At UN Security Council, UN Women calls for leadership for inclusive peacebuilding
New York, 30 November - Today at the UN Security Council Open Debate to mark the 12th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet called on world leaders to provide determined leadership, dedicated resources and direct opportunities to enable women to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security.
The ground-breaking Security Council resolution 1325, which was passed in the year 2000, is the first to link women's experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda, focusing attention on the impact of conflict on women and girls, and calling for women's engagement in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
The UN Secretary-General's annual report to the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security, released ahead of the debate, analyzes progress in implementing Security Council resolution 1325 over the past year in the areas of prevention, participation, protection, and relief and recovery. The report, presented by Ms. Bachelet to the Council today, underlines that while there has been progress, it has not been at the pace that was expected.
“The very origin of this historic resolution is the courage, leadership, and the extraordinary accomplishments of women's civil society organizations that promote peace and build women's protection under unimaginably difficult circumstances, said Ms. Bachelet, commending the theme of this year's debate and the work of women peace builders. “A special effort is needed to prevent gender-based violence in conflict, to investigate and prosecute abuses of women's rights, and to invite women to peace negotiations. It is the difference between going through the motions and going the extra mile. All of us need to go the extra mile for women, peace and security, she added.
The 2012 report of the Secretary-General includes updates on measures that have improved coordination and accountability and highlights a growing number of inspiring examples of women, peace and security in action. From Kyrgyzstan to Timor-Leste, Haiti, South Sudan, Liberia, Nepal and many other countries, women are leading innovative approaches to prevent conflict and violence and build peace in their communities.
Yet, challenges remain in the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325:
- In the area of conflict prevention, while more actors are engaged in early warning systems and in reporting threats to women and girls, the prevention of violence and human rights abuses against women and girls in conflict and post-conflict remains a challenge as is clear in Syria, Mali, Eastern DRC and other countries.
- In the area of participation specific efforts are needed to increase women's engagement in formal peace processes. Of the 14 peace negotiations co-led by the UN in 2011, only four had delegations that included women. Of the nine peace agreements signed in 2011 involving eight countries, only two—Yemen and Somalia—contained provisions on women and peace and security.
- In the area of protection, community patrols, access to legal aid, rapid response and surge teams expanded in the last year and efforts have been made to integrate women's protection in standard operating procedures for security sector personnel in some contexts. Yet sexual and other forms of gender-based violence remain endemic in situations of conflict and political instability, and women's access to justice needs considerable strengthening. Specific protection strategies for mission-drawdown and transitions as well as increased attention to protection of women human rights defenders are needed.
- In the area of relief and recovery, the share of budgets allocated to women's empowerment and gender equality is increasing but remains low. A study of more than 200 UN project documents from six countries found an average 7.1 per cent of budgets targeted gender-specific needs or issues in 2012, up from an estimated 5.7 per cent in 2010. Accelerated efforts are needed to reach the 15 per cent minimum spending target set in the Secretary-General's action plan on gender-responsive peacebuilding.
The report recommends urgent action to ensure consistency in the implementation of resolution 1325 through systematic attention to women and peace and security commitments across the Security Council's actions; stronger determination to advance women's and girls' participation and representation; more women mediators, and more women in senior management of international and regional organizations; and continued improvement of tracking and accountability systems, including at the regional and national levels. The report underlines the necessity of early and sustained engagement with women's groups and leaders in all efforts to prevent and resolve conflict and build peace.
In the lead-up to the Security Council Open Debate, women activists and women's organizations met with senior UN leadership in over 20 countries, facilitated by UN Women, DPKO, DPA and UNDP to discuss challenges and make their recommendations on issues relating to women and peace and security. Participants reiterated the urgent need to ensure women's participation throughout the peacebuilding process.
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, and Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité, Bineta Diop, also briefed the Security Council.
Live webcast of the Security Council Debate: www.unwomen.org
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