and hunger.

Such politics had paved the way for the creation of ISIS and the enslavement of Iraqi women for the first time in modern history, she said, emphasizing that countless women were being trafficked in ISIS- and Government-controlled areas.  In the absence of Government services, local women’s groups met the needs of the vulnerable.  Yet, “our rights are not protected”, she said.  Sexual and gender violence on the part of ISIS had been widely discussed in the Council.  “I urge you to act now to condemn all forms of violence against civilians on all sides of the conflict.”

She called for the removal of barriers in law and practice to the ability of non-governmental groups to provide vital services, as well as increased protection for women’s groups and women’s rights defenders.  Further, the Council must call on Iraq — all States — to fully implement and fund its action plan on resolution 1325 (2000), and prosecute the perpetrators of violations that could amount to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence.  Iraqi women were documenting those abuses and their perpetrators, and would be ready for that day.  “We cannot wait another 15 years for the women, peace and security agenda to be implemented,” she stressed.

ALAA MURABIT, Voice of Libyan Women, said that her organization had launched its first national project, the “Libyan Women’s Charter”, in 2011.  At that time, thousands of women had expressed their excitement over the potential opportunities that awaited them.  Even then, challenges had been recognized, including growing security risks and the increasing exclusion of women from the political arena.  They had listed as a priority to get “the weapons out of our homes”.  Women had been the first to feel the effects of violence since then.  They had warned of the increasing danger of driving alone and of how religious leaders were promoting polarization.  That had been the basis for the “Noor Campaign”, led by women, and built on their partnership with men and religious actors to build peace and security in Libya.

The Libyan experience was not unique, she continued.  In conflict and post‑conflict countries, women were seen as less threatening politically and economically, garnering more societal trust than their male peers.  “The importance of including women seems to be a glaringly obvious strategy.”  The women, peace and security agenda needed the continued commitment of the United Nations, but the Organization and its Member States were not meeting the expectations of the global community because they continued to ignore the one tool that had never been more urgent to utilize:  the participation of women.  The inclusion of women was of paramount importance to global stability.

She said that conflict prevention was critical to ensuring global peace and security, and the Council should address the underlying drivers of conflict.  The participation of women was vital to preventing conflict.  From the very onset, women should be involved at the decision- and policy-making levels.  She called for a mechanism to address crisis situations, pointing out that emergencies were not gender‑neutral and disproportionately affected women and girls.  Women’s rights were violated as they were coerced into marriage by armed groups, forced into religious conversion, and women’s rights activists were targeted for violence as a result of their own activism.

There was also a need to allocate adequate resources and increase the financial commitment made to women, peace and security, she said.  That must be accompanied by the removal of structural, political and bureaucratic barriers that prevented women on the ground from participating.  “When the Security Council finds it unthinkable to address a crisis without addressing women’s rights; where humanitarian responders have full funding for their gender-specific services; when women grassroots leaders find their work fully funded and politically supported; when it is unimaginable that peace talks be held without women’s full engagement; only then will the full potential of 1325 be realized,” she said.

The Council then unanimously adopted resolution 2242 (2015).

Statements

MARIANO RAJOY BREY, Prime Minister of Spain, said gender inequality threatened international peace and security, a main finding of the work that had led to the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000).  Resolution 2242 (2015) just adopted stemmed from collective efforts by States and civil society alike, renewing solid bases for the coming 15 years in the women, peace and security agenda.  “We must spare no effort to combat sexual violence, used as a weapon of war and terror,” he stressed.

In conflict, he said, it was often more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier.  Women’s contributions were vital to resolving conflict.  In Colombia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, women had been an example of dignity and courage.  For its part, Spain had approved a strategic plan and national strategy to eliminate violence against women.  It also empowered a gender focus in peacekeeping missions. 

On the women, peace and security agenda, Spain would update its national action plan and approve follow—up reports to be sent to Parliament.  It would establish a national focal point network and involve civil society in the design and follow up on actions.  It also would enhance gender training for its armed forces and State security forces.  It would continue to promote female soldiers in peacekeeping and ensure their participation on mediation teams.  Zero tolerance to sexual violence and increase the portion of official development assistance (ODA) dedicated to women, peace and security.  In 2016, his Government would contribute €1 million to the Global Acceleration Instrument.

SANDIP VERMA, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development of United Kingdom, echoed the call for all States to make meaningful commitments to implement resolution 1325 (2000).  In all related meetings hosted by her country, it would identify and promote the voices of women in conflict situations.  It would promote women’s participation through political and financial support, as well as lobby at the highest levels to ensure that women were represented in wider peace and State‑building processes.  Moreover, the United Kingdom would contribute $1 million to the global acceleration instrument, and provide $800,000 over two years for related research at the London School of Economics. 

She said her Government would ensure that all future relevant military doctrine was gender sensitive.  It was reviewing its training with a view to delivering relevant training to overseas troop contributing countries.  It also was strengthening gender advisors in the Ministry of Defence.  By September 2016, all early warning and joint conflict assessment tools would be gender sensitive.  Over five years it would tackle impunity for sexual violence crimes and encourage more support for survivors.  The United Kingdom would champion the roadmap to action to help women and girls in emergencies.  It would continue provide technical and other support to help Governments measure the impact of their own action plans on the women, peace and security agenda.

MARIA FILOMENA DELGADO, Minister for Family and Promotion of Women of Angola, said that 2015 was a crucial year for women’s rights and for United Nations efforts towards gender equality to strengthen the women, peace and Security Agenda.  She expressed concern over the growing number and nature of armed conflicts, and the rise of violent extremism and terrorism, noting that the number of people needing international humanitarian assistance had tripled over the past decade.  Obstacles preventing the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) — and its four pillars of prevention, protection, participation and peacebuilding and recovery — still persisted.  In Angola, women were instrumental in providing psychological support for the victims of armed conflict as counsellors of peace, national reconciliation and social harmony, she said, adding that her country was making strides by increasing the participation of women and ensuring the training and empowerment of women, girls and boys in peacebuilding processes.

SAMANTHA POWER (United States) recalled that one study had found that peace processes in which women participated had a 23 per cent more chance of lasting peace.  The Security Council must do everything possible to ensure that women were included and empowered in peace processes.  Some progress had been made in some countries, as seen in Afghanistan which had two women governors and four women cabinet members, among other things.  There was also progress in attentiveness to gender issue in peace processes.  However, the number of women members of Parliaments and legislative bodies worldwide was still a mere 22.5 per cent.  In her country, it was 19 per cent.

Women were harassed and murdered for speaking up, she went on to say.  Yesterday, an Afghan woman who was a human rights defender was killed while she headed to work.  Too many other women continued to be imprisoned for speaking up on behalf of their communities.  Furthermore, sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers was too prevalent.  Any soldier or staff must be held fully accountable.  The Council could play an active role in ensuring that there were a sufficient number of women in peacekeeping operations.  As well, it must also ensure that women were full participants in combatting violent extremism.

More needed to be done, she said.  All actors in all their respective roles must look inward.  The United Nations family must continue to integrate the goals of resolution 1325 (2000), and include more women in senior ranks.  All bodies in peace security and development should take measurable measurements towards integrations.  National Governments must also step up to the challenge.  In the United States Department of State, 35 per cent of mission chiefs were now women.  Her country was assisting other nations in their own efforts, among other things, with aid totalling $22 million.  Individual leaders must see what more could be done. It was not enough to be passively supportive of women.  “We will either do it together or not do it at all”, she stated.

GLORIA MAIRA (Chile), noting that Chile was the first Latin American country to have an action plan on the safety and protection of women in armed conflict, said that commitment was reaffirmed in a second National Action Plan announced on International Women’s Day on 8 March of this year.  That national plan defined four areas and goals as good practice:  prevention, participation, protection and relief/recovery.  Her Government was working on an international and regional basis to broaden the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) by designing training programmes to promote the advancement of Latin American women.  On a national basis, for example, the Chilean Ministry of Defence this year coordinated various activities for the Chilean troops deployed at the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to train them in gender issues, the scope of the resolution, human rights and international humanitarian law, and the responsibility to prevent and protect against gender violence, among others.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria) said periodic reviews could galvanize action and resources in advancing women’s role within the global peace and security architecture.  Yet “considerable” gaps remained in such areas as women’s political leadership and involvement in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict.  There were insufficient funds and a lack of disaggregated data.  Forced displacement exacerbated by unprecedented levels of sexual violence and assault was another major problem.  Progress required a multistakeholder approach at global regional subregional and national levels and local.  Civil society had a pivotal role to play.

The Council and Department of Peacekeeping Operations had advanced the women, peace and security agenda, she said, noting that women led five peace operations as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.  Highlighting Nigeria’s national action plan to implement resolution 1325 (2000), she said the country was also committed to implementing resolution 1820 (2008) on ending sexual violence in conflict situations.  Nigeria was part of a multinational task force to fight Boko Haram. “We are resolutely determined to defeat the terrorists,” she said.

LIU JIEYI (China) recalled that on 27 September of this year, his country had sponsored with the United Nations a global summit on women, attended by the President of China and more than 80 other Heads of State.  It was the first of its kind, at which leaders had made commitments.  The event marked a milestone following the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing, and was of “trailblazing” significance.  “There is a long way to go for the international community to protect women,” he said, urging the advancement of political processes in conflict countries.  The global community should provide aid to conflict-affected women, with measures taken to ensure that women participated in all stages of peace processes.

The symptoms and root causes of conflict must be tackled, he said.  Technical assistance should be provided to women’s empowerment, and efforts made to help countries shape a harmonious social culture, notably by eliminating violence against women and the mindset that inhibited their advancement.  Full play should be given to existing United Nations mechanisms, and caution exercised in the creation of new ones.  China’s President had announced that $10 million to support implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action.  Within five years, China would help countries address challenges facing women and girls in the areas of health and education.

VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation) voiced support for today’s resolution, which aimed to take stock of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and set guidelines for future efforts to ensure women’s participation in preventing and resolving conflict.  Its preparation had been an ambitious task.  However, the late publication of the global review, and the lack of time to read it, had impacted the negotiations.  In several provisions of today’s resolution, it had been impossible to develop “tried and tested” language related to certain entities, including Council counter-terrorism bodies.  He cautioned against prejudging the outcome of other Council review process on peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations.

He went on to say that there was no need to set up an informal working group on women, peace and security, an approach he called “dubious”.  Human rights violations should be examined in specialized international bodies.  Nonetheless, women’s participation in conflict resolution had been insufficient, despite the official normative basis.  Preventing conflict should be based on international law, including the United Nations Charter.  Cookie cutter approaches, based on so-called best practices, were not effective.  The Council should work on the basis of existing labour divisions within the United Nations.  National action plans for implementing 1325 (2000) could not be used to assess country policies.  They should be devised voluntarily by States in conflict or post-conflict reconstruction.  The Russian Federation did not have such a plan, but it had created the necessary conditions to realize women’s potential.  Women comprised more than 70 per cent of civil servants, including its Deputy Prime Minister, while one-third of all non-profit groups focused on women.  Issues of combating terrorism and coordinating efforts should be a Council priority.  Consideration of cross-cutting issues should be based on appropriate mandates.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said the women, peace and security agenda was a political one and should be treated by Member States and the Organization as such. States had a responsibility to ensure women’s active participation in peace negotiations and conflict prevention mechanisms, and must appoint more women to key positions in those areas.  The United Nations must do the same.  Political decisions must be taken and not just in a symbolic way.  Good cooperation between the Field Support Office, UN-Women and peacekeeping missions was vital.

 

His country had adopted two action plans to implement the agenda, he said. It had contributed several million euros to projects that enhanced women’s issues in countries in conflict.  France was also committed to promote the agenda at the national, international and regional levels, he said, noting that more than 20 per cent of its ambassadors were women.  His country would continue efforts in the Council to ensure the provisions of the agenda would be present in Missions.  As well, France was vigilantly guarding against sexual abuse and abuse of human rights among its peacekeepers and was committed to investigate any allegations of sexual abuse, and punish perpetrators.

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), aligning himself with the African Union, said the resolution sought to promote equal participation in reconciliation and reconstruction processes.  The Global Study had shown progress in implementing resolution 1325 (2000), but there were serious gaps.  Involvement of women in conflict prevention and appointment to high posts was not enough.  The Summit on Sustainable Development Goals had decided to make gender equality a central pillar.  The Organization must give the example by promoting more women to high level posts.  The Council should fully meet its commitment to ensure full implementation of resolution 2242 (2015) by establishing a follow-up mechanism. 

He went on to say that given the new challenges relating to sexual violence by Boko Haram, the international community and States must combine forces to combat that scourge.  Only 50 States had National Action Plans and their funding was a challenges.  Furthermore, negative practices in many countries formed an obstacle to women’s involvement.  Those obstacles must be overcome by local communities and traditional leaders, whose important role seemed to be ignored.  Instead that role was given to non-governmental organization.  Despite a clear political will, his country had not established a national plan because of technical and budgetary inadequacies.  However, women were involved in all areas of social life.

NIDA JAKUBONĖ (Lithuania) said that, despite a number of visible achievements since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), such as the increase in the number of trained investigators of sexual and gender‑based violence, implementation gaps remained.  Mediation and peace processes remained male‑dominated, as in Mali, where only five out of 100 participants in negotiations leading to the Accord for Peace and Reconciliation were women.  The development of quota systems could give positive impetus to increased women’s involvement.  Noting that Lithuania’s President and Speaker of Parliament were both women, she emphasized the “need to go beyond the perception of women as victims of terrorism”, saying and it was crucial to see them as a driving force in the fight against violent extremism.  Lithuania had chaired the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in September, she recalled.

DINA KAWAR (Jordan) said that resolution 1325 (2000) provided the normative framework for regional organizations and had appeared in recent peace treaties.  Yet, the current concept of peace and security differed from that of the past, with new threats against women, such as climate change and religious extremism.  Women’s rights transcended their participation in peace processes.  Jordan had signed Plan 2050, adopted last month, which contained a commitment to implement resolution 1325 (2000), and was ensuring that the action plan was in sync with the Sustainable Development Goals.  The country was doing its utmost to ensure that the needs of Syrian refugees were met.  Committed to promoting women in peacekeeping, Jordan’s armed forces also an enhanced role for ensured women, and would enhance the capacity of non-governmental organizations for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said that exclusion, inequality and sexual violence exacerbated the inequalities that women and girls suffered in peaceful times, requiring urgent attention and the highest political commitment.  Women in conflict situations suffered sexual abuse, events linked to terrorist groups such as ISIL/ISIS, Al Nusra Front and Boko Haram.  Yet they were under-represented in forums for building peace and resolving conflicts.  Venezuela was at the forefront of empowering women.  Gender equality was enshrined in its constitution, which also banned discrimination on religious, racial and ethnic grounds.  The criminal code criminalized violence against women, and stipulated that 50 per cent of candidates in legislative elections must be women.  A women’s ministry had been established and the Government fostered communal councils, most of which were led by women.

GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) said the targeted use of sexual and gender-based violence by terrorist groups such as ISIL and Boko Haram was “a horrendous new development.”  The mistreatment of women and children, whether as a deliberate strategy or incidental consequence of conflict, was unacceptable.  Because women had to be able to play an integral part in conflict resolution processes and outcomes, New Zealand had included women in frontline peacekeeping roles since 2000.  Furthermore, his country’s national action plan focused on improving international deployment rates of senior staff within the defence force and police to increase women at decision-making levels in peacekeeping and assistance missions.  On empowering local women, during New Zealand’s seven-year engagement in Afghanistan, it had helped establish the first Afghan National Police Women’s Committee to advocate for and support female police.

RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia), aligning himself with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that 15 years after the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), results on the ground left much to be desired.  Today’s meeting presented an “unmissable” opportunity to make tangible progress in ensuring the protection, participation, representation and empowerment of women and girls in conflict situations.  United Nations “Blue Helmets” undertook a crucial aspect of protection efforts in conflict and post-conflict situations, and Malaysia fully supported the mandatory pre-deployment training for peacekeepers in preventing sexual violence, exploitation and abuse.

NETUMBO NANDI-NDAITWAH, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia, noted that fifteen years ago, under Namibia’s presidency, the Security Council had adopted resolution 1325 (2000).  Her Government attached great importance to that resolution’s implementation, which should be viewed as a blueprint legal framework to enhance the inclusivity, transparency and sustainability of peace processes.  The launch of the Global Study on its implementation was a chance to evaluate what had worked and what remained to be strengthened.  However, she highlighted the critical shortage of women players in peace processes around the world.  Studies conducted by the United Nations had demonstrated that female soldiers did not face the same cultural restrictions as their male counterparts and were able to gain information from women and children.  Welcoming the holding of the high-level review and the report of the Global Study reviewing progress implementing resolution 1325 (2000), she stressed that the report should present concrete programmes with measurable targets and indicators to guide future implementation of the resolution.

SAMEH HASSAN SHOKRY SELIM, Minister for Foreign Affairs (Egypt), noting the commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000) and the Secretary‑General’s report, said the occasion drew attention to the need to protect women in conflict and post‑conflict situations, as well as the lack of attention given to women suffering under foreign occupation.  Terrorism was a threat to peace and security and it was a threat that communities increasingly faced.  Women were the most vulnerable.  His Government would give much attention to the issue, he said, stressing that women were a crucial element in building and maintaining peace, and that there was a broader vision of empowerment of women at all levels.  Furthermore, Egypt had supported the resolution since its adoption and was one of 17 African States to develop a national plan and had created workshops.  Special attention had been given to training and capacity building, demonstrating his country’s great interest to promote the role of women in bringing about peace and security.

HUGO ROGER MARTÍNEZ BONILLA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, said that his country, which had experienced a lengthy and bloody civil war, recognized the important role of women in peace and peacebuilding.  It was a priority to achieve the greater participation of women in the six peacekeeping missions in which the country’s armed forces participated.  Given the importance of compliance with resolution 1325 (2000), El Salvador had made strides in setting up a national committee for its implementation.  He went on to describe the “Memory of the Fireflies” project, a compilation of the experiences of women during a 1981 massacre.  El Salvador was now working on reparations for the victims, he said.

MANKEUR NDIAYE (Senegal) said that today’s meeting provided a historic opportunity to help protect women everywhere.  Describing violence against women as a crime against humanity, he noted that there was discrimination against women in peacekeeping, and they should be included in mediation processes.  Women and girls continued to be subjected to the lawlessness of warlords.  The economic empowerment of women also was necessary and regional and sub-regional organizations played an essential part in helping women.

EMMANUEL ISSOZE-NGONDET, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Francophonie and Regional Integration of Gabon, said that despite efforts to fight sexual violence in armed conflict, today there was an unprecedented increase in such crimes and other forms of exploitation.  When victims lacked access to medical care or psychosocial support, they often suffered trauma.  In the reform of peacekeeping operations currently underway, the United Nations needed to improve enhance the involvement of women in preventive diplomacy as well as in psycho-social support for victims of violence.  A holistic approach to situations on the ground was needed, he said, adding that the appointment of women to head the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) was a good example.

PAVLO KLIMKIN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, noting that his country was an important peacekeeping troop contributor, reaffirmed support for the United Nations’ “zero tolerance” policy towards sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers.  Due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the issues covered by resolution 1325 (2000) were of particular importance.  A vast majority of internally displaced persons were women, and many of them were the sole caretakers of children and older relatives.  The Government was undertaking a number of steps to address the challenges faced by women due to ongoing foreign aggression.  Full use of the knowledge, skills and experience of Ukrainian women was vital to reaching a solution the country’s current crisis.

To enable the implementation of the resolution, his Government had established a national action plan aimed at promoting greater participating by women in military, political, economic and social life, he said.  A national human rights strategy had also been approved by the President in August of this year that including combating domestic violence as a human rights objection.  Attention was drawn to the case of Nadiya Savchenko, a political prisoner and member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe who was still being held in custody by the Russian Federation with no legal grounds.  He urged the international community to put political and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately release Ms. Savchenko and more than 30 other Ukrainian political prisoners.

GILA GAMLIEL, Minister for Social Equality of Israel, noted a spate of violent attacks in her country in recent weeks.  Delegates in the Council had been talking about international terrorism, but not a word had been uttered about terror in Israel.  The country was facing a generation of women, teenagers and young children who had been educated to hatred, martyrdom and the killing of innocents, rather than to peace and co-existence.  Education was the key to raising a generation committed to understanding and tolerance.  It was Israel’s believe that women were powerful agents of moderation, particularly in the face of extremism.  They could be a stabilizing force, especially in the Middle East, with untapped potential for creating more peaceful societies.  At the United Nations, Israel had recently joined the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security that would work towards global progress on women’s empowerment.

ALEJANDRINA GERMAN, Minister for Women of the Dominican Republic, said the high-level meeting showed how crucial the topics were in a global world where it was necessary to develop a cultural of protection for women and girls.  There had been progress to protect women since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), yet efforts needed to be coordinated to propel action.  The United Nations had a crucial role to play in such efforts.  Women had to play a major part in implementing the resolution.  During such an historic year, including the launch of 2030 Agenda and the seventieth anniversary of the United Nations and the fifteenth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000), it was also an “historic opportunity” to value women’s participation in achieving global peace and security.  There needed to be renewed efforts against sexual violence in peacekeeping operations.  The Global Study was a unique opportunity to coordinate international efforts. 

ROSA FERRER, Minister for Health, Social Affairs and Women of Andorra, said that today’s debate would help the United Nations to better implement resolution 1325 (2000).  There had been notable progress since the resolution’s adoption, she said, citing the creation of UN-Women and other related developments.  Andorra did not have military forces, but it continued to support United Nations peacekeeping. Recalling that the resolution urged Member States to include women in decision-making processes, she said that “gender-sensitive legislation” was in place in her country, which had also adopted a law to eradicate gender and domestic violence.  In January 2015, all Andorran parliamentary groups had adopted an agreement to promote gender equality in Parliament.  In addition, the Government would soon adopt an omnibus gender equality law.  Andorra supported the engagement of women in the maintenance of international peace and security, and it was for those reasons that the country had decided to co-sponsor the resolution adopted today.

MOUNIA MESLEM-SI AMER, Minister for National Solidarity, Family and the Status of Women of Algeria, said resolution 1325 (2000) was the result of effective campaigns by women’s groups at the international level.  Despite the efforts of the international community, however, sexual violence in conflict was on the increase, still used as a weapon of war in order to subjugate and humiliate its victims.  There was a need to enforce the participation of women and mainstream the gender perspective in peacekeeping operations and mediation.  Peace agreements must include women, she said, adding that countries also needed to reinforce their legal arsenals to prosecute those who committed crimes of sexual violence.  In many countries, the victims of sexual violence had only limited means, and until that changed, the perpetrators would continue to commit such crimes.  Algerian women had achieved great progress, participating in decision-making and now representing 30 per cent of Parliament and more than 40 per cent of judges, she said.

TERESITA QUINTOS‑DELES, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Philippines, said it had always been up to the women to dress the wounds of war.  It was now time that Governments ensured that women were given a greater role in preventing armed conflicts, resolving them and ensuring lasting inclusive peace dividends.  The Philippines was now engaged in five peace processes, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Bansamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which had been signed by three women, half the number of signatories.  The country’s National Action Plan had been adopted in 2010 and was now anchored in national law, led by the Magna Carta for Women.  Implementation of the Plan was a painstaking process because all bases had to be covered:  policy, planning, implementation mechanisms and budget.  Modest initial results had been made, but the presence of women in peace negotiations had been strengthened.  There were “women-friendly spaces” for internally displaced persons, and attention was given to women and children as the most vulnerable segments of the population.  “The National Action Plan should be useful, it should be durable, it should make a difference you can feel on your skin,” she said.

LORENA CRUZ-SANCHEZ, President of the National Institute for Women in Mexico, said the inclusion of women was essential for peace and security, noting that Mexico had been an active promoter of the United Nations agenda for women, peace and security.  There were now more robust frameworks and mechanisms.  The Council had to incorporate the issue in all its decisions.  The needs of women had to be taken into account in all peace and security activities, from military patrols to disarmament to the promotion of the rule of law. W omen had to be included in mediation processes and peace keeping activities.  Every complex situation required a different analysis of the role of women and girls.  There had to be a clear roadmap to implement the framework.  Financial support was also necessary.

TONE SKOGEN (Norway), underscoring the importance of resolution 1325 (2000), said that her country had earmarked funds to implement the women, peace and security agenda on the ground.  For several years it had allocated approximately $4 million in humanitarian aid to civil society organizations.  Ten per cent of resources spent on peace and reconciliation efforts in the focus countries had been allocated to women, peace and security, and approximately $3.6 million had been earmarked specifically for the integration of the gender perspective in the country’s humanitarian assistance.  Norway aimed to increase the participation of women in peace processes and had established a Nordic women mediators’ network. Underscoring the role of regional organizations, she said that Norway would continue to work with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in that regard, and that it had recently signed an agreement on providing support to the office of the African Union Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security.

YVES ROSSIER (Switzerland) said his country spent approximately $15 million a year on programmes to address different forms of sexual and gender-based violence.  Most of the programmes were being implemented in emergency, post-conflict and transformation contexts.  Urgent action was required to prevent and punish sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations personnel in peace operations.  Sharing the Secretary-General’s outrage at such crimes, he called for zero tolerance and welcomed the measures the Secretary-General had announced.  Switzerland had been a strong supporter of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, the first global effort to support local initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violence extremist agendas.  His Government would support the fund with approximately $4 million over the next four years.  Also welcomed was the inclusion of the women, peace and security agenda in the United Nations Plan of Action on the Prevention of Violent Extremism, due to be presented at the beginning of 2016.

FRANCISCO JAVIER ECHEVERRI LARA, Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs of Colombia, thanked delegations for their expressions of support for the peace process in his country saying he hoped an accord would be signed soon.  . Describing resolution 1325 (2000) as a “milestone” in the recognition of women in peace processes, said that subsequent resolutions adopted by the Council had enriched the women, peace and security agenda.  Nevertheless, greater efforts were needed, he emphasized, noting that the participation of women at different post-conflict stages was of particular importance.  Colombia was close to achieving peace, and the lessons it had learned in so many years of internal conflict should be examples when it came to tackling armed conflicts in other parts of the world.  One of those lessons was that the voices of women must be heard at the negotiating table.  Colombia had created a gender sub-committee to ensure that the rights of women would be reflected in the final peace agreement, and it would continue to offer advice on the training of female police personnel, as it had been doing in countries such as Haiti.

ALEXANDER VERSHBOW, Deputy Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said the alliance was proud of its success in implementing resolution 1325 (2000).  The root of its success was the result of deeply embedding gender perspectives within NATO and keeping the integration practical.  For example, the organization had made gender a key principle of its defence capacity building initiative with partners around the world.  It had implemented its first trust fund for gender training of Jordan’s armed forces.  In May, NATO had appointed its first female commander, Brigadier General Giselle Wilz of the United States Army, at headquarters in Sarajevo.  The alliance had done much, but needed to do more, especially in terms of promoting equal participation within NATO itself, he said.

DARJA BAVDAŽ KURET (Slovenia), associating herself with the European Union and the Human Security Network, said her country was a co-sponsor of the new resolution, which would further mainstream gender in the peace and security agenda.  Slovenia had been active in promoting that agenda at the international, regional and national levels, she said, adding that the country had made improvements in women’s equal participation in the armed forces, now standing at 15 per cent.  Going forward, the Government would, among other things, strengthen efforts for women’s protection in conflict situations, focus on training and education in the military, police and judiciary, and provide financial support to relevant projects carried out by Slovenian non-governmental organizations.

PINDI CHANA (United Republic of Tanzania) said that despite gains made over the past fifteen years, gaps in the participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict transitions could be attributed largely to the insufficient allocation of resources, lagging political commitments and the absence of strong accountability regimes.  In addition, international development support and technical assistance was inadequate for meeting the needs of women, especially in developing countries.  She called upon the international community to improve its support to issues of women and development.  Where women were fully represented, societies become more peaceful and stable, and where gender-based violence was eliminated and women were involved in conflict resolution, peace was more entrenched and sustainable.

RENÉE JONES-BOS, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, said that evidence gathered from men and women who faced the bitter reality of conflict had great value.  The women who were present from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Colombia and other conflict-affected countries, were the “true experts” to whom she looked to in order to “shape the agenda.”  Increasing political participation by women resulted in better negotiations, better and more sustainable agreements, better governance, more wealth distributed more equitably, more and better conflict prevention, and ultimately more peace and security.  However when it came to women’s participation, the world did not “walk the talk.”  It was necessary to “break the spiral” and resolution 1325 was the key to doing so.

CAROLINA PÉREZ COLMAN, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Argentina, the gender perspective was a priority for her country in the creation of its policies.  Argentina had signed onto all international instruments in that regard, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  Noting that her country had recently appointed its first female General, she pointed out that around the world women suffered differently and disproportionately during conflicts.  Senior staff of the United Nations needed to act more decisively to comply with their obligations under resolution 1325 (2000).  As well, countries must also work to improve their compliance with that resolution.  Argentina was one of 10 countries on the Executive Board of the Justice Rapid Response Mechanism, she said, echoing her support for “zero tolerance” for acts of sexual violence in armed conflict.  Her country was committed, in 2016, to draw up a quota of 33 per cent for women in all capacities in its armed forces.

BINETA DIOP, Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said that, with respect to the requirements of resolution 1325 (2000), the African Union had engaged in numerous actions, including conducting training with Member States, and had taken a strong stand on the issues of sexual abuse and exploitation.  Female peacekeepers and police had been deployed in peace support operations such as in Somalia.  A hybrid court would be established in South Sudan to fight impunity.  Countries like Rwanda, Seychelles, Namibia, South Africa, and Senegal were among world champions when it came to women’s representation in parliaments. 

Nevertheless, it remained clear that progress on implementing resolution 1325 (2000) was too slow, she stated.  To date, only sixteen countries in Africa had developed national action plans on the resolution, and there was no systematic reporting on what the countries had done, were doing, or projected to do.  The Peace and Security Council of the African Union had created a space where open sessions brought in civil society perspectives such as the annual open session on the status of women and children in armed conflicts.  During a women stakeholders’ forum in January of this year, women had loudly demanded that there be no more solemn declarations, but instead solemn actions and deliverables.

JOSE LUIS CANCELA, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uruguay, said that the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) had not yet been met.  Conflict resolution required the active role of women at all levels in all the steps needed to achieve peace and rebuild communities in conflict zones.  Very few peace agreements contained references to women, whose capabilities were being squandered through their exclusion from peace and security negotiations.  Uruguay was committed to measures to maintain more women in peacekeeping missions, and it would continue its mandatory training of its peacekeeping troops on zero-tolerance of sexual violence as well as sexual abuse and exploitation.  If elected as a non‑permanent member of the Council, Uruguay would continue to work towards progress in the area of women, peace and security, he said.

MARA MARINAKI, Principal Adviser on Gender and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of the European Union, said that, while the women, peace and security agenda was a consideration in external policies, the boundary between internal and external policies was increasingly blurred in a complex world.  From terrorism to intensified refugee and migrant flows, root causes must be tackled with firmness and fairness.  The European Union’s approach included promoting and protecting human rights, making conflict resolution more effective and protecting women in conflict situations.  It would also mainstream gender into all its financial commitments and instruments, and allocate, over the next seven years, €100 million to gender equality and projects aimed for the empowerment of women and girls.  With regard to cooperation with the United Nations, the European Union would continue working with, among others, UN-Women and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, in addition to encouraging enhancement of the gender dimension through better synergies in the Organization’s peace and security architecture.  Coordination among Member States with international and regional organizations was key to effective implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, she said.

AHMED FATHALLA, Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States, said that today’s debate was being held at a time when there was a major transformation in the Arab countries.  Congratulating Tunisia on winning the Nobel Peace Prize, he said women had played an active part in the country’s democratic transformation.  The Arab League had launched a regional strategy for the eradication of violence against women, he said, adding that it was intended to enhance the participation of Arab women in decision-making, protect women throughout the region and other key goals.  It was also important to shed light on the repercussions of conflict and war on women and girls in the Arab countries.  Finally, it was critical to overcome the obstacles facing people living under foreign occupation, in particular the Palestinian people.  Arab women in the occupied territories faced psychological, social, legal and economic suffering as a result of the Israeli occupation and the subsequent violations of their human rights.

FRANCISCO LAINEZ, Organization of American States (OAS), said the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) had been a “watershed moment for the women of the world” in terms of how they were affected by, and participated in, all types of conflict and crisis.  The Americas were passing through an age of democratic consolidation marked by progress on the one hand and, on the other, by growing levels of income inequality, persistent corruption and rising levels of crime and violence, among other things.  While no countries in the region were defined as being “in conflict”, the Americas were plagued by high levels of citizen insecurity, he said, citing violence against women, particularly the gender-based killing of women known as femicide.  OAS had committed itself to undertaking advocacy efforts to promote the relevance of resolution 1325 (2000), in addition to related resolutions, particularly those addressing sexual violence in times of conflict and crisis.  It was critical that States in the region consider the security situation of women and ensure their participation in decision-making structures;  not to do so would be tantamount to ignoring 50 per cent of the population.

MIROSLAVA BEHAM, Senior Gender Adviser of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), spoke on behalf of that body’s Secretary-General, saying that OSCE was the world’s largest organization dealing with early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.  The women, peace and security agenda played a central role in its work, and a number of its policy documents explicitly referred to resolution 1325 (2000).  Looking back at 15 years of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), she said that progress had been made. 27 of the 54 existing National Action Plans resolution 1325 (2000) were from the OSCE region.

She said that the current focus of OSCE in relation to the women, peace and security agenda included helping participating States to improve existing national action plans with a focus on creating coherence between domestic and outward looking implementation activities.  The organization had also strengthened its activities in combating violence against women and domestic violence in peace time as a prerequisite to preventing sexual and gender-based violence in conflict.  It was also worked to strengthen the interchange between international organizations, States and civil society.

PHUMZILE MLAMBO-NGCUKA, Executive Director of UN-Women, responding to questions raised, welcomed the adoption of the resolution, and said the dialogue had been rich and informative, even though speakers had highlighted problems.  As one speaker had said, “more action and less talk is needed”.

Emphasizing the importance of cooperation with regional organizations, she noted that such bodies were mentioned seven times in the resolution.  Since most displacements caused by conflict spilled across borders, it was to be hoped that collaboration with regional and subregional organizations would be strengthened.  The adoption of regional action plans by some organizations had a knock-on effect by encouraging the adoption of national action plans.  Regional plans were effectively implemented when there was wide-spread cooperation with civil society.

Highlighting the importance of appointing mediators, which was already being done by several countries, she said the participation of women was increasing.  Today must be regarded as a day of paradigm shift.  There was a need for strong, decisive and united action to ensure that the women, peace and security agenda’s would have a significant impact in the future, with active participation of both women and men in peace-making.

GIOVANNA MARTELLI (Italy) said that in the acute phase of conflict, sexual violence against women and girls became a weapon of war used on a large scale, and domestic violence increased as well.  Women’s participation in negotiations was essential for ensuring peace, while maintaining a gender perspective in negotiations was fundamental to guaranteeing adequate intervention in the phase following the signing of a peace agreement.  The 2030 Agenda was an instrument for the creation of development partnerships, and must be included in peace-rebuilding processes.  The global South was the true key to maintaining world balance, while investment in women for the “holistic” consolidation of security was the true measure capable of keeping history and innovation united.

Ms. RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) called for unwavering political will in both national budgets and international commitments.  Women must be involved in decision-making at all levels.  Men and boys must also be involved in such efforts, she said, condemning sexual violence, especially when used for purposes of intimidation and terror.  Security forces must recognize women’s vital role in national reconciliation dialogues and ensure their security.  Synergies between peacekeeping and country teams must be harnessed, and women’s access to justice and participation in drafting national laws improved.  The Rome Statute was the legal framework for gender-based violence, offering States guidance on investigating such abuse, she said.

KATALIN BOGYAY (Hungary), associating herself with the European Union, said her country was committed to deploying female military experts and police officers to Security Council and European Union Common Security and Defence Policy missions.  Hungary was ready to contribute to international efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict situations.  It had financed a gender training workshop in Kenya, supported a women’s programme in the Western Balkans, and contributed to the construction of a girls’ secondary school in Afghanistan, she said.

ASOKE K. MUKERJI (India) said that armed conflict had escalated to unprecedented levels, dramatically reversing progress made, including in the area of women, peace and security.  About 60 million people had been forcibly displaced amid blatant violations of human rights, increasing gender‑based sexual violence and the growing involvement of non-State actors.  Mainstreaming the gender perspective in the women, peace and security agenda was a sine qua non for lasting peace and security, she stressed, adding that it must be synergized with the relevant 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals.  Resolution 1325 (2000) highlighted the impact of armed conflict on women, peace and security and the need for effective institutional arrangements to guarantee full protection and participation of women in peace processes.  Any divergence from that objective towards other thematic areas — including human rights, violent extremism and countering terrorism — would endanger and dilute the work being done separately by the General Assembly and the Council, and put undue strain on the already stretched resources of the United Nations, she said.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) said his country would make women’s participation in peace and security a top priority in its revised national action plan.  In addition, within two years a network of women peace mediators was in development, which would be able to assist peace efforts, wherever needed in the world.  The main objective of Sweden’s leadership of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies in 2016 would be to take its aim of fostering accountability and mitigating such violence in humanitarian crisis from words to deeds.  Finally, Sweden would commit 1 per cent of its gross domestic income to development cooperation, with gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment as top priorities in that assistance.  Welcoming the resolution adopted today, he called on the Organization to redouble efforts to integrate women’s needs and gender perspectives.

ANTONIO DE AGUIAR PATRIOTA (Brazil) said it would now be unthinkable to create a major new peacekeeping operation without deploying gender advisors, without including the protection of women in the mandate and without training peacekeepers to prevent sexual abuse.  Yet, women and girls were still subject to unacceptable violations of their rights in war zones and impunity for gender‑based crimes remained a major challenge.  Peacekeeping and peacebuilding could still benefit from more female participation and leadership.  The most effective way to avoid violence against women in conflict was to prevent war by tackling the root causes of violence, including social, economic and political exclusion and well as inequality.  In addition, his country had launched the drafting process of a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said the women, peace and security agenda should have closer cooperation between the Special Representatives on Violence against Women and Children, the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and its operations on the ground, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations system, with UN‑Women as the lead agency.  Member States and troop contributing countries must provide pre‑deployment gender sensitive training.  All comprehensive, multidimensional and hybrid peacekeeping operations must have a strong women, peace and security mandate and peacekeeping operations must strive for gender mainstreaming.  Resolution 1325 (2000) was a compass in peace as well, as there was a close nexus between peace and development.  His country had launched a national strategy which provided for the full participation of women in every aspect of national life.

PORNPIMOL KANCHANALAK (Thailand), speaking on behalf of the Human Security Network, said women suffered the most painful wounds during a conflict, whether or not they participated.  They had a great stake in peace processes and conflict prevention, but such a positive role was often ignored.  Greater efforts were need to promote the human rights of women and girls, and effective immediate action should be taken against those who commit crimes against women and children in conflict.  Speaking in her national capacity, she said women were too often seen as victims of violence, when in fact they were effective agents of change.  “Imagine if they are supported to do more,” she said.  Member States could help by promoting women’s participating in peace processes in concrete terms, and by investing in women’s capacity to lead, mediate and play a pivotal role in peace and security.

MARGARETA KASSANGANA-JAKUBOWSKA (Poland) said there could be no durable and sustainable post-conflict recovery without meaningful reconciliation and without restoring “true confidence in justice”.  In particular, there could be no peace or security without addressing the consequences of violence against women, and no long‑term stability and prosperity without providing justice and ensuring that crimes would not be repeated.  Poland had committed itself to action aimed at ending impunity and would continue to support the work of the International Criminal Court, both by sharing expertise and providing a financial contribution to the Court’s Trust Fund for Victims.  One way to engage women in decision‑making was through their participation in the legal system, she said, noting in that regard that her country was promoting the candidacy of Agnieszka Klonowiecka‑Milart for the position of judge of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal based in Nairobi.  Poland was also supporting the candidacy of a woman for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations.  The country would take measures to tackle the under-representation of women within national civil contingents for peacekeeping operations, she said, also recognizing the indispensable role of women as a key component of lasting peace and sustainable development.

YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan) said that his country had been steadily implementing the women, peace and security agenda under the National Action Plan on resolution 1325 (2000) and would achieve it before the end of 2015.  One of the Plan’s unique features was its inclusion of and emphasis on gender mainstreaming in all phases of natural disaster risk reduction and response.  Noting the emergence of violent extremism, he said that women were its primary victims.  They could also become assailants by leaning towards extremism themselves, which was why addressing the root causes of violent extremism was crucial.  In order to sustain project implementation, it was essential to broaden the donor base.  To enhance capacity, the international community must not tolerate impunity for security personnel perpetrating violence against women, he emphasized.

MALEEHA LODHI (Pakistan) said that Security Council engagement with the women, peace and security agenda had led to the creation of a robust normative framework for the protection and empowerment of women in conflict situations.  However, the situation on the ground remained troubling.  Raging conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and violent acts by extremist groups continued to place women and girls in great peril.  At a time when the refugee crisis had reached disturbing dimensions, a large proportion of those fleeing conflict zones were women, she noted.  It was the international community’s responsibility to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to those refugee women and to ensure their safety and security in camp settings.  Underscoring the importance of conflict prevention and resolution in the women, peace and security agenda, she urged the Council to adopt a “hands-on, strategic approach”.  As for peacekeeping, she said that, as a leading troop contributor, Pakistan would continue to ensure that its troops responded to the special needs of women and girls.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that resolution 1325 (2000) stood out as perhaps the Council’s biggest achievement in its thematic work.  Commitments had been made, and many powerful tools were already available.  The question was no longer what to do, but how to do it more efficiently.  “We have to move away from the silo approach so common within the United Nations and adopt a more efficient, holistic approach,” he emphasized.  It was critical to tackle the root issues underlying the women, peace and security agenda:  gender-based violence, discrimination, exclusion and violence against women.  Studies had shown that rising levels of violence against women were reliable indicators of impending conflict.  Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 16 on peaceful societies were major achievements for the women, peace and security agenda, establishing a long-overdue link between the Council’s work and development efforts.  Justice was another element that would be essential to the success of the women, peace and security agenda, he said, stressing the need to finally put an end to the continuing culture of impunity.  Finally, he underscored the need for sufficient funding to promote women’s human rights and empowerment in international development.

MOHAMED ALI ALHAKIM (Iraq), highlighting the “escalating waves” of terrorism in his country, said results would not be achieved without condemning the fatwas permitting the enslavement and forced marriage of women and girls, as well as terrorist attacks by ISIL/ISIS.  Enhancing the rule of law was essential for the economic empowerment of women and their participation in decision-making.  Iraq had established four domestic and family affairs courts, and the constitution gave the children of Iraqi women married to non-Iraqi men the right to Iraqi citizenship.  He urged the international community to liberate women captured by ISIL/ISIS, and relevant international organizations to provide both medical and psychological treatment for abused women.  Technical education was also needed to ensure their reintegration into society.

HARALD BRAUN (Germany) said the creation of UN-Women and the establishment of the positions of Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Children and Armed Conflict had been major achievements for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).  His Government was fully committed to ensuring that those Offices had the necessary financial foundation for their work.  In addition, Germany was contributing €1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for use in preventing sexual violence in armed conflicts and in assisting its victims.  It would continue to extend support to civil society organizations dedicated to sheltering victims of sexual violence, such as its long-standing support in Afghanistan.  However, he noted that the survivors of sexual violence frequently faced stigmatization upon returning to families and communities.  In that regard, he commended the Yazidi spiritual leadership in Iraq for welcoming back the women and girls, after enduring the brutal violence of ISIL, back into the community.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg), associating herself with the European Union, said that resolution 1325 (2000) sought not only to protect women but also to allow them to play their role as instruments of change.  During its membership of the Council, Luxembourg had made the women, peace and security agenda a priority, she recalled, she said, noting that the importance of women in development was no longer in question.  Luxembourg systematically took the specific needs of women into account in its official development assistance (ODA), which accounted for 1 per cent of its national income.  The country sought to strengthen the role of women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, in close cooperation with civil society.  Fighting impunity was indispensable, and in that regard Luxembourg fully supported the International Criminal Court.  She expressed hope that the new resolution would create an informal group of experts to help the Council to systematically integrate issues of women, peace and security into its work.

SVEN JURGENSON (Estonia) described the parallel review of resolution 1325 (2000) and United Nations peace operations and peacebuilding as an “invaluable opportunity” to create a more holistic approach to conflict prevention.  While the Security Council should strengthen its own commitment to effective implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, it was the primary responsibility of each State to ensure that women were included in conflict prevention and the planning of peace operations and conflict resolution.  Estonia was currently adopting its second National Action Plan and also supported the rights of women and girls within the framework of development cooperation.

ION JINGA (Romania), associating himself with the European Union, said that resolution 1325 (2000) put a most-needed emphasis on the importance of women in peace processes.  Romania’s Ministry of Defence had adopted an action plan aimed at promoting fair and balanced access of both men and women to senior-level and executive positions.  A Romanian officer, Raluca Domuta, had won the International Female Police Peacekeeper award in 2015, and throughout her mission in Haiti, she used her national expertise in combating trafficking in human beings and organized crime.  She was an excellent example of the added value of the gender component of United Nations peacekeeping and special political missions, he said.  Having co‑sponsored the morning’s resolution, Romania joined the call for more determined action by all stakeholders.

FRANTISEK RUZICKA (Slovakia), aligning himself with the European Union, said women’s ability to influence negotiations increased the chanced of peace agreements being reached and positively impacted the durability of peace.  Six Council resolutions had followed Resolution 1325 (2000), addressing the importance of women’s participation and leadership, as well as recognizing sexual violence in conflict as a threat to international peace and security.  Women, however, were still underrepresented in the field of security.  Areas that still needed to be addressed included:  participation of women in all peace and security processes; increasing the engagement and advancement of women in the entire security sector; and dedicating specific efforts to advance women’s inclusion in efforts to counter violent extremism.

BÉNÉDICTE FRANKINET (Belgium), aligning herself with the European Union, said her country was currently implementing its second Plan of Action, which focuses  on such goals as protection of women and girls against violence and participation of women in peacebuilding activities.  Her country had actively supported participation of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through aid in the amount of €2 million.  Underscoring that women’s participation increased the effectiveness of humanitarian aid, sustainability of peace agreements, economic recovery and credibility and quality of peacekeeping, she said it was disappointing to note that such participation remained a challenge.  The persistent cycles of conflict had been exacerbated by new technologies and by violent extremism.  Women and girls could be one of the most effective voices in combatting violent extremism, as mothers, wives and sisters.

DANIJEL MEDAN (Croatia), associating his delegation with the European Union, said women’s political participation was a path for development, good governance and democracy.  Yet, the number of women participating in peace and security decisions was unacceptably low, while sexual violence persisted.  The rise of violent extremism and terrorism aggravated such violations.  As such, Croatia would promote gender equality in its foreign, security and defence policies; nominate women for top positions in international and regional peace and security organizations; focus on gender elements in pre-deployment training of civilian and military personnel; and increase the number of women leading its diplomatic efforts.

ALYA AHMED SAIF AL THANI (Qatar), emphasizing how violence against women by terrorists or authoritarian regimes had increased, stressed that international protection instruments must be implemented.  Expressing concern that perpetrators had not been prosecuted, she said the Council should use all means available to bring them to international justice.  Qatar had sent criminal law experts to Justice Rapid Response, and had also hosted its meetings.  Other efforts with Italy, Thailand and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime approached women, peace and security in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.  Qatar had organized a study on combating extremism, along with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Nations and Columbia University.

MENELAOS MENELAO (Cyprus), associating himself with the European Union, said resolution 1325 (2000) had acted as leverage for reform in his country by involving more women in the peace process, as well as increasing the number of women in the foreign service and senior posts in the public and private sectors.  Women’s organizations had been active in justice, peace and reunification efforts on a national level and their experience had also made them active in international organizations, such as the ICRC.  Cyprus had established a technical gender equality committee in broader efforts to address reunification issues.

MARY E. FLORES (Honduras) said that women were the missing and critical link in the global pact to attain sustainable development through a culture of peace.  Having witnessed the birth of a transformational agenda, it was the responsibility of women, as its framers and drivers, to restructure the United Nations, putting women at the forefront.  She called on leaders in all capitals, and particularly the five permanent members of the Security Council, to lead by example and elect a woman as Secretary-General while agreeing to refrain from using the veto where women needed protection, support and empowerment.  Furthermore, Member States must be encouraged to create national action plans implementing resolution 1325 (2000), with women as key participants in drafting them.  Women must be active participants in such critical issues as the rule of law, governance, peace negotiations and agreements, nation building as well as in the adaptation and transformation of security sectors.  Their role in and impact on culture and heritage must be recognized and acknowledged, she said.

LAURA ELENA FLORES HERERRA (Panama) aligning herself with the Human Security Network, said Governments and the United Nations must play an important role in defending and promoting women’s rights and more resources should be focused on combating trafficking in persons and violence against women.  Women had few resources to protect themselves and were a large part of the displaced population.  Member States must promote participation of women in all stages of the peace processes and the Council should enhance the role women played in preventing and resolving conflicts.  Issues of peace and security were related to sustainable development and good governance. She would support the election of a woman as Secretary-General of the Organization.

JĀNIS MAŽEIKS (Latvia) welcomed the strengthening of the normative framework for the women, pace and security agenda by seven follow-up texts to resolution 1325 (2000), which marked an important change in how the world dealt with conflict-related sexual violence.  However, global implementation was far from complete, and women’s participation in both peace and post-conflict processes must be more effective.  For its part, Latvia had incorporated resolution 1325 (2000) into regulatory provisions for the national armed forces, as well as in pre-deployment training.  It had increased women’s representation among military personnel and would continue to develop a national policy framework to address emerging gender equality challenges.

MARCELO ELISEO SCAPPINI RICCIARDI (Paraguay), noting that since 1993 his country had taken part in peacekeeping, reaffirmed the importance of protecting women prior to conflict. Paraguay was redesigning its action plan to implement resolution 1325 (2000).  The plan, to be launched this month, stemmed from coordination over the past three years among the ministries for women, defence, interior and foreign affairs.  Women comprised of 27 per cent of people in peacekeeping training, a figure he said he hoped would increase amid efforts to promote their greater participation.  He also advocated improving women’s human rights from a perspective of their economic, social and cultural rights.  Political will was necessary to support women’s inclusion in decision-making.

 

GUSTAVO MEZA-CUADRA (Peru) outlined steps his country had taken to eradicate violence against women, citing its national gender equality plan, among others.  The National Plan of Action to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children included all forms of sexual violence.  He expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s zero tolerance of such abuse and condemned anyone under United Nations colours to take part in any immoral conduct, including sexual violence.  In addition, he welcomed the systematic inclusion of gender in peacekeeping mandates. 

OMAR HILALE (Morocco) said that the historic adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) had brought women into focus as agents of change.  It had helped countries to set up national action plans and to attach greater political will to the engagement of women in the area of peace and security.  Nevertheless, the resolution’s impact on the lives of women around the world had been sporadic.  Women had a valuable and undeniable role to play in peace and reconciliation processes.  The prevention of conflict was a central pillar of the women, peace and security agenda.  Resolution 2122 (2013) had filled a gap in the prevention of gender-based violence as opposed to the prevention of conflict itself.  Endorsing the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s latest report, he noted that women and girls who were refugees or internally displaced persons were exposed gender-based violence, rape, forced pregnancy and even sexual slavery.  Women’s voices must be heard and their rights must be protected, he stressed.

DAVID DONOGHUE (Ireland) said there was a correlation between women’s involvement in reaching peace agreements and their implementation.  National ownership of processes to promote women’s empowerment and increased gender equality were key to their success.  Ireland was committed to increasing the participation of women at senior decision-making and leadership levels in its defence, police and foreign services, he said, adding that it promoted a gender perspective in all its peace support operation deployments.  The country had supported the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women since 2006 and continued to do so.  The empowerment of women must be at the centre of the international community’s engagement in 2015.  The challenge was not the lack of a normative framework but a “lacuna in implementation”.  The international community must ensure that its strategies for implementation were inclusive, well financed and grounded in realities on the ground.  Ireland would support the Global Acceleration Instrument on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action by a minimum of €200,000, he said.

MARITZA CHAN (Costa Rica) said that despite the increased visibility of women in peace and security processes, significant work remained to be done in terms of impact.  Women’s inclusion in those processes must amount to more than a checkbox marked “women”.  The original intention of resolution 1325 (2000) was to reap the rewards obtained when women were equitable participants in all peace and security solutions.  Their inclusion opened doors to more creative, non-violent forms of civil protection and conflict prevention strategies whose impact would go beyond the constituency of women.  For example, studies indicated that extremism was less likely to take hold where women were free and equal participants in community decision-making.  Addressing the disconnect between how the Council discussed about women and how the wider United Nations community operationalized the women, peace and security agenda should be at the forefront of debates moving forward, she said.

MAMADOU TANGARA (Gambia) said resolution 1325 (2000) had been adopted after decades of lobbying by women’s organizations and wars that had destroyed the social fabric in Bosnia, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Conflict‑related violence as a deliberate strategy continued with impunity.  Gambia promoted women’s participation in peace processes.  Protecting the rights of women and the girl child was a main feature of its human rights policy.  The protection of internally displaced persons was another priority.  It also had a zero tolerance policy for sexual exploitation by personnel seconded to peace operations.

KAI SAUER (Finland), associating his delegation with the European Union, said increasing the number women in peacekeeping improved operational effectiveness.  His country would continue deploying women to such operations as military experts at a level at least equivalent to the proportion of women in the National Defense Force.  As a new commitment, Finland stood ready to deploy to the United Nations a specialized unit of three to four female police officers by the end of 2016.  Furthermore, the National Defence Force and Crisis Management Centre had institutionalized resolution 1325 (2000) into its training curriculum.  Committed to the investigation of all cases of sexual exploitation by mission personnel, his Government had provided multi‑year financial support to the International Criminal Court trust fund for victims of sexual violence in conflict.

ISABELLE F. PICCO (Monaco) said the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) had sent a robust and clear message to the international community that the abuse of women in conflict situations could not be ignored.  That had been critical at a time when a rethink of the system of peacekeeping and peacebuilding was underway.  Many organizations in the field, especially the ICRC, played an important role in preventing violence against women.  The jurisprudence of international tribunals must make it possible to achieve justice for victims, and contribute to ending the stigmatization of victims of gender-based violence.  Monaco had co-sponsored the resolution adopted today and would continue to provide support to UN-Women, she said.

MUHAMMAD ANSHOR (Indonesia), associating himself with ASEAN, said the fact remained that women and girls in post-conflict situations were still unduly affected and under-represented even with the adoption of six texts aimed at strengthening action on resolution 1325 (2000).  Ultimately, the best measure of progress was when policy gains were translated on the ground in a more significant manner.  He went on to urge the Council to ensure that women had access and the necessary capacities to participate meaningfully in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacebuilding movements and decision-making processes in public life  generally.  Among other things, the Council should empower women and girls to be agents of change and peace, and not focus on their vulnerability as victims.  In addition, the Council should put in place monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that could provide an integrated view of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) with the aim of supporting implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action.

BERNARDITO AUZA, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, said that, in less than a decade, the number of major violent conflicts had almost tripled.  Violent extremism and terrorism in many parts of the world, particularly the Middle East and parts of Africa, had brought violence to new levels, as well as savagery perpetrated against civilians as well as cultural and religious patrimony.  Acts of sexual violence as a war strategy designed to dehumanize and demoralize women, girls and their families were “harrowing”.  As Pope Francis had said in his address to the General Assembly, they “should serve as a grave summons to an examination of conscience on the part of those changed with the conduct of international affairs”.  For its part, the Catholic Church ran a network of institutions in most of the areas of conflict, offering care and support and promoting pacification and reconciliation.  Concerning efforts to implement resolution 1325 (2000), The Holy See objected strongly to the suggestion that abortion be part of measures aimed at recovery and rehabilitation.

LANA NUSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said that today’s security challenges had been exacerbated by non-State actors and violent extremism, as well as the global refugee crisis.  The rise of Da’esh and its systematic use of sexual assault and rape was an insult to Islam.  It was critical to tackle the root causes of extremism before it transformed into violence.  That would require international intervention, but also national policies for girls’ education and women’s empowerment.  Meaningful participation by women in all peace and security process as well as efforts to combat and prevent violent extremism must be prioritized.  A holistic approach to conflict prevention should address the root causes of violence and not just their impacts on women, men, girls and boys after the damage was done.  The United Nations system should provide leadership to deliver on women, peace and security in the next decade, including by systematically integrating it as a cross-cutting issue and recruiting expertise in terms of gender and women, peace and security.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2242 (2015) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its commitment to the continuing and full implementation, in a mutually reinforcing manner, of resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013), and all relevant statements of its President,

Bearing in mind the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security,

Affirming the primary role of Member States to implement fully the relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, and the important complementary role of United Nations entities and regional organizations,

Recalling the commitments of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and their twentieth anniversary, welcoming the Global Leaders Meeting on Gender Equality and Empowerment held on 27 September 2015 and commending the concrete national commitments made by national leaders in connection to this meeting,

Reaffirming the obligations of States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Optional Protocol thereto and urging States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to it, further noting General Recommendation 30 of the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on Women and Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Situations,

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 17 September 2015 (S/2015/716) submitting the results of the Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), recognizing with appreciation all the work undertaken for the Global Study and encouraging close examination of its recommendations,

Noting the substantial link between women’s meaningful involvement in efforts to prevent, resolve and rebuild from conflict and those efforts’ effectiveness and long-term sustainability, as well as the need for greater resourcing, accountability, political will and attitudinal change,

Taking note of the Report of the Secretary-General on The Future of United Nations peace operations:  implementation of the recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (S/2015/682) and the Report of the Advisory Group of Experts for the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture (S/2015/490), and welcoming the recommendations contained therein relating to Women, Peace and Security, and further urging all actors to consider their implementation,

Reaffirming the obligations of States and all parties to armed conflict to comply with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as applicable, and the need to end all violations of international humanitarian law and all violations and abuses of human rights,

Reaffirming that sexual violence, when used or commissioned as a method or tactic of war or as a part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilian populations, can significantly exacerbate and prolong situations of armed conflict and may impede the restoration of international peace and security,

Welcoming the emphasis placed on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the recent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reaffirming that women’s and girls’ empowerment and gender equality are critical to conflict prevention and broader efforts to maintain international peace and security, noting in this regard the emphasis of the Report of the Independent High-Level Panel on Peace Operations (S/2015/446), the Report of the Advisory Group of Experts for the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture (S/2015/490), and the Global Study on the need, inter alia, to invest more in conflict prevention and women’s empowerment, and further emphasizing that persisting barriers to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) will only be dismantled through dedicated commitment to women’s participation and human rights, and through concerted leadership, consistent information and action, and support to build women’s engagement in all levels of decision-making,

Reiterating the important engagement by men and boys as partners in promoting women’s participation in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict, peacebuilding and post-conflict situations,

Noting the changing global context of peace and security, in particular relating to rising violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, the increased numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, the impacts of climate change and the global nature of health pandemics, and in this regard reiterating its intention to increase attention to women, peace and security as a cross-cutting subject in all relevant thematic areas of work on its agenda, including threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,

Recognizing the differential impact on the human rights of women and girls of terrorism and violent extremism, including in the context of their health, education, and participation in public life, and that they are often directly targeted by terrorist groups, and expressing deep concern that acts of sexual and gender-based violence are known to be part of the strategic objectives and ideology of certain terrorist groups, used as a tactic of terrorism and an instrument to increase their power through supporting financing, recruitment and the destruction of communities, as described in the Secretary-General’s Report on Sexual Violence in Conflict of 23 March 2015 (S/2015/203), and further noting the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum’s good practices on Women and Countering Violent Extremism,

Recognizing the significance of the 15-year anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000), the progress made, as well as the opportunity and need for far greater implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, remaining deeply concerned by the frequent underrepresentation of women in many formal processes and bodies related to the maintenance of international peace and security, the relatively low number of women in senior positions in political, peace and security-related national, regional and international institutions, the lack of adequate gender-sensitive humanitarian responses and support for women’s leadership roles in these settings, insufficient financing for women, peace and security, and the resulting detrimental impact on the maintenance of international peace and security,

Recognizing the important contribution of civil society, including women’s organizations, during the last 15 years in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000),

Recognizing the new Global Acceleration Instrument on women’s engagement in peace and security and humanitarian affairs, in addition to existing complementary mechanisms, as one avenue to attract resources, coordinate responses and accelerate implementation,

“1.   Urges Member States, in light of the High-Level Review, to assess strategies and resourcing in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, reiterates its call for Member States to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, encourages those supporting peace processes to facilitate women’s meaningful inclusion in negotiating parties’ delegations to peace talks, calls upon donor countries to provide financial and technical assistance to women involved in peace processes, including training in mediation, advocacy and technical areas of negotiation, as well as providing support and training to mediators and technical teams on the impact of women’s participation and strategies for women’s effective inclusion, further encourages the meaningful participation of civil society organizations at international and regional peace and security meetings, as appropriate, including donor conferences to help ensure gender considerations are integrated in the development, prioritization, coordination and implementation of policies and programmes, and encourages the hosts of such meetings to give due consideration to facilitating a cross representation of civil society participants;

“2.   Welcomes the efforts of Member States to implement resolution 1325 (2000), including the development of national action plans, further welcomes the increase in national action plans in recent years, and calls upon Member States to further integrate the women, peace and security agenda into their strategic plans such as national actions plans and other planning frameworks, with sufficient resources, including implementation of relevant obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, through broad consultation, including with civil society, in particular women’s organizations, calls upon countries with national action plans to provide an update on the progress made in their implementation and review during the annual Security Council open debates on women, peace and security, further welcomes the efforts of regional organizations to implement resolution 1325 (2000), including through the adoption of regional frameworks, and encourages them to pursue further implementation;

“3.   Encourages Member States to increase their funding on women, peace and security, including through more aid in conflict and post-conflict situations for programmes that further gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as through support to civil society, and to support countries in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, including through capacity-building, in their implementation of women, peace and security resolutions, calls for increased international development cooperation related to women’s empowerment and gender equality and invites aid providers to track the gender focus of aid contributions;

“4.   Urges the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations entities, including but not limited to the Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the Department for Political Affairs and the Peacebuilding Support Office to redouble their efforts to integrate women’s needs and gender perspectives into their work, including in all policy and planning processes and assessment missions, and in relation to requests made in resolution 2122 (2013), and to address deficits in accountability including through the addition by the Secretary-General of gender targets as an indicator of individual performance in all compacts with senior managers at United Nations Headquarters and in the field, including Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators, to be used for monitoring and to inform decision-making by the Secretary-General, including for recruiting for future posts, and further encourages closer working relationships within the United Nations among all those responsible for implementing the women, peace and security agenda, including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), taking into account their role on women, peace and security coordination and accountability, and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict;

“5.   Recognizes the ongoing need for greater integration of resolution 1325 (2000) in its own work in alignment with resolution 2122 (2013), including the need to address challenges linked to the provision of specific information and recommendations on the gender dimensions of situations on the Council’s agenda, to inform and help strengthen the Council’s decisions, and therefore, in addition to elements set out in resolution 2122 (2013), and in accordance with established practice and procedure:

(a)   Expresses its intention to convene meetings of relevant Security Council experts as part of an Informal Experts Group on Women, Peace and Security to facilitate a more systematic approach to Women, Peace and Security within its own work and enable greater oversight and coordination of implementation efforts;

(b)   Decides to integrate women, peace and security concerns across all country specific situations on the Security Council’s agenda, taking into account the specific context of each country, expresses its intention to dedicate periodic Security Council consultations on country situations, as necessary, to the topic of Women, Peace and Security implementation, progress and challenges, and reiterates its intention to ensure Security Council missions take into account gender considerations and the rights of women, including through consultation with local and international women’s groups;

(c)   Expresses its intention to invite civil society, including women’s organizations, to brief the Council in country-specific considerations and relevant thematic areas, as well as the Under-Secretary-General/Executive Director of UN-Women and the Under-Secretary-General/Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict to brief more regularly on country situations and relevant thematic areas of work on its agenda including on matters of urgency for women and girls in conflict and crisis;

“6.   Expresses its intention, when adopting or renewing targeted sanctions in situations of armed conflict, to consider designating, as appropriate, those actors, including those in terrorist groups, engaged in violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including sexual and gender-based violence, forced disappearances and forced displacement, and commits to ensuring that the relevant expert groups for sanctions committees have the necessary gender expertise;

“7.   Urges the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Department of Political Affairs to ensure the necessary gender analysis and technical gender expertise is included throughout all stages of mission planning, mandate development, implementation, review and mission drawdown, ensuring the needs and participation of women are integrated in all sequenced stages of mission mandates, welcomes the commitment of the Secretary-General that Senior Gender Advisers will be located in the offices of his Special Representatives, calls for senior gender advisers and other gender officer posts to be budgeted for and speedily recruited where appointed in special political missions and multidimensional peacekeeping operations, and encourages greater cooperation between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Department of Political Affairs and UN-Women to enable more gender-responsive United Nations peacekeeping operations and special political missions, including through providing field-based gender advisers and other missions’ sectors with full access to the policy, substantive and technical support of these entities on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and successive resolutions, making full use of respective comparative advantages;

“8.   Welcomes the Secretary-General’s commitment to prioritize the appointment of more women in senior United Nations leadership positions, bearing in mind a cross-geographical representation and in accordance with existing relevant rules and regulations governing administrative and budgetary issues, and encourages him to review the obstacles preventing women’s recruitment and professional advancement, further welcomes efforts to incentivize greater numbers of women in militaries and police deployed to United Nations peacekeeping operations, and calls upon the Secretary-General to initiate, in collaboration with Member States, a revised strategy, within existing resources, to double the numbers of women in military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations over the next five years;

“9.   Expresses deep concern over continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers and non-United Nations forces, including military, civilian and police personnel, urges police- and troop-contributing countries to provide robust predeployment training on sexual exploitation and abuse and vetting of their peacekeeping personnel, to conduct swift and thorough investigations of their uniformed personnel, and if appropriate, to prosecute, and to inform the United Nations in a timely manner of the status and outcome of investigations, calls upon the United Nations to cooperate as appropriate and in a timely manner with national authorities, including courts responsible for investigating such allegations, when requested for that purpose, and requests United Nations troop- and police-contributing country meetings to address sexual exploitation and abuse whenever relevant and the United Nations Military Staff Committee to discuss these issues as part of its regular programme;

“10.  Welcomes the Secretary-General’s continued efforts at implementing his policy of zero tolerance of misconduct, in particular the wide-ranging proposals on prevention, enforcement and remedial action which promote greater accountability, including his commitment to bring to public light misconduct by United Nations personnel, as well as his proposal to keep the Security Council informed of developments regarding implementation of his zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and his decision that all countries repeatedly listed in the annexes of his reports on Children and Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence in Conflict are prohibited from participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations, and urges those troop- and police-contributing countries that are currently listed to cease such violations and implement actions plans expeditiously, thereby avoiding suspension from peace operations, further requests the Secretary-General to include a section on conduct and discipline including, whenever relevant, adherence to his zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, in all his reports on country-specific situations to the Security Council;

“11.  Calls for the greater integration by Member States and the United Nations of their agendas on women, peace and security, counter-terrorism and countering-violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, requests the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue throughout the activities within their respective mandates, including within country-specific assessments and reports, recommendations made to Member States, facilitating technical assistance to Member States and briefings to the Council, encourages the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate to hold further consultations with women and women’s organizations to help inform their work, and further encourages the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to take the same approach in activities within its mandate;

“12.  Urges Member States and requests relevant United Nations entities, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, within its existing mandate, and in collaboration with UN-Women, to conduct and gather gender-sensitive research and data collection on the drivers of radicalization for women, and the impacts of counter-terrorism strategies on women’s human rights and women’s organizations, in order to develop targeted and evidence-based policy and programming responses, and to ensure United Nations monitoring and assessment mechanisms and processes mandated to prevent and respond to violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, have the necessary gender expertise to fulfil their mandates, including relevant sanctions experts groups and bodies established to conduct fact finding and criminal investigations;

“13.  Urges Member States and the United Nations system to ensure the participation and leadership of women and women’s organizations in developing strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, including through countering incitement to commit terrorist acts, creating counter narratives and other appropriate interventions, and building their capacity to do so effectively, and further to address, including by the empowerment of women, youth, religious and cultural leaders, the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, consistent with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288), welcomes the increasing focus on inclusive upstream prevention efforts and encourages the forthcoming Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to integrate women’s participation, leadership and empowerment as core to the United Nation’s strategy and responses, calls for adequate financing in this regard and for an increased amount, within the funding of the UN for counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, to be committed to projects which address gender dimensions including women’s empowerment;

“14.  Urges Member States to strengthen access to justice for women in conflict and post-conflict situations, including through the prompt investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of sexual and gender based violence, as well as reparation for victims as appropriate, 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 and reiterates its intention to continue forcefully to fight impunity and uphold accountability with appropriate means;

“15.  Encourages empowering women, including through capacity-building efforts, as appropriate, to participate in the design and implementation of efforts related to the prevention, combating and eradication of the illicit transfer, and the destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and calls upon Member States, United Nations entities, intergovernmental, regional and subregional organizations to take into consideration the specific impact of conflict and post-conflict environments on women’s and girls’ security, mobility, education, economic activity and opportunities, to mitigate the risk of women from becoming active players in the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons;

“16.  Calls upon Member States, the United Nations, and other relevant actors to ensure due consideration is given to the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the process and outcome of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2016, further recognizes the importance of integrating gender considerations across humanitarian programming by seeking to ensure the provision of access to protection and the full range of medical, legal and psychosocial and livelihood services, without discrimination, and through ensuring women and women’s groups can participate meaningfully and are supported to be leaders in humanitarian action, and urges the Secretary-General to strengthen leadership and political will at all levels on this issue and ensure accountability to existing humanitarian frameworks related to women’s empowerment and gender equality which contribute to the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda;

“17.  Invites the Secretary-General in his next annual report on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) to submit information on progress made to follow up on the High-Level Review including the recommendations highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report on the Global Study and new commitments made as part of the High-Level Review, as well as appropriate monitoring and evaluation arrangements for the UN system, and to make this available to all Member States;

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

For information media. Not an official record.