We, the Security Council signatories of the Statement of Shared Commitments for the principles of Women, Peace and Security, Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States take this privileged opportunity to reaffirm that we are committed to women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in all conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding efforts and to ensuring that a gender perspective is consistently applied to country situation and thematic issues – true to the spirit of Resolution 1325.
We are here to demonstrate our support and continued mobilization in paving the way for the 25th anniversary of Resolution 1325. Today, we would like to pay tribute to the brave pioneers of the WPS agenda - women who, since the drafting of the UN Charter, knew that “there would never be lasting peace in the world unless women helped to make it”. We would also like to pay tribute to civil society actors, especially women´s movements, who find the strength to work for peace in these challenging times.
Women are often excluded from military decision-making. Yet, they are disproportionately affected by war. In the current context of exacerbated conflict, we continue to be appalled by the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence around the world. It is essential to increase prevention efforts and to hold perpetrators accountable, and ensure survivors’ access to justice, as well as gender-responsive medical, psychosocial and protection assistance. We further stress a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse. We reiterate the need for women’s full participation in the design and implementation of humanitarian response.
The annual report of the Secretary-General reminds us of the importance of addressing the WPS agenda across all of its four pillars. In this regard, the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women is a cornerstone of gender equality and of the WPS agenda. The right to equal participation is firmly rooted in the principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the United Nations Charter and international humanitarian and human rights law. We encourage efforts towards gender equality in all aspects of social, political, economic and public life in all member states, including in the electoral, constitutional, legislative and judicial spheres, as it is a proven tool in conflict prevention.
As we fail to do so, conflicts abound and we observe the disastrous consequences in terms of marginalization and exclusion of women. In this regard, we condemn in the strongest terms the flagrant human rights abuses and systemic discrimination against, and segregation, and exclusion of women and girls in Afghanistan, which may amount to gender persecution. We recall Afghanistan’s obligation to implement the provisions of instruments to which Afghanistan is a State party and by which it is bound.
When we ensure conditions for women to fully participate in all decision-making processes, we help advance international peace and security. At the same time, as the Secretary-General´s report underscores, we must be clear on the absolute need to protect and respect the rights of all women and girls, including by curbing political violence against women, both on and off-line. Women in the public sphere, including women journalists and human rights defenders, continue to face intimidation, harassment, and violence. We will ensure that this remains a priority, especially in view of electoral processes.
Friends, as members of the Shared Commitments, we are committed to amplifying women´s voices and to illustrating how their recommendations can be translated into our work here in the Security Council. The Shared Commitments is a cross-regional initiative that has enabled collective action. We welcome current and future Security Council Members to join the Statement of Shared Commitments. Together, we can ensure that the WPS agenda is implemented in concrete and tangible ways.
I thank you.