7533rd Meeting (AM)
Secretary-General Urged to Initiate Revised Strategy with Aim of Doubling Number of Women in Peacekeeping Operations in Next Five Years
The Security Council today outlined sweeping actions to improve implementation of its landmark women, peace and security agenda, covering its work on countering violent extremism and terrorism, improving working methods and broadly taking up the gender recommendations of a just-completed global study it had requested two years ago.
Through resolution 2242 (2015), adopted unanimously ahead of a high-level open debate on the topic, the Council decided to integrate women, peace and security concerns across all country-specific situations on its agenda. It expressed its intention to dedicate consultations to the topic of women, peace and security implementation, convene meetings of relevant Council experts as part of an informal experts group on women, peace and security, and invite civil society to brief during its country-specific considerations.
More broadly, the Council urged the Secretary-General and United Nations bodies to better integrate gender perspectives into their work so as to address accountability deficits, including through the addition of gender targets as an indicator of individual performance in all compacts with senior managers at Headquarters and in the field.
In the area of peacekeeping, the Council urged the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs to ensure that gender analysis and technical gender expertise were included throughout all stages of mission planning, mandate development, implementation, review and mission drawdown. It called on the Secretary-General to initiate a revised strategy, within existing resources, to double the numbers of women in peacekeeping operations over the next five years.
To address continued charges of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeepers, the Council urged police- and troop-contributing countries to provide “robust” predeployment training, conduct “swift and thorough” investigations of uniformed personnel, and if appropriate, to prosecute.
On terrorism, the Council urged States and the United Nations to ensure the participation and leadership of women’s organizations in devising strategies to counter terrorism and violent extremism. It encouraged the forthcoming Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to integrate women’s participation, leadership and empowerment as core to United Nations strategy and responses, calling for adequate funding in that regard. It requested the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate to integrate gender as a cross-cutting issue within their respective mandates.
As for Governments, the Council urged States to assess strategies and resourcing around the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, calling on donor countries to provide financial and technical assistance to women involved in peace processes. It urged States to strengthen access to justice for women, including through the prompt investigation, prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of sexual and gender based violence, and reparations.
Addressing the meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared: “At a time when armed extremist groups place the subordination of women at the top of their agenda, we must place women’s leadership and the protection of women’s rights at the top of ours.”
He noted that, 15 years ago, the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) had underscored the pivotal link between gender equality and international peace and security. One common theme had emerged from three major reviews — of peace operations, the peacebuilding architecture and women, peace and security: “Any reforms must include gender equality and women’s leadership as central ingredients, and must be strongly grounded in human rights,” he said, adding that, with that in mind, he would ensure that the target of 15 per cent of peacebuilding funds were devoted to gender equality and women’s empowerment projects. The Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) was an important part of the agenda for change.
Presenting the Global Study’s findings, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), said that women’s leadership and participation improved humanitarian assistance, strengthened peacekeepers’ efforts, fostered the conclusion of peace talks and helped to counter violent extremism. “This is not rhetoric,” she said, adding that the findings were backed by “extensive” evaluations, statistics and academic research.
It was an area that challenged the United Nations to commit to irreversible change, she said, noting that the Organization had not met its gender equality targets. Some $9 billion was spent annually on peacekeeping, yet it was unknown how much of it was invested in that area. She announced the establishment of the Global Acceleration Instrument on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Engagement, which would channel more resources to women’s organizations.
Following three moving frontline accounts — by Julienne Lusenge from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yanar Mohammed from Iraq and Alaa Murabit from Libya — some of the 78 speakers who took the floor used the high-level review to announce funding allocations and other commitments to improve women’s leadership. Many decried the fact that it was still often more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in times of conflict. Rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage associated with terrorist groups persisted.
In that context, Sandip Verma, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, announced a $1 million contribution to the new Global Acceleration Instrument, while Mariano Rajoy Brey, Prime Minister of Spain, announced a similar €1 million contribution in 2016. Over the next seven years, said Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser on Gender and Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of the European Union, the bloc would allocate €100 million to gender equality and women’s empowerment projects.
The representative of China drew attention to the 27 September global summit on women that his country had sponsored with the United Nations, the first of its kind, during which the Chinese President had announced a $10 million commitment to support implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action. Within five years, China would help countries address challenges in the areas of girls’ health and education, he said.
Also speaking today were ministers, senior officials and other representatives from Angola, United States, Chile, Nigeria, Russian Federation, France, Chad, Lithuania, Jordan, Venezuela, New Zealand, Malaysia, Namibia, Egypt, El Salvador, Senegal, Gabon, Ukraine, Israel, Dominican Republic, Andorra, Algeria, Philippines, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Colombia, Slovenia, United Republic of Tanzania, Netherlands, Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Sweden, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Japan, Pakistan, Liechtenstein, Iraq, Germany, Luxembourg, Estonia, Romania, Slovakia, Belgium, Croatia, Qatar, Cyprus, Honduras, Panama, Latvia, Paraguay, Peru, Morocco, Ireland, Costa Rica, Gambia, Finland, Monaco, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Holy See.
Other speakers were representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), African Union, League of Arab States, Organization of American States (OAS) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and was suspended at 7:40 p.m.