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13 September 2017
OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation N°861
Vienna, 13 September 2017
EU Statement on the Role of the Defence Sector in the Implementation of UNSCR 1325
1. The European Union and its Member States warmly welcome the speakers Mr. Djordjević Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, Major General Harris, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Ambassador Pešo, the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre, to the Forum for Security Co-operation and thank them for their presentations. We believe that the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions, including within Defence Sector institutions and organisations, is of the utmost importance. We are grateful to the Serbian FSC Chairmanship for bringing this topic to the FSC so early in the trimester.
2. UNSCR 1325 clearly sets out the importance of women in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security and seeks to ensure, inter alia, the equal participation of women - including in decision-making roles - in conflict prevention and resolution. Furthermore, the Resolution recognises the value of gender mainstreaming, specialised training and expanding the roles for women on field-based operations and within national, regional and international institutions involved in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. Therefore we welcome the emphasis of today's Security Dialogue in highlighting the evident role of the Defence Sector in the implementation of UNSCR1325.
3. Madam Chairperson, the EU adopted the policy on gender mainstreaming in Common Security and Defence Policy in 2006 and has since then developed a comprehensive policy framework on gender, human rights and UNSCR 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) in crisis management. Last year the EEAS carried out a baseline study to take stock on how the policies had been put to practice and what more can be done to further enhance the implementation of the gender
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mainstreaming and UNSCR 1325 agendas in the CSDP. The study also established 21 baselines allowing the measurement of future progress. The Baseline Study identified gaps but also presented good practices from civilian and military CSDP missions and operations. The EU Training Mission in Mali, for example, has developed common standards for International Humanitarian Law training that includes a specific gender component, and the Operation Sophia Headquarters has produced a training manual that emphasises a gender-sensitive approach. In 2015 the EU adopted its Gender Action Plan for the 2016 to 2020 timeframe, which further strengthens the gender policy framework.
4. The EU also cooperates widely with other International Organisations including the OSCE and UN Women. The EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace provides support to the OSCE in undertaking a Survey on the Well-being and Security of Women in the OSCE region. The survey will include a conflict dimension in order to examine the prevalence of violence against women in conflict affected contexts and deepen the understanding of how violence against women is related to conflict. Additionally participating States will recall the visit of the EU Principal Advisor on Gender, Ms Mara Marinaki, to the FSC in October 2016. We look forward to welcoming her back to Vienna to participate in the Austrian Peacekeepers conference on Women in Peace Operations next month.
5. In word and deed we firmly believe that a gender perspective, encompassing the equal participation of men and women, is an essential goal and a means to help prevent and resolve conflicts, and promote a culture of inclusive and sustainable peace.
6. The implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and related resolutions is highly relevant for the OSCE. We recall in this context the UNSCR 2242, which underlines the important role of regional organisations to implement fully the relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. The FSC has a significant stake in this topic and we believe today's dialogue can help promote the gender perspective in military forces and their activities across the OSCE area. As part of that we appreciate the practical steps taken by the CPC/FSC Support Section, including its statistical overview on the participation of women in verification activities. We also continue to support voluntary reporting on topics related to women, peace and security within the annual information exchange on the Code of Conduct. However we feel there is more that can and should be done and restate our support for the adoption of an OSCE-Wide Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security as one such step.
7. We note with concern the instances in Petrivske on 5, 11 and 15 May where female SMM members experienced gender-based intimidation and harassment. We deplore any and all such instances which should cease, and call for those responsible to be held accountable for their misconduct.
8. Madam Chairperson, we acknowledge there are challenges in fully integrating the women, peace and security agenda within the defence sector. Nonetheless we feel that doing so effectively can significantly enhance the functioning of armed forces, in tandem with the recognised contribution women can and should have in the achievement of sustainable peace and security. The areas that must be tackled are wide-ranging, from policy to training, providing inclusive participation and, by way of practical example, ensuring appropriate responses to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and sexual abuse. Therefore it is essential that all participating States ensure full participation of women in crisis management and continue training and deploying men and women who are able to integrate the gender perspective into military activities.
9. We are greatly encouraged by the comments of our speakers today and look forward to hearing the view of other pS on how we can continue to improve our work in this area.
The Candidate Countries the FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO* and ALBANIA*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and Potential Candidate BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, and the EFTA country ICELAND, members of the European Economic Area, as well as UKRAINE, GEORGIA and ANDORRA align themselves with this statement.
* The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.