2004 report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace and Security
In October 2002, the Security Council adopted Presidential Statement 2002/32 which requested the preparation of a follow-up report on the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security to be presented to the Security Council in October 2004.
The Secretary-General's report (S/2004/814) provides illustrative examples of progress made and identifies gaps and challenges in the implementation of resolution 1325 as well as recommendations for further action which the Security Council and other actors may wish to consider. It is based on contributions from Member States and entities of the United Nations system. It draws on the assessment of progress and recommendations made in the report on women, peace and security (S/2002/1154), the in-depth study by the Secretary-General mandated in resolution 1325 and other studies and reports, including an independent experts' assessment commissioned by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
Initiatives have been taken by a broad range of actors to implement resolution 1325, inter alia by developing policies, action plans, guidelines and indicators; increasing access to gender expertise; providing training; promoting consultation with and participation of women; increasing attention to human rights; and supporting the initiative of women's groups. Resolution 1325 has been effectively utilized by civil society organizations as an advocacy and monitoring tool. Despite significant achievements, major gaps and challenges remain in all areas including in particular in relation to women's participation in conflict prevention and peace processes; integration of gender perspectives in peace agreements; attention to the contributions and needs of women in humanitarian and reconstruction processes; and representation of women in decision-making positions. Increased incidence of sexual and gender-based violence in recent years and the failure to provide adequate protection is a critical issue and will be treated in also described in the report.
Recommendations of the 2004 report include:
In relationship to increasing women's participation and incorporating gender perspectives in all aspects of peace and security
The Secretary General intends to:
The Secretary-General urges Member States, entities of the United Nations and civil society to:
In relationship to preventing and responding to gender-based violence in armed conflict
The Secretary-General submits the following actions for the attention of the Security Council, Member States, United Nations entities and other relevant bodies:
Conclusion and the way forward
In the four years since the adoption of resolution 1325, there has been a positive shift in international understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and the importance of women's participation as equal partners in all areas related to peace and security. Member States, United Nations entities and civil society actors have made significant strides in implementing the resolution, including by incorporating gender perspectives in policies, programmatic tools and capacity building activities. The real test of the adequacy of these efforts is, however, in their impact on the ground. In no area of peace and security work are gender perspectives systematically incorporated in planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting. The peacekeeping and humanitarian arenas have seen the most dramatic improvement in terms of new policies, gender expertise and training initiatives. An outstanding challenge is increasing the numbers of women in high-level decision making positions in peacekeeping operations. In the areas of conflict prevention, peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction, women do not participate fully and more needs to be done to ensure promotion of gender equality is an explicit goal in the pursuit of sustainable peace.
A pressing challenge is the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls in armed conflict. The reality on the ground is that humanitarian and human rights law are blatantly disregarded by parties to conflicts and women and girls continue to be subject to sexual and gender-based violence and other human rights violations. Much more sustained commitment and effort, including partnerships with men and boys, is required to stop the violence, end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice.
Much of the work on increasing attention to gender perspectives, protecting the human rights of women and promoting women's participation has been done on an ad hoc basis through voluntary contributions. Inadequate specific resource allocations have contributed to slow progress in the implementation of the resolution in practice. We must ensure that regular budgetary resources are specifically allocated for both gender mainstreaming and initiatives targeted at women and girls.
Resolution 1325 holds a promise to women across the globe that their rights will be protected and that barriers to their equal participation and full involvement in the maintenance and promotion of sustainable peace will be removed. We must uphold this promise. To achieve the goals set out in the resolution, political will, concerted action and accountability on the part of the entire international community, are required. I urge the Security Council, Member States, United Nations entities and civil society organizations to reaffirm their commitment and strengthen efforts to implement fully resolution 1325, and call for regular monitoring of implementation through the Security Council.
Relevant documents and reports
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