What a difference a year can make.
Eight years after the adoption of resolution 1325, the Security Council was still debating whether sexual violence was an issue of relevance to peace and security. Then came resolution 1820, which made it clear:
Where women are not secure – there is no security.
But still, the international community has for too long been somewhat ambivalent and indecisive with regard to implementation, and action on the ground. Until last week.
On behalf of Norway, let me congratulate the Council on the unanimous adoption of resolution 1888. With its comprehensive, yet concrete recommendations for action, this is truly a piece of work you can be proud of.
What happened was leadership!
In the past few months we have seen how men - and even some women - in high and powerful positions, took a decision to make the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict their top priority.
Two lessons are clear from this:
First: Where there is political will – there is a way.
And second: Women in power positions can make a difference – to the better.
One year from the 10th anniversay of resolution 1325, time has now come for the Council – and the international community - to show the same resolve on other remaining challenges in the promotion of women, peace and security.
Women must be recognized, not only as victims of war, and peace beneficiaries - but most importantly; as peace and security providers.
We therefore welcome this open debate, to set the course for the next twelve months. A course not littered with re-commitments and repeated regrets, but one that spells out specific results to be achieved, and to be measured, by October 2010.
We support the Secretary General’s call for the Council to urgently establish a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of resolution 1325.
Such a mechanism must have clear indicators and benchmarks, including with regard to women’s participation at all levels of peacekeeping, peacebuilding, post-conflict negotiations and mediation.
Measuring financial investments and gender-sensitive funding provisions is also crucial in this regard.
While such monitoring is needed and welcome, the fundamental facts are already well known:
Women are under-represented, women’s needs are under-funded, and gender sensitive expertise is lacking, both in the field and in capitals.
As UNIFEM points out in its excellent study of Post-Conflict Needs Assessments, only 2,1 percent of signatories to peace agreements were women, while less than 8 percent of post-conflict budgets specifically mention women’s needs.
This must change, Mr. President – and Norway stands ready to continue our contribution.
This year alone, we have allocated more than 50 million dollars specifically for women’s empowerment, of which implementation of resolution 1325 is a key component.
Implementing our own National Action Plan since early 2006, we have identified a number of lessons learned.
Key among these is the recognition of the need to address traditional impediments - including male chauvinism - and take pro-active political and financial measures to involve women directly, both in formal governance structures and in cooperation with civil society.
We have established a dedicated gender task-force in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to mainstream these concerns in all aspects of our foreign policy, including the follow-up to 1325.
Such an approach is equally relevant to the United Nations system.
We appreciate the Secretary General’s dedication to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and would encourage him to confirm his leadership on this issue, both in ensuring the establishment of the new composite gender entity agreed by the General Assembly last month, and in his appointments of special representatives and special envoys.
Appointment of a gender adviser in the Department of Political Affairs would also be most welcome.
Thank you Mr. President.