I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
I would like to begin by thanking the Indian Presidency for organizing this debate and the Secretary-General, Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet and Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous for their valuable remarks. Special thanks for the insights of Bineta Diop on behalf of civil society.
The full implementation of all Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security is a priority for the Nordic countries. The issues at stake are central to the core mandate of the Security Council: maintenance of peace and security. We welcome the presidential statement adopted by the Council on 31 October.
We also welcome the report of the Secretary-General and we fully support its recommendations. The Nordic countries echo the concern over the lack of implementation, as shown by the information collected and analysed while using the indicators. We call for renewed urgency and greater consistency in implementing the resolutions on women, peace and security, all of which have been unanimously adopted and are binding and relevant to all member states. Not providing protection for women in conflict is a serious neglect. Not tapping the resources of women in building peace is a serious waste.
The Nordic countries´ support civil society and in particular women’s organizations that tirelessly work to prevent and solve conflicts, build peace and stability and defend human rights, often taking great personal risks in difficult conditions. Their work contributes to more sustainable and legitimate peace. They deserve our full political and financial support, as well as physical protection.
The Nordic countries work with numerous civil society organisations from many different countries and we plan to do so also in the future. The implementation and review of our own National Action Plans has greatly benefitted from the close cooperation with civil society. This year, through a meeting series with women’s rights advocates from several countries on the Council’s agenda, the Security Council has had an opportunity to hear directly from women working for peace and security in their countries before mandate renewals. We are encouraged by the steps taken by the Council in its country-specific work to address the concerns brought forward by these women advocates.
The incorporation of a gender perspective in peace and security efforts is not only necessary, but also effective and strategically opportune. Not only women, but whole families and communities will benefit. As will national institutions, the overall security situation and the rule of law, which is strengthened through, for example, measures to address impunity for human rights violations, including sexual violence.
Women and men must have full and equal opportunity to participate in all political processes linked to conflict resolution and the promotion of stability, peace and security. This includes conflict prevention, mediation processes at all levels, including contact groups and informal consultations as well as formal negotiations, peace agreement implementation mechanisms and donor conferences. It is of particular importance to support women’s full and effective participation in post-conflict constitutional and electoral processes, including through special measures and security arrangements. Special attention should also be paid in moments of mission drawdown.
This of course requires that everyone does their part. As committed member states, we commit to support women´s active participation and to foster a gender perspective in all our peace and security efforts. This includes promoting women´s inclusion in peace processes and ensuring that personnel and troops are adequately trained to fully take women’s rights and perspectives into account.
We thank the Secretary General for his report on Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution and its Annex I “United Nations Guidance for Effective Mediation”. Both the report and the Guidance highlight the importance of the role of the women. We call on the Secretary-General to nominate women as chief mediators and special envoys and as members of their teams.
Let me finish by commending UN Women for its crucial work in leading and coordinating the United Nations system on women, peace and security. We praise the work of the former Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Margot Wallström. We also welcome the appointment of her successor Ms Zainab Bangura and look forward to working closely with her, as well as with the UN Action against sexual violence in conflict.
In conclusion, twelve years after the adoption of Resolution 1325, we renew our commitment to the equal rights of women to determine the peaceful futures of their societies. We recognize that full and effective participation of women and men alike enhances the legitimacy of peace processes as well as the prospect of a durable and lasting peace. We have a collective responsibility to translate this awareness into further actions.
Thank you for your attention.