Madam President,

Switzerland would like to thank Malta and the co-sponsors for bringing to the fore, through this Arria, the importance of a gender-sensitive approach in our efforts to combat and prevent terrorism. I would also like to greet today's speakers, who have shown us once again that strong partnerships and ongoing exchange, particularly with members of civil society, are inherent to the success of our efforts.

Switzerland has long been committed to the implementation of the "Women, Peace and Security" agenda, both in specific geographical contexts and in all its thematic work, including counter-terrorism.

We would like to make two points in this regard.

Firstly, a gender-sensitive approach recognizes that people are differently affected by violent extremism and terrorism and by measures to counter them. This enables us to understand the push and pull factors linked to specific conceptions of masculinity and femininity that are exploited by violent extremists to recruit women and men and incite them to violence. Switzerland is concerned by the way violent extremist and terrorist groups have long and successfully used a gendered approach to recruitment. To counter their efforts, we must therefore do more to strengthen the awareness and capacity of all those involved, particularly security and justice institutions. Switzerland remains committed to strengthening collaboration with civil society actors in all their diversity, and to ensuring that their recommendations are at the heart of our efforts, while protecting them from reprisals and instrumentalization. It is important that civil society, and women in particular, are an integral part of the development of policies and programs to prevent violence and build peace. Whether at local, national or international level, it's time they are recognized and mobilized for the transformative role and value of their contribution. Crucial work is already being done by CTED and UNWOMEN in this area, and we continue to support their efforts.

Secondly, Switzerland attaches great importance to accountability and the prevention of impunity, particularly in contexts where sexual and gender-based violence is used as a weapon and tactic of terrorism. This obligation is crucial to ensuring justice for victims, promoting reconciliation and preventing further violence. We remain true to our long-standing commitment, including supporting CTED in developing proposals for member states in this area.

Madam President,

I would like to conclude by emphasizing that gender mainstreaming is a prerequisite for the sustainable prevention of violent extremism and terrorism. To succeed, we must all work together, collectively. As the Secretary-General said in his opening address to the Counter-Terrorism Week: "We must ensure that counter-terrorism strategies and measures are inclusive of all communities, groups and voices - especially minorities, women and young people - and do not prevent civil society from carrying out its essential work." His words will continue to guide our engagement on this issue, within the Council and beyond.

Thank you all very much.


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