- The EU thanks Chairperson in Office, Her Excellency Anne Linde, for her message we just received during today’s PC. At the end of this month, we celebrate the 21st birthday of landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the foundation of what has become the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
- As the CiO rightly stated, there will be no sustainable peace in our region, until it is experienced by everyone. Gender equality is at the core of the EU’s values and the full implementation of the WPS Agenda remains one of our priorities. The EU strives to remain a frontrunner in the global arena in engaging, empowering, protecting, and supporting women and girls to achieve peace and security. The WPS agenda broadens the scope of traditional security by highlighting the importance of the gender dimension in peace and security.
- Women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and security related decision-making processes, including crisis and conflict prevention, peace processes and relief and recovery are essential. Gender equality and women's empowerment as a prerequisite for dealing effectively with the conflict cycle. We therefore welcome your efforts to strengthen the role of women in all stages of the conflict cycle, by focusing the 2 Conflict Cycle Seminars on this topic, but also by assuring gender parity amongst your Special and Personal Representatives.
- Your second point, gender mainstreaming, is equally important. Systematic inclusion of a gender perspective into all OSCE activities, programmes and projects is essential. Furthermore, activities in all three dimensions benefit from gender mainstreaming. The EU firmly believes this is the right approach and appreciates your efforts throughout your Chairpersonship to strive for gender mainstreaming across your work.
- In this regard, Sweden’s approach to the Code of Conduct as a safeguard of human rights and fundamental freedoms of all in the Armed Forces and of all affected by army activities in conflict and post-conflict situations serves as an inspiration for us all to be ambitious and proactive in truly integrating women in the armed forces. By comprehensively implementing these aspects of the Code-of-Conduct, Sweden has gone beyond what it subsequently takes to implement UNSCR 1325 and its subsequent resolutions.
- Finally, the EU fully supports you on making Women’s Economic Empowerment the cornerstone of this year’s Economic & Environmental Forum. Women’s economic empowerment is a prerequisite for economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness and thus for the stability and well-being of our societies. The pandemic has only put an emphasis on this. Indeed, women and girls are disproportionately affected by the economic and social fallout. The Vilnius 2011 Decision on promoting equal opportunity for women in the economic sphere is an important stepping stone for this year’s work. After setting out rules to level the playing field for all, follow up is needed through empowering and encouraging both men and women to fight against discrimination and seek to use women’s potential fully.
- To conclude, let me thank the Swedish Chairpersonship for keeping gender equality and Women, Peace & Security at the centre of our work, which is the only way to achieve comprehensive security in our region, and rest assured that we stand ready to work with you on bringing the draft ministerial decisions in this field all the way to Stockholm. 21 years after adopting UNSCR 1325, there is no time to waste in assuring the full implementation of the WPS agenda.
The Candidate Countries the REPUBLIC of NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO*, SERBIA* and ALBANIA*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and Potential Candidate BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY, members of the European Economic Area, as well as UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, GEORGIA, ANDORRA, and SAN MARINO align themselves with this statement.
* Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.