The statement will be delivered by the Permanent Representative Ambassador of Gabon, Michel Xavier Biang and the Permanent Representative Ambassador of Norway, Mona Juul, on behalf of Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Albania, Brazil and France and Gabon, as well as Ecuador, Malta and Niger.
The world is witnessing record numbers of violent conflicts and humanitarian crises. Women are persecuted for speaking up or simply for going about their daily lives. In different regions of the world, women’s and girls’ rights are under attack. And women who defend women’s rights and contribute to build peace - are increasingly being attacked as well.
Together here today is a group of 13 Security Council members – current, previous, and incoming, permanent members as well as elected members – that have joined a Statement of Shared Commitments. We have a shared goal:
To ensure that the Women, Peace and Security agenda is fully and meaningfully integrated into all aspects of the Council’s work - including in country-specific discussions, that the voices of women are heard around the Council table, – and that the crucial work of women, peacebuilders and human rights defenders in conflict prevention and resolution, peacebuilding and sustaining peace is supported and recognised.
For today’s Open Debate, my country, Gabon, has asked member states to propose how we can advance women’s resilience and leadership as a path to peace in regions plagued by armed groups.
To prevent conflicts, build and sustain peace, it is time we stop focusing on conflict actors alone and start paying equally attention to peace actors. We call for the UN to lead by example in ensuring the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace processes it leads or co-leads. Well aware that full, equal and meaningful participation, in all aspects of peace and security, can only be achieved with sustained support also from the member states.
Our Shared Commitments – building on the initiative launched by the Presidency Trio – have fostered collective action. Two examples: we have drawn public attention to critical Women, Peace and Security challenges in Afghanistan, Colombia, Haiti, and Yemen, as well as those faced by women police officers in peace operations. And we have worked together to ensure that Security Council products have language on Women, Peace and Security that is more detailed, more specific, and covers more areas than ever before.
Together we have hosted about 80 women civil society briefers to Security Council meetings since the beginning of the Presidency Trio in September 2021. We are committed to supporting their safe participation in these meetings – with a zero-tolerance approach to reprisals.
With this, we are heeding the Secretary General’s call from 2020, that identified five goals to achieve transformational changes in Women, Peace and Security over the next decade.
The Secretary-General urged an all-out effort to address the remaining implementation gaps. We, standing here today, are supporting his efforts to turn the unconditional defence of women’s rights into one of the most visible markers of the United Nations’ work on peace and security. In particular; the protection of women human rights defenders and women peacebuilders.
That is why we urge more countries to step up action to ensuring that the Women, Peace and Security agenda actually is implemented in concrete and tangible ways.
Our common goal must be to promote and protect women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership in conflict affected countries or those facing humanitarian crises.