Ms Mara Marinaki, EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and the implementation of UNSCR 1325 delivered a Statement on behalf of the European Union and its member states, at the United Nations Security Council Open debate on Women, peace and security on 13 October 2015 in New York:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, and I would like to congratulate Spain as the SC Chair for its initiative to organize this Open Debate, and the Prime Minister of Spain H.E. Mariano Rajoy for his presence and personal commitment in supporting the role of Women in Peace and Security, as well as to both Spain and UK, as the penholder, for your able stewardship in the drafting of Resolution 2242, which was adopted unanimously today.
And I would also like to commend the UNSG Ban for his strong support to the effective implementation of R1325, and pay tribute to the exceptional work of UN WOMEN and its Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngouka and her team. Finally I welcome the participation today at the Open Debate of the three ladies representatives of NGOs from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Libya, who gave us so eloquently a sobering recollection of the real facts on the ground that they and millions of other women are facing every day.
- The EU and its MS have a long-standing commitment to the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, in our internal and external action.
- The EU, as a security, development and political actor is heavily implicated in supporting conflict prevention, peace processes and addressing the consequences of conflict. From the 17 civilian and military missions that the EU has presently deployed worldwide, to the EU's role as a foremost global provider of development aid and humanitarian assistance, women, peace and security issues are a vital consideration in our external policies. From terrorism to intensified refugee and migrant flows, it is vital that the symptoms – and root causes – of global challenges are tackled with firmness and fairness.
- With this in mind, it is all the more important that we understand and embrace the role of women in conflict resolution and prevention. Women need to be heard as every step for women's rights, every victory on the status-quo, was hard fought – and as Malala Yousafzai pointed out: "We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."
- The European Union and the international community can undoubtedly do more to ensure that women's voices are heard and acted upon. The HL Review gives the opportunity to assess progress and enhance implementation of the WPS agenda. For this reason, the EU has contributed actively to preparations for the Global Study. We welcome the work of Ms. Coomaraswamy and her team, as well as the Secretary-General's Report.
- Therefore, the EU will continue to ensure that the WPS agenda will focus to:
- promote and protect the human rights of women and their participation as positive agents of change, agents of peace and development, and
- make conflict resolution and peacebuilding more effective,
- while we must also protect women in situations of conflict, and prevent them from becoming victims or perpetrators.
- On top of our long-standing, active and continuous commitment, we intend to do even more and to assume substantial financial commitments:
To thoroughly mainstream gender and to include gender-specific actions in all the EU financial instruments, we will allocate more than €100 million over the next 7 years to gender equality, women and girls' empowerment projects, while in the context of the EU's humanitarian assistance, we will tailor responses to the different and specific needs of women and men of all ages, using targeted tools to assess how effectively all EU's humanitarian actions integrate gender and age.
- We will continue prioritising our cooperation with the UN system:
- In the framework of our strategic partnership with UN Women under our Memorandum of Understanding, the EU will continue to support the UN Women in the area of WPS
- We will also continue to support the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura, and all work aimed at an integrated approach to prevent and punish acts of sexual violence, as well as to bring justice, services and reparation to its victims.
- The EU will also encourage the enhancement of the gender dimension throughbetter synergies in the UN peace and security architecture among all the ongoing UN Reviews.
- We will continue to engage in close dialogue and actively support civil society on issues concerning women in conflict and post-conflict situations, and to empower women's participation and leadership in peacebuilding initiatives, while we will pay particular attention to theprotection of women human rights' defenders, especially in situations of conflict.
- We remain convinced that coordination among the UN MS with international and regional organisations is key to the effective implementation of the WPS agenda.
- The EU believes in holding first of all ourselves to the highest possible standards.
Therefore, today we also commit that:
- We will improve the way we measure the impact of our actions, in order to enhance accountability.
In this context:
- The EU will update the indicators for its Comprehensive Approach to Implementation of UNSC Resolutions 1325 and 1820, to measure more effectively the impact of our action.
- We are in the process to complete a baseline study to measure how we have integrated gender into EU crisis management missions and operations.
- We must address the issues related to WPS in emerging challenges. The EU will actively coordinate its policies on WPS, and on preventing and countering violent extremism in all its forms. We condemn all forms of violence and abuses that women and girls, but also men and boys, have been suffering in the hands of terrorist groups and regimes in conflict zones, especially where terrorist groups fight their battles on the bodies of women and girls. We need to promote the positive role that women can play in countering terrorism and violent extremism in their families, their communities and their societies.
- Promoting gender equality is also a priority for the EU internally, and we are committed to lead by example to improve the gender balance in decision-making positions in our own institutions, including through a better representation of qualified female candidates in middle and senior management positions and as Heads of the EU Delegations abroad.
- At the same time, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has already created last month the post of the EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the implementation of R1325 on WPS, to mark EU's engagement with international, regional and national actors on gender- and WPS-related policies and actions and to contribute to the EU's internal coordination, and I have the honour to have been appointed to this post where I will work to enhance the visibility and effective prioritisation of gender and WPS in the EU's external action and to assist the work of the UN, in close consultation with all UN services and agencies.
Let me conclude by expressing the European Union's expectation for an ambitious outcome of the High-Level Review of UNSCR 1325, and an even faster and more ambitious implementation of the new Resolution 2242 adopted today.