Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security Report
The opening remarks were made by Spain, which has had the presidency of the Security Council since October.
Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
We must align UNSCR 1325 with the new SDGs. We must pay particular attention to those women who are most vulnerable, especially indigenous women, and especially in times of conflict. Gender advisors must be present for all missions to push forward the needs of women and girls. He is committing to try and reach the target of 15% of peacebuilding funds toward gender equality and empowering women. The common theme of the three major UN reviews is the need for gender equality and women’s leadership as central aspects to reform.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (UN Women)
The most underused tool that we have is women. From 1990 to 2010, only 11% of peace agreements mentioned women, but now it is much higher. There is still not enough financial support for women’s aid groups. Currently, only 10% of aid targets gender equality as a principal target. As of now, 90% of peacekeepers are men. Out of the 9 billion dollars spent on peacekeeping, it is not clear how much was spent on gender equality. The Global Acceleration Instrument (GAI) on Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Engagement will help to channel resources to women’s groups. Every peace process must include women and we must incentivize countries to increase women’s leadership and civilians in peacemaking. We also need to ensure that countries do not shield perpetrators of war crimes. Peacebuilding is a long term project rather than a short term project. SDG 16 is intrinsically linked to SDG 5.
Civil Society Speaker Julienne Lusenge (President of the Female Solidarity for Integrated Peace and Development – DRC) of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
She had spoken to the UN Security Council in 2008 about the violence women were experiencing, including rape and murders. After 15 years of good intentions, we must finally give women the power to fix the DRC. Unfortunately, nothing much has changed for the political and economic life for women. We seriously have women in the peace process if we want peace. So far, women are still facing daily violence and have been told that only two parties exist: the government or the M23. In the North Kivu region they have been raped, put into slavery, massacred, and even disemboweled. Currently, SOFEPADI is working to give women a voice and ensure that victims become survivors by making sure they are part of the economy and know their rights. They work without protection, even with armed groups attacking them. A climate needs to be created where they can dialogue with young men. There need to be concrete actions and resources. Also, funding is crucial for participation. Currently, they are training the police and the magistrates are starting to call them for advice. The UN must continue to provide security; they need to listen to local women and investigate allegations.
Civil Society Speaker Yanar Mohammed (President of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq) of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
They have documented the killing of over 150 women in their region. They feel like “our rights are not protected, let alone promoted”. State building based on corruption has lead to the rise of ISIS and women’s enslavement and trafficking. Civil society efforts are often stifled; for example, the Iraqi government does not allow them to shelter women nor publicize. It is critical that women are included in the Syrian peace process, however political will is lacking. We cannot wait another 15 years for the WPS agenda to be implemented.
Civil Society Speaker Alaa Mourabit (Voice of Libyan Women)
They feel that “the only requirement to enter peace talks is a gun (in Libya)” and there is a need to prioritize disarmament. Their recommendation is to focus on conflict prevention, rather than after the conflict has begun. Also, we need to address the underlying drivers of conflict. Women need to be included at the decision and policymaking level from the beginning. We cannot forget that CSOs were the ones who ensured the passage of UNSCR 1325, 15 years ago. They feel that CSOs put their lives on the line every day for a lasting peace; it’s time for member states to do the same. It is time we shift our focus back to women.
In reflecting on their progress over the past 15 years, they acknowledge there are considerable gaps in terms of leadership and participation of women. Their efforts to resolve conflicts are insufficiently funded. They are also battling issues of forced displacement and transnational terrorism. They established a sub-regional plan of action in 2010. In 2013, they launched their NAP. They are committed to UNSCR 1820 as well. They are continuing to work with CSO’s and use a multi-stakeholder approach.
We are still not doing enough to ensure gender equality. The UN itself must do more to appoint women to high level positions. Resolution 2242 needs to have follow up mechanisms. New challenges exist with groups such as Boko Haram, especially in regards to sexual violence. States must combine forces to combat these challenges. Additional challenges for Chad is acquiring funding for a NAP, technology constraints, and negative cultural and religious practices. Including community and religious leaders working with NGOs brings about change. Successes include involving women at various levels of government and within security forces. Their national police focuses on recruiting 30% women. They support International Women’s day and micro credit financing projects.
Women do not want just to participate but to live in a peaceful world. Gender and peace are linked together. We have learned from the global study that there is a critical shortage of women in peace processes around the world. To change this, measurable targets must be given to guide further implementation. This will help as a blueprint to examine current policies. More women need to be in places of leadership within the UN system. In Namibia, female soldiers do not face the same cultural restraints as men and therefore should be considered vital. They are also more trusted within the civilian population.
If we have women at all levels of decision-making then we will have a more peaceful and stable society. Tanzania supports the women’s rights treaties, funding for gender initiatives and 50/50 representation in all positions.
They pledge to include a gender perspective in their national budget. They hope the high level review will contribute toward allowing women their full rights. They are increasing participation of women in the peace building process and training and empowering women and youth.
Member states must uphold their obligations and register the refugees present in their states and not leave them only in the hands of political groups. Women must be encouraged in all stages of peace and to reestablish the rule of law.
When 1325 was adopted, the African Union took it as its own resolution. They said all state parties should combat discrimination against women. They ask for women as special envoys and in places of leadership within the AU. Out of the 10 members, 5 are women. Three more women have just been hired within the AU. They have been training women as election observers and peace negotiators. The chairperson has put in a zero tolerance for sexual abuse. In South Sudan, a gender mandate was issued to investigate violence against women. The Global Study says that Africa has the highest number of women in decision making positions. Sixteen countries in Africa have NAPs, but there is no overall standard way of reporting what they have done. The women, for example in North Nigeria, need more support; they want to continue school. They are declaring 2016 the year of Women’s Human Rights. They will concentrate on more women’s groups and civil society organizations.
They support the Global Study and its recommendations. Gender-specific actions should be included in all instruments. They pledge 100 million Euros in the next 7 years to gender equality and women’s empowerment projects. They actively support civil society cooperation. They feel that coordination among the UN member states is key for effective implementation. They want to hold themselves to the highest standards and enhance visibility of WPS in all EU activities.
France welcomes the new resolution and feels that it will instigate a re-launching of the WPS agenda. Women need more political participation and outcomes and not just in a symbolic way. They are committing to funding for Mali, the DRC and UN Women, as well as more support for NGOs. They plan to make their NAP more visible and are striving to a goal of 50% women by 2017. The current percentage is just 20%.
They feel that the current silo approach is not working. A change in the attitudes and violent ideas of what represents manhood needs to happen. Currently, there is a culture of impunity. Almost every case at the ICC involves sexual violence. Funding is a high priority for WPS as well.
They welcome the high level review on the WPS agenda with concrete recommendations. The political participation of women is key for development. They have a NAP for UNSCR 1325 and are developing a second one for 2016. This will focus on domestic and international provisions, prevention, protection, security and peacebuilding. It will also include re-deployment training.
They feel that gender inequality is a threat to international peace and security, it is an injustice and it is immoral. In Resolution 2242, we are pursuing a dual objective: #1 Protecting women and girls in conflicts and to combat sexual violence; and #2 To substantially increase the role of women from prevention to peacebuilding. It is vital to bridge the gaps between what happens here and what happens on-the-ground. Domestically, they have approved a strategic plan and already have a NAP. Their peacekeeping missions have a gender focus. They pledge to update their NAP, do periodic follow ups and to involve civil society in this process. They will also do gender trainings for military and police peacekeeping, with a zero tolerance policy. They pledge 1 million Euros to the GAI and to combat sexual violence situations in conflict.
They pledge $1 million to the GAI and $800,000 over 2 years for related research. All future military doctrine, early warning and conflict assessment tools will be made gender sensitive and include training for troops overseas. They support helping women in Iraq and Syria in particular.
They did not appreciate the language of the resolution during its drafting and do not think there needs to be a WPS group. They feel the auxiliary bodies are creating too many divisions. They think the Security Council should focus on international peace and security, but hope that the adopted resolution will be influential. Women were included in the 9/12 peace processes involved with the UN. They warn against duplicating bodies but feel that we should keep the entities that already exist.
The fact that there are more countries with NAPs shows the increased level of interest. They said that 5/12 peacekeeping missions are headed by women, but mediation remains male dominated. Education is essential in empowering women with skills and self-confidence. They agree with a zero tolerance policy on peacekeeping units and are committed to training their peacekeeping troops on gender issues. They feel that there can be no peace if half of the world’s population is left behind.
They would like to strengthen the participation of women and to see the release of Ukrainian prisoners.
They have identified and deployed female experts to missions. They would like to strengthen efforts in justice and accountability and the inclusion of perpetrators of SGBV in UN sanctions.
They feel it is time for full implementation and we should focus on 3 important areas: #1 Women’s participation, which leads to more sustainable peace yet too often is excluded; #2 Sexual violence in conflict needs to remain on the agenda of Security Council and there must be accountability and an end to impunity; #3 Lack of unequal distribution of financing. 1% of their GDI will go toward gender equality. They challenge the UN to reach 15%; Top donor of 34 million dollars.
They support a female candidate for the next Secretary General.
They are pledging 100 million Euros to the Red Cross. They call on the Security Council to use Bangura’s expertise more frequently. They are weaving the WPS agenda into programs for the refugees arriving in the country.
They helped finance the Global Study. DPKO strengthens the role of women in peacekeeping and peace building. They thanked the women’s CSOs without which the WPS agenda would not have come about.
They feel we have to focus on raising awareness at the grassroots level, fight against impunity, and note that empowered educated women are more likely to participate in peace processes and conflict protection.
They are implementing their second NAP (2013 – 2016).
Women’s participation is key to sustainable peace and they know this from experience. They will support the GAI with a minimum of 200,000 Euros.
If women are involved, it creates more peaceful societies. Political will and budget lines are important and that is why they have earmarked funds. They will give 4 million for civil society organizations and 3.6 million will be earmarked for gender issues. They also require training of 1325 for all Norwegian foreign officers. They aim to increase the participation of women in peace agreements.
They co-sponsored Resolution 2242. The Swiss government supported UN Women with 50 million, even in a tight budget climate. They have been supporting women’s groups in all levels. The fight against GBV will continue to be a priority. They call for zero tolerance for peacekeeping offenses against women.
They were involved with a 1325 taskforce within NATO. Most of WPS in Slovenia has been carried about as part of the NAP. There is a ratio of 47% women in government and 15% women in the armed forces. They will continue to promote WPS and human rights mechanisms. They are focusing on women in the police and military. They will continue to fund NGOs.
They are incorporating gender perspectives in all missions and making new guidelines in response to gender based violence. Gender perspectives are being put in the center of defense planning and they have appointed the first female commander. They are doing a lot, but they need to do more. They will finance gender-centered research. They welcome civil society in monitoring their action plan. Diversity gives strength.
Organization of American States (OAS)
They have more democracy but also higher levels of income inequality. There are high levels of violence against women. OAS commits to advocacy promoting the relevance of 1325 and other WPS resolutions, particularly those that address prevention of conflict.
Samantha Power, in reference to the three civil society speakers said, “Your bravery leaves us in awe, and your bluntness in describing the past 15 years should motivate us all.” Research has shown that peace processes involving women have a 23% more chance of enduring. While there has been some progress, only 22.5% of parliaments and legislative bodies worldwide are women. More needs to be done, measurable movements towards integrating the goals of UNSCR 1325.
They are currently drafting a NAP. Women and girls are not just entitled to safety but also an active voice.
They were the first country to have a NAP for UNSCR 1325. They indicated their level of commitment by their participation in events such as working with GNWP on the security sector workshop. They feel that we must be able to translate these principles into real policies that affect women.
They feel that violence against women results from religious and cultural roots and are human rights atrocities. If we do not tackle these injustices in times of peace, we will be able to do less in times of armed conflict. There are still feelings of frustration around many of these challenges. Women are underrepresented in the fora for developing peace, which is clear evidence that there has been a lack of political commitment. Venezuela is a land of peace, “we don’t have any armed conflicts and we don’t participate in any”. Their major battles are against poverty and exclusion.
Inspired by Chavez, their Bolivarian constitution bans exclusion and violence against women. Women have been speakers of the national assembly and have acted as moral leaders. 50% of their candidates must be women and they have created a ministry for a council of women.
Governments and civil society must work together with women playing a key role. Prevention and protection of GBV requires the involvement of men and boys; it includes everybody. They stress the complementarity of WPS with CEDAW. They support the adoption of the new resolution that they co-sponsored and call on all member states to make a more substantive commitment to gender equality, and women and girls become a cornerstone in peacebuilding.
The Dominican Republic
They feel right now is a unique opportunity to coordinate global policies. They do not have armed conflicts currently. The president is working toward gender equality, and therefore all plans and projects must include this. In 2016, all state institutions must include gender equality and non-discrimination against women.
Women are the missing link in the goal of sustainable development of peace. They must be able to exercise their full economic and political rights. This is only possible through access to education and technology – funding must be significantly increased. We must restructure the UN where women are at the forefront. The 5 permanent members should be true to the charter and elect a women Secretary General. With increased GBV, gender terrorism and trafficking, there is an impending need to create a targeted action plan for a cultural shift to a more harmonious society. It is the indigenous women that are most wise and knowledgeable, they share the aches and pains of mother earth, let us rediscover that through them women hold the power.
In 2015, they had the highest participation of women in training courses for peacekeeping operations (27%) and hope it will increase in the future. The main obstacles that prevent women’s full participation are mainly gender discrimination and economic and social exclusion, therefore it is vital to work towards an improvement on their rights. Political will is needed however.
There are still barriers to proper implementation, although they have laws on equal opportunities between men and women and a national plan on violence against women. They support a zero tolerance policy for peacekeeping. They have included more women (about 10%) of deployed peacekeepers on the ground.
They note that almost half of all peace agreements do not make note of women. To remedy this disparity, there needs to be more than a checkbook marked with women. Full and effective implementation is not just placing women in roles already in existence, but rather creating new roles. Just as there is not one single type of woman, there is not one single operational best practice. We must analyze the disconnect between how the UN talks about women and how they interact with women.
They have adopted Resolutions 1888 and 1889. There must be a gender perspective and protection of human rights in all operations. They have gender advisors in peacekeeping activities. They are planning on increasing their specialized training for officers.
Sponsored a global summit on women with the UN on September 27th, where the President announced $10 million to implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action. They will help countries with the challenges in girls’ health and education within 5 years.
They finalized their NAP for UNSCR 1325 last month and it has 150 goals. They are focusing on gender mainstreaming, fulfilling commitments, and the root causes of violent extremism. Japan upholds the GAI, although with no monetary commitment.
They are the first to have an all-female peacekeeping unit.
They feel that words and resolutions can only take us so far and we need to focus on practical steps. The issues are not new but the landscape is changing because of the current crisis with violent extremism and refugees (specifically with ISL and Boko Haram). No matter what the religion and ethnicity, the mistreatment of women is unacceptable. Women need to have meaningful participation in the peacebuilding and peacekeeping process. They are adding more senior positions for them.
CSOs play an important role in WPS. Strategies to promote women’s empowerment and participation must be put into place.
They adopted their NAP In 2010, the first country in Asia to do so. Just as weaving goes back generations, the NAP takes wisdom and experience from decades past. It has a budget, and a steering committee. There is a recent adoption of human rights standards. The focus has been on implementation, as opposed to just policy. The point is to make a real difference in women’s lives. They want the outcomes to be more women in peace negotiations, women friendly spaces, space for IDP women in centers, culture sensitive healing programs for Muslim women, training for foreign offices, prosecution for sexual based violence in the military, and the first government executive course in WPS. The NAP should be useful, it should make a difference you feel on your skin.
League of Arab States
In 2011 they launched the Arab Women’s Right to life free from violence. It is based on women’s participation in all levels of policy making. They are holding a high-level meeting on October14th, 2015, on gender and conflict. They are paying special attention to marginalized groups (highlighting those in the occupied areas of Palestine).
They have just become a member of the group of friends of WPS.
The situation remains troubling if not alarming. Pakistan will continue to ensure troops will be gender sensitive. The international peacekeeper award went to a Pakistani peacekeeper. They have the first female prime minister in the Muslim world.