Reasserting how crucial women are in preventing and resolving conflicts and in peacebuilding, the United Nations Security Council today called on Member States and the Secretary-General to bolster efforts to empower women and increase their representation in decision-making.
In a presidential statement, the 15-member Council stressed the “importance of [women’s] equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security” and the “need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution.”
To this end, the Council urged Member States to enhance women’s representation at “all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms” regarding peace and security.
The Council also urged Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to forge ahead with his policy to appoint more women to senior positions, by naming them as special representatives and envoys, as well as to increase women’s participation in UN field-based operations as military observers, civilian police, human rights and humanitarian personnel.
Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, which holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency this month, read out the statement at a formal meeting held on the eve of International Women’s Day, marked each year on 8 March.
Regarding the landmark resolution 1325, which was adopted in 2000 and aims to boost women’s role in conflict prevention, peace-keeping and peace-building operations, Mr. Kumalo said the Council calls on Mr. Ban and Member States, in collaboration with civil society, to “strengthen its implementation.”
The Council’s meeting coincided with numerous other events pertaining to women taking place at UN Headquarters. General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa yesterday convened a two-day informal debate on women’s empowerment, while the UN Commission on the Women is currently holding its annual session under the theme of “the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.”
In today’s statement, the Council also said that it “remains deeply concerned by the pervasiveness of violence against women and girls in armed conflict,” condemning such practices as killing, maiming and grave sexual conflict in these situations and appealing for an end to impunity for acts of gender-based violence.
The Council also reiterated the necessity of fully putting into practice international human rights and humanitarian rights law protecting women and girls during and after conflicts.