New York, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's statement to the open debate of the Security Council on Security Council Resolution 1325 ("Women and Peace and Security") [delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General]Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome this open debate on a subject that is a top priority for the United Nations.
Resolution 1325 provides a global framework for mainstreaming gender in all peace processes, including peacekeeping, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction, as well as in the general maintenance of peace and security.
The text was a milestone in the Security Council's approach to the question, and I am pleased to say the Council has consistently reviewed the progress being made to implement it.
This year's open debate on the needs of women and girls in post-conflict situations highlights the importance of seizing the opportunity created by a cessation of hostilities.
Addressing those needs is critical for long-term peace. So too is empowering women and girls in order that they can play their rightful role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
As we approach next year's 10th anniversary of resolution 1325 and the review of its implementation, it is appropriate that today we take stock.
In nine years, only 16 countries have adopted National Action Plans for the implementation of the resolution. I encourage all Member States to take action before the 10th anniversary.
Much has been said about the importance of a monitoring mechanism. I have repeatedly called upon this Council to demonstrate leadership in this regard.
Attention must also be given to safeguarding the newly acquired roles that women are playing during conflict, including in decision-making.
A cessation of conflict should not result in the marginalization of women and girls, nor their relegation to stereotypical roles. Nor should we allow any exclusion of women in peace negotiations and mediation to become the template for what happens in implementing a peace settlement.
Indeed, a growing body of evidence suggests that bringing women to the peace table improves the quality of agreements reached, and increases the chances of successful implementation.
Women are likely to put gender issues on the agenda, set different priorities and possibly bridge the political divide more effectively. Experience also suggests that women's contributions in post–conflict situations can make a critical difference to community survival and reconstruction.
As we heard from many speakers last Wednesday in this chamber, women face appalling violence-- especially sexual violence -- in the anarchy generated by conflict and its aftermath. Yet post-conflict gender-based violence often remains below the radar screen, since a cessation of conflict is often mistaken for the full return of peace.
Security Council resolutions 1820 and 1888 focus directly on these challenges. However, the implementation of those resolutions must be done in tandem with resolution 1325. The strengthening of women's participation in decision-making is critical to overcoming the scourge of sexual violence.
I am committed to the full implementation of these landmark texts on women, peace and security. And I will continue to do my part, including by appointing more women to positions of leadership.
I thank the Council for its attention to this issue, and look forward to working with you to achieve our shared objectives.
Statements on 5 October 2009
- Astana, Kazakhstan, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's message to the 18th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization [delivered by Taleb Rifai, Deputy Secretary-General, WTO]
- New York, 5 October 2009 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the election of Supreme Court justices in Guatemala [scroll down for Spanish version]
- Geneva, Switzerland, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's remarks to the ITU World Telecom Youth Forum
- Geneva, Switzerland, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's statement to the Geneva Lecture: Resetting the nuclear disarmament agenda
- Geneva, Switzerland, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's remarks to ITU Telecom World 2009: ICTs are Vital to Confronting Threat of Climate Change
- New York, 5 October 2009 - The Secretary-General's message on World Habitat Day
- Geneva, 5 October 2009 - Secretary-General's statement on the attack at the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Pakistan