“A systematic follow-up to ensure the inclusion of the women, peace and security agenda in the day-to-day work of this Council is necessary. The number, influence and leadership of women in conflict-resolution and in post-conflict governance and peace-keeping must increase,” said Mårten Grunditz, Permanent Representative of Sweden to UN. He spoke on behalf of the Nordic countries in the open debate on Women, Peace and Security on October 18, in which the new resolution was adopted. This year’s debate on the topic focused on women, rule of law and transitional justice in conflictsituations. The debate provided an opportunity for the wider UN membership to reflect on the progress made, and accelerate action on implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and its follow-up resolutions.
“I thank the entire Council membership for demonstrating its determination in today’s resolution to put women’s leadership at the center of all efforts to resolve conflict and promote peace. This resolution is about women’s peace leadership. This resolution puts the onus on all of us – the Security Council, the United Nations, regional organizations and Member States – to create the space and provide seats 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,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women said in her statement.
“While women have been increasingly taking leadership positions in business and politics, progress has been slow in peace processes”, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said when he opened the meeting, and added: “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.” Other participants at the meeting was Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Brigitte Balipou, founder of the Association of Women Jurists of the Central African Republic, speaking on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
Women and the Rule of Law
Ambassador Grunditz welcomed the focus of the debate on the rights, perspectives and participation of women in Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in conflict-affected situations. “We firmly believe that the Rule of Law must encompass the whole population – women and men, boys and girls – to be worthy of its name. Nevertheless, women’s perspectives, capacities and needs continue to be overlooked in efforts to establish the Rule of Law in a conflict or post-conflict context. To carry out the Rule of Law while excluding women is not only a paradox – it undermines the achievement of sustainable peace and security,” he said.
Ambassador Grunditz pointed out that, in order to play a role in peace and security, women must have access to basic rights in all phases of conflict. He therefore welcomed the Secretary General’s call for expanded access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly for victims of rape. The Nordic statement underlined that gender justice is not merely about women's needs as victims, but also about women’s valuable contributions to bringing about peace and their participation at the forefront in transitional justice and Rule of Law measures.