The European Union welcomes the pertinent and sound report on the mainstreaming of the human rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations in the work of the Human Rights Council, and commends the progress made in this regard. However, there are still remaining gaps that deserve the attention of the Human Rights Council in the framework of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS).
The EU has been a staunch supporter of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda since its inception, and the 20th anniversary of the landmark UNSC resolution 1325 provides an important opportunity to renew our commitment to ensuring its implementation. The effective use of international human rights mechanisms, including those of the Human Rights Council, is critical to ensuring States are held to account for their WPS commitments.
The EU gives the highest priority to gender equality, women’s empowerment and their full, equal and meaningful participation in all spheres of society - including their right to decide over their own lives and bodies, both in times of peace and in times of war.
In general, but especially in times of conflict and post-conflict, women and girls are more at risk of human rights violations and abuses, and conflict-related violence, including sexual- and gender-based violence, than men. In particular SGBV and psychological violence remain a cruel and widespread tactic of war, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, terror and political repression. Regrettably, these kinds of violence are still rarely prosecuted as a war crime or a crime against humanity. Systematically addressing pre-existing gender-based discrimination and inequality will help to prevent conflict and to expand their scope to the full human rights of all women and girls. The protection of survivors and a survivor-centred approach aimed at justice, reparations and ending impunity must be prioritized. More efforts, determination and political will is needed to bring about meaningful change.
The EU is determined to continue speaking up and taking action for the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all women’s and girls, including in transitional justice processes. Promotion and protection of women’s and girls’ human rights are a pre-condition for any EU support worldwide.
The EU and its Member States continue to stand and act for the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all women and girls human rights and their engagement and participation in decision making processes, including in peace, crisis, conflict and post-conflict situations. The report underlines the importance of engagement with civil society organizations, including women’s organizations and women peacebuilders. The EU would welcome a reflection on how the Human Rights Council is take further steps to expand such engagement. Thank you.