SECURITY COUNCIL STRESSES KEY ROLE WOMEN CAN PLAY
Presidential Statement Notes Some Progress in Gender Mainstreaming at UN, Seeks Naming of More Women as Special Envoys
NEW YORK, 31 October (UN Headquarters) -- Marking the second anniversary of its adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, the Security Council this afternoon reaffirmed its commitment to the provisions of that text, while condemning violations of the human rights of women and girls in conflict situations, and recognizing the vital role of women in promoting peace.
In a statement read out by its President, Martin Eboutou-Belinga of Cameroon, the Council also followed up on a two-session meeting, on 28-29 October, in which the Secretary-General’s report on the topic was introduced. [For further information on that meeting, see Press Releases SC/7550 and SC/7552.]
In today's statement, the Council welcomed the recommendations contained in that report and reaffirmed the importance of gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict reconstruction. While welcoming also the efforts of the United Nations system, Member States, civil society and other relevant actors to promote equal participation of women in peace and security, the statement said the Council remained concerned about the slow progress in the appointment of women as special representatives and envoys of the Secretary-General.
Noting that some progress had been made in gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping missions, the Council said the appointment of gender advisers at Headquarters was necessary. More systematic efforts for such mainstreaming were needed in the operations themselves. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to establish a database of gender specialists, as well as women’s groups and networks in conflict regions.
Also this afternoon, at the end of his month-long presidency of the Council, Mr. Ebouto-Belinga, speaking in his personal capacity, expressed thanks to all Council members for their support. He said that, for the whole world and Africa in particular, the Council was a diplomatic forum for cooperation that could not be replaced. His country appreciated the priority given by the Council in its quest for peaceful solutions to the region’s problems.
The meeting began at 4:43 p.m. and adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2002/32 reads, thus:
"The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the continuing and full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), and welcomes the increasing focus over the last two years on the situation of women and girls in armed conflict, and recalls the statement by its President of 31 October 2001 (S/PRST/2001/31) and the meeting held on 25 July 2002 and 28 October 2002 as expressions of that commitment.
"The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on women, peace and security (S/2002/1154) and expresses its intention to study the recommendations contained therein. The Council also welcomes the efforts of the United Nations system, Member States, civil society and other relevant actors, to promote participation of women in peace and security in equal conditions.
"The Security Council remains concerned about the slow progress in the appointment of women as special representatives and envoys of the Secretary-General, and urges the Secretary-General to increase the number of women serving as high-level representatives to achieve the overall goal of gender balance. The Council also urges Member States to continue to provide candidates to the Secretary-General for inclusion in a database.
"The Security Council, reaffirming the importance of gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict reconstruction, undertakes to integrate gender perspectives into the mandates of all peacekeeping missions, and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to ensure that all reports submitted to the Security Council in accordance with such mandates systematically address gender perspectives. The Council also requests the Secretary-General to provide systematic training of all staff in peacekeeping operations on gender perspectives, and to integrate gender perspectives into all standard operating procedures, manuals and other guidance materials for peacekeeping operations.
"The Security Council considers that the appointment of gender advisers at sufficiently senior levels at Headquarters is necessary. The Council notes that some progress has been made in gender mainstreaming at mission level, specifically through the establishment of gender units and gender advisers, but that more remains to be done in order to ensure that gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict reconstruction is thorough and effective, and applied systematically.
"The Security Council undertakes to integrate gender perspectives into the terms of reference of its visits and missions to countries and regions in conflict. To that end, the Council requests the Secretary-General to establish a database of gender specialists, as well as women’s groups and networks in countries and regions in conflict, and to include gender specialists in the teams where relevant.
"The Security Council recognizes the vital role of women in promoting peace, particularly in preserving social order and educating for peace. The Council encourages its Member States and the Secretary-General to establish regular contacts with local women’s group and networks in order to utilize their knowledge of both the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, including as victims and ex-combatants, and of peacekeeping operations, to ensure that those groups are actively involved in reconstruction processes, particularly at decision-making levels.
"The Security Council, recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1324 (2000) and 1379 (2001), encourages Member States, the entities of the United Nations system, civil society and other relevant actors, to develop clear strategies and action plans with goals and timetables, on the integration of gender perspectives in humanitarian operations, rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes, including monitoring mechanisms, and also to develop targeted activities, focused on the specific constraints facing women and girls in post-conflict situations, such as their lack of land and property rights and access to and control over economic resources.
"The Security Council deplores the continuing occurrence of sexual exploitation, including trafficking, of women and girls in the context of peacekeeping operations and humanitarian activities, and calls for the further development and full implementation of codes of conduct and of disciplinary procedures to prevent such exploitation. The Council encourages all actors, in particular troop-contributing countries, to enhance monitoring mechanisms, and to investigate and prosecute effectively cases of alleged misconduct.
"The Security Council condemns all violations of the human rights of women and girls in situations of armed conflict, and the use of sexual violence, including as a strategic and tactical weapon of war, which, inter alia, places women and girls at increased risk of contracting sexually-transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.
"The Security Council decides to remain actively seized of this matter and requests the Secretary-General to prepare a follow-up report on the full implementation of resolution 1325 to be presented to the Security Council in October 2004."
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