Switzerland would like to thank Kenya for organizing this debate in an inclusive manner by achieving the return to direct participation for all Member States. We also congratulate Kenya for making - together with Ireland and Mexico - Women, Peace and Security a priority of its presidency. This leadership serves us as a good example.
“The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing”. These are the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, a great defender of human rights. The same applies to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Indeed, many gaps between the normative framework and the reality on the ground persist.
Investing in women peacebuilders, as the topic of this open debate emphasizes, is essential to this long-term mission. We would like to highlight three areas in which Switzerland is making and will continue to make a particular contribution.
First, Switzerland is dedicated to bringing more women to the negotiating table. The full, equal and meaningful participation of women in political and peace processes is one of the key lines of action of our foreign policy strategy. In Lebanon, for example, we are supporting a dialogue process between women from different political parties and women active in opposition movements. In Switzerland, we recently launched a network of women mediators and peacebuilders. However, there is a need to better link local processes with multilateral engagement. We welcome the record number of women from civil society who briefed the Security Council last month. The Council should consider a more systematic follow-up to the briefers’ recommendations.
Second, in 2022 South Africa and Switzerland will co-chair the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network. We will work towards the systematic application of existing tools such as National Action Plans. In addition, Switzerland will also give priority to strengthening its activities in favor of women's participation, cooperation with civil society and protection against sexual and gender-based violence. For this reason, we are also pleased to be a signatory to the Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action Compact.
The third area is the most innovative one. We continue to invest in the link between "Women, Peace and Security" and digitalization - taking into account the significant opportunities but also the many risks that can arise. Switzerland supported a study on the challenges and opportunities of digitalization for women peacebuilders. The study was conducted by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and ICT4Peace, based in Geneva. In addition, we have just relaunched a digital application together with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom this week. We are convinced that it will also serve Council members.
As a candidate for the Security Council in 2023 and 2024, Switzerland will maintain and strengthen its commitment to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We will work to be a plus for peace and a plus for innovation.