Press release: UN Security Council adopts new resolution, urges women’s full inclusion in peace talks and transitional justice
Date: 18 October 2013
The UN Security Council today demonstrated renewed determination to put women’s leadership at the centre of all efforts to resolve conflict and promote peace. By unanimous vote, the Council adopted a resolution that sets in place stronger measures to enable women to participate in conflict resolution and recovery, and puts the onus on the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organizations and Member States to dismantle the barriers, create the space, and provide seats at the table for women.
In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the Security Council for today’s resolution that shines a light on the importance of women’s agency and leadership in international peace and security.
UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, along with Ms. Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Ms. Brigitte Balipou, Board member of Femmes Africa Solidarité and founder of the Association of Women Jurists of the Central African Republic, briefed the Security Council and presented the findings of the Secretary-General’s 2013 report on women and peace and security.
Addressing the UN Security Council, UN Women Executive Director Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka highlighted women’s catalytic role in conflict resolution. “Women’s leadership is central to reconciliation and conflict resolution and to peacebuilding efforts that bring results for families and communities. That is why I welcome today’s resolution on women’s peace leadership,” she said.
Adopted during a day-long debate on women, peace and security, convened under the Presidency of Azerbaijan, focusing on women, rule of law and transitional justice in conflict-affected situations, this new resolution – Security Council resolution 2122 – puts in place a roadmap for a more systematic approach to the implementation of commitments on women, peace and security. Concretely, these measures include: the development and deployment of technical expertise for peacekeeping missions and UN mediation teams supporting peace talks; improved access to timely information and analysis on the impact of conflict on women and women’s participation in conflict resolution in reports and briefings to the Council; and strengthened commitments to consult as well as include women directly in peace talks.
The resolution recognizes that the impact of conflict on women is exacerbated as a result of inequalities. For example, because of unequal citizenship rights and a lack of access to identity documents women and their children may be rendered stateless, lack access to basic services for survival or lack the ability to reclaim land and property, post-conflict.
The resolution makes some unprecedented advances. It addresses the rights of women who are pregnant as a result of rape during conflict. The international community has recognized through this resolution the need to ensure that humanitarian aid includes support for access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, including regarding pregnancies resulting from rape.
Lastly, the resolution places gender equality and women’s empowerment as critical to international peace and security, underlining that the economic empowerment of women greatly contributes to the stabilization of societies emerging from armed conflict.
The annual report of the UN Secretary-General on women and peace and security, S/2013/252 shows progress and good practices over the past year. There is more awareness than ever of the catastrophic impact of sexual and gender-based violence in war and the need to prevent it. In peacekeeping contexts, there is a marked increase in the number of practical actions and directives guiding military and police components to address women’s security. This includes deployment of gender advisers and experts to UN mediation teams or in post-conflict planning.
International Commissions of Inquiry now routinely include gender crimes investigators, as seen in those established most recently in the context of Côte D’Ivoire, Libya, North Korea and Syria. Historic appointments of women leaders to senior peace and security positions have been made and include Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou Souleymane, who became the first woman UN chief mediator, for Darfur. In March this year, Ms. Mary Robinson became the first woman UN Special Envoy when the UN Secretary-General appointed her as Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Yet, the report notes with concern that results remain uneven and insufficient. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka urged stronger action and collaboration. “This resolution puts the onus on all of us – the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organizations and Member States – to create the space and provide seats at the peace table for women. I am committed to working with all of you so that we can see better results.”
More information on women’s efforts for peace and security: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/open-debate-on-women-peace-and-security-2013
Oisika Chakrabarti, Oisika.chakrabarti[at]unwomne.org, +1 646 781-4522
Hadrien Bonnaud, hadrien.bonnaud[at]unwomen.org, +1 646 781-4751