Mr. President

Congratulations on launching the Group of Friends of Women of the Sahel. My country is honored to join this group.

In its long-standing engagement for peace and development in the Sahel region, Switzerland will continue listening to women’s voices and building on their leadership to strengthen good governance, political accountability and gender equality.

Let me share three ideas on how the Security Council and this Group of Friends could enhance the participation of women in the Sahel. 

First, developing and implementing National Action Plans on Resolution 1325 strengthens women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and security matters and advances gender-responsive peacebuilding. Switzerland supports the development of Chad’s first Action Plan. In Mali, we support the Peace Circles, which build women’s capacity to play an active role in peace and reconciliation. The Group of Friends can amplify initiatives by linking up with the WPS Focal Points Network. Switzerland is glad to co-chair the Network with South Africa next year.

Second, we see scope for synergies with coordination platforms at the UN, such as the Peacebuilding Commission, and partner organizations beyond, like ECOWAS and the AU’s network of women mediators, FEMWISE-Africa. To promote a coherent approach to sustaining peace, we encourage the Group to exchange with all relevant stakeholders.

Finally, conflict analysis must be gender-responsive to enable inclusive peace processes. The inclusive composition of the Leadership Advisory Board puts the Group of Friends in good stead to promote joint analysis as a basis for peaceful conflict resolution and sustainable development in the Sahel.

We look forward to being part of these efforts together with all of you.

I thank you.