Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Women crucial to peace processes

UN women

The United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials today issued a strong call on the international community to strengthen its commitment to ensuring that women play a more prominent role in conflict prevention, resolution and in post-war peacebuilding.

Unanimously adopting a new resolution this morning, the Security Council reaffirmed that sustainable peace hinges on an approach that integrates “political, security, development, and human rights, including gender equality,” concerns and urged Member States and UN entities to ensure women’s full and meaningful participation in peace and security issues, and committed to increase focus on their adequate access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings.

 “Women’s participation in peace efforts is a matter of gender equality and universal human rights – and crucial to achieving sustainable peace, economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy. Today’s resolution makes that point loud and clear,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he opened the Council’s day-long debate on “Women, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice.”

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women said the new resolution makes the Council, the wider United Nations, regional organizations and Member States responsible for providing seat at the peace table for women.

“I know for sure that there are women who are adequately trained for these roles, that women are available for high-level appointments and, further, that qualified women are everywhere. It is up to us, together, to take responsibility and open the doors to their full participation,” she said.

Ms. Mlambo Ngcuka, who presented Mr. Ban’s annual report on the implementation of the women and peace and security agenda, said inclusion must be accompanied by access to gender expertise, and gender analysis must be used to identify the impact on women’s rights of all peace-related decisions.

Held yearly, the open debate provides an opportunity for the wider UN membership to reflect on the progress made, and accelerate action on implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, which requires parties in a conflict to respect women’s rights and support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.

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