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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
Security Council
23 October 2007


Security Council
SC/9151

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Security Council
5766th Meeting (AM & PM)



SECURITY COUNCIL DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT ‘PERVASIVE’ GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

AS IT HOLDS DAY-LONG DEBATE ON WOMEN, PEACE, SECURITY
 
Members Adopt Presidential Statement as Secretary-General
Urges Strengthening of Collective Response to ‘Hideous’ Behaviour


The Security Council expressed its deep concern today that gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, remained pervasive despite its repeated condemnation of all acts of violence, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse in situations of armed conflict.

In a statement read out by Akwasi Ose-Adjei, Foreign Minister of Ghana, which holds the rotating presidency for October, the Council said such acts had become systematic in some situations, reaching “appalling levels of atrocity”.  It stressed the need to end impunity as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking peace, justice, truth and national reconciliation.  The Council called on all parties to armed conflict to respect international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as civilians, and to bear in mind the relevant provisions of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.

Presidential statement S/PRST/2007/40 summarized today’s Council debate on “Women and peace and security”, in which more than 50 speakers participated, and which was intended to take stock of progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

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Opening the debate, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that, since the adoption of the landmark resolution, women had increasingly participated at all levels of peacemaking and peacebuilding, and peace processes had increasingly empowered women and advanced gender equality.  However, countries in conflict or those emerging from it needed to establish their own national action plans and take ownership of the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

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Presidential Statement

The full text of Presidential Statement S/PRST/2007/40 reads as follows:

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the full and effective implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security, and recalls the relevant statements of its President as reiterating that commitment.

“The Security Council reaffirms the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.

“The Security Council recalls the 2005 World Summit Outcome (General Assembly resolution 60/1), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (A/CONF.177/20/Rev.1), the outcome document of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century” (A/S-23/10/Rev.1), in particular the statements in these documents concerning women and peace and security and the Declaration of the forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (E/CN.6/2005/11).

“The Security Council recognizes the importance of ensuring the respect for the equal rights of women and, in this regard, reaffirms the importance of the equal role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and stresses the need for their full and equal participation in peace processes at all levels.  The Council urges Member States, regional and subregional organizations and the United Nations system to enhance the role of women in decision-making with regard to all peace processes and post-conflict reconstruction and rebuilding of societies as vital in all efforts towards the maintenance and promotion of sustainable peace and security.

“The Security Council is concerned that armed and other types of conflicts still persist in many parts of the world and are an ongoing reality affecting women in nearly every region. In this regard, the Council expresses deep concern that civilians, particularly women and children, continue to account for the vast majority of victims of acts of violence committed by parties to armed conflicts, including as a result of deliberate targeting, indiscriminate and excessive use of force. The Council condemns these acts and demands that those parties immediately put an end to such practices.

“The Security Council reaffirms in this regard that parties to armed conflict bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of affected civilians, in particular, giving attention to the specific needs of women and girls.

“The Security Council recognizes the constant underrepresentation of women in formal peace processes and is deeply concerned about persistent obstacles and challenges resulting from situations such as violence against women, shattered economies and social structures, lack of rule of law, poverty, limited access to education and other resources, various forms of discrimination and stereotypes.

“The Security Council remains concerned about the low number of women appointed as Special Representatives or Special Envoys of the Secretary-General to peace missions. The Council urges the Secretary-General to appoint, taking into account the principle of equitable geographical representation, more women to pursue good offices on his behalf. The Council urges Member States to redouble their efforts to nominate women candidates to the Secretary-General, for inclusion in a regularly updated centralized roster. In turn, the Council calls on the Secretary-General to increase the profile and transparency of this procedure, and issue guidelines to Member States on the process of nomination to senior posts. In addition, the Council reaffirms its call for broader gender mainstreaming in all peacekeeping operations, and welcomes United Nations peacekeeping operations policies to promote and protect the rights of women and to take into account a gender perspective as set out in resolution 1325 (2000).

“The Security Council takes note of the second follow-up report of the Secretary-General on women, peace and security (S/2007/567), and the various initiatives and actions undertaken by the United Nations entities in the context of the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000); calls on the Secretary-General to update, monitor and review the implementation and integration of the Plan; conduct a system-wide evaluation in 2010 of progress achieved in implementing the Plan in 2008-2009, and report thereon to the Council.

“While welcoming the progress achieved so far, the Security Council recognizes the need for full and more effective implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).

“In this regard, the Security Council reiterates its call on Member States to continue to fully and effectively implement resolution 1325 (2000), including, where appropriate, through the development and strengthening of national efforts and capacities, as well as the implementation of national action plans or other relevant national level strategies.

“The Security Council calls on the international community to provide, where needed, financial and technical support, as well as adequate training, for national implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), and on the United Nations system, civil society and other relevant actors to collaborate and provide assistance in line with national priorities to Member States, particularly those affected by armed conflict, in the rapid development of national action plans, and work closely with national mechanisms responsible for the implementation of the resolution, including, where appropriate, through the United Nations country teams. To this end, requests the Secretary-General to include in his annual report to the Council information on progress on measures taken to improve, where appropriate, the capacity of relevant Member States, information on progress made at national level to implement resolution 1325 (2000), including information on best practices.

“The Council emphasizes the importance of strengthening cooperation between Member States as well as the United Nations entities and regional organizations in adopting and promoting regional approaches to the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in all its aspects.

“The Security Council strongly condemns all violations of international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law, committed against women and girls in situations of armed conflict, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. In this regard, the Council urges the complete cessation by all parties of such acts with immediate effect.

“The Security Council is deeply concerned that despite its repeated condemnation of all acts of violence, including killing, maiming, sexual violence, exploitation and abuse in situations of armed conflict, and despite its calls addressed to all parties to armed conflict for the cessation of such acts with immediate effect, and for the adoption of specific measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape, and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as all other forms of violence, such acts remain pervasive, and in some situations have become systematic, and have reached appalling levels of atrocity. The Council stresses the need to end impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking peace, justice, truth and national reconciliation.

“In this context, the Council reiterates paragraph 9 of resolution 1325 (2000) and calls on all parties to armed conflict to respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as civilians, in particular the obligations applicable to them under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, the refugee Convention of 1951 and the Protocols thereto of 1967, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979 and the Optional Protocols thereto of 1999 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and the two Optional Protocols thereto of 25 May 2000, and to bear in mind relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to include in his reporting to the Council on situations of armed conflict, information on: progress in gender mainstreaming throughout the United Nations peacebuilding and peacekeeping missions; data on the impact of armed conflicts on women and girls, including account of instances of all forms of violence against women and girls, including killing, maiming, grave sexual violence, abductions and trafficking in persons, committed by the parties to armed conflict; special measures proposed and taken to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape, and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict, in order to end impunity, ensure accountability and uphold a zero tolerance policy for violence against women and girls.

“The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to prepare a follow-up report on the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), incorporating information on the impact of armed conflicts on women and girls in situations that are on the agenda of the Council, and also information on their protection and on the enhancement of their role in peace processes, to be submitted to the Security Council in October 2008, and may request the Secretary-General to give an oral briefing on the progress of the report.

“The Security Council decides to remain actively seized of this matter.”

Background

The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s report on women and peace and security (document S/2007/567), which reviews implementation of the United Nations System-wide Action Plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in the past year.

According to the report, the United Nations system has made significant progress in many substantive areas of the Plan, including mainstreaming a gender perspective, human rights, peace and security, advocacy, capacity-building, training, development of manuals and guidelines, improving accountability and building partnerships with women’s national machineries, organizations and networks.

However, there were still gaps, the report says.  For that reason, the 2008-2009 Action Plan is reconceptualized into a results-based programming, monitoring and reporting tool, with focus sharpened on the thematic areas of prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery, and partnerships.

To further accelerate the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000), the Secretary-General recommends that Member States develop their own action plans, for which the United Nations should provide support.  In addition, the United Nations system should work closely with national mechanisms to implement the resolution, and the international community should provide resources in a timely and sustainable manner.

The Organization should also accelerate the development of a comprehensive information management system to share relevant lessons learned with Member States, the Secretary-General says, adding that operational inter-agency coordination must be strengthened in all such efforts.  All stakeholders must engage leadership at the highest levels in advocacy for the resolution, especially in conflict and post-conflict countries.  Grass-roots women’s initiatives should be supported, and monitoring and reporting at all levels must be improved, both within the United Nations system and within Member States.

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Statements

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MARJATTA RASI, Under-Secretary of State of Finland, ...

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She said there was a need to pay increased attention to the equal and active participation by women in activities ranging from conflict prevention to peace negotiations through reconstruction and political participation.  Without their involvement, there would be no sustainable peace, and the support and respect of the majority of the population might be lost.

The international community was in a key position to promote gender-balanced participation by all parties, she said, referring to efforts undertaken by the International Women’s Commission.  Founded by Palestinian and Israeli women, together with UNIFEM, the Commission worked for a just and sustainable peace in that region.  Other locally initiated dialogues, such as meetings of the Kosovo Women’s Network and the Serbia’s Women in Black, should also be recognized and encouraged.

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DAN GILLERMAN ( Israel), stressing that women must play an equal role in all aspects of the State and civil society, said their advancement would translate into advancement and progress for all.  National mechanisms for the advancement of women needed strengthening to ensure their active participation in the formulation of public policy on matters of peace and security.  In Israel, the women’s equal rights law, amended in the spirit of resolution 1325 (2000), mandated that the Government include women in any group appointed to peacebuilding negotiations and conflict resolution.  Tzipi Livni, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, had been appointed last week to lead negotiations with the Palestinians.

He said that, due to the important choices being made on the ground, namely the existence of a Palestinian Government that accepted the Quartet principles and was committed to dialogue with Israel, a sense of renewed hope and optimism could be felt.  As Israeli and Palestinian leaders continued to meet, there was a movement of Israeli and Palestinian women working together, from across civil society and the political spectrum, to advocate for peace.  Israel took great pride in their leadership.  Only with the full participation of women in all aspects of conflict resolution, peacemaking and security would there be viable social, economic and political subsoil for democratization, sustainable development and peace to grow.

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AHMED AL-JARMAN ( United Arab Emirates) ...

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... As for women victims in occupied Palestine and the women of Iraq, the United Arab Emirates called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities, as, without the political will to find a solution, the region would continue to live in insecurity and instability, which nourished violence against women.

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For information media • not an official record

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