March 7, 2023
Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by H.E. Ms. Stella Ronner, European Union Ambassador for Gender and Diversity, at the United Nations Security Council: Open Debate on Women Peace and Security: Towards the 25th anniversary of Resolution 1325
Madame President, Excellences, Distinguished Participants, ladies and gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Türkiye, North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina*, the potential candidate country Georgia, as well as Andorra, Monaco and San Marino align themselves with this statement.
Assessing and addressing the disproportionate effect that armed conflict has on women and girls is as important now as it has ever been. The prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, offline and online, demands our attention. Implementing the full WPS agenda must be a core priority of this Security Council.
We face a changing security context, characterised by hybrid threats, energy blackmail, disinformation, food insecurity and the increasing weaponisation of suffering. Yet some problems are depressingly familiar. Women human rights defenders and peacebuilders keep being targets of attacks and threats in many parts of the world. This is unacceptable. We must address the disproportionate effect that armed conflicts continue to have on women and girls worldwide, as well as the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence including conflict-related sexual violence, offline and online, must remain highest priority.
To counter this, it requires close cooperation between the UN, member states, regional organisations, academia, think-tanks, civil society, human rights defenders, activists, journalists and media workers who cover first-hand, with high professionalism and self-sacrifice, the devastating reality of conflicts. The EU approaches the 25th anniversary with this mindset, encouraging everyone to implement a zero tolerance for reprisals against women human rights defenders and peacebuilders.
The EU therefore welcomes the Secretary General’s initiative of a New Agenda for Peace. We consider it essential that this New Agenda for Peace build on the existing WPS agenda and further strengthen the ability of the UN and all partners to deliver and implement it, in order to place women and gender equality at the heart of peace and security in the coming years including through implementing the Peacebuilding Commission’s gender strategy
The pursuit of a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine” requires the full force of the Charter and international law to deal with the different types of violence faced there by women and girls. But the same issues require equal attention wherever they occur, on all continents. As USG Bahous has underlined, women’s leadership is vital to building a resilient peace.
The EU continues to contribute to this by:
Gender mainstreaming the EU’s 21 civilian and military missions and operations, which currently deploy 5000 women and men around the world, working for peace and security.
Placing WPS at the top of the EU-UN Joint Priorities for Peace Operations and Crisis management 2022-2024, including by strengthening cooperation at field level and ensuring systematic gender mainstreaming in all joint activities.
Adopting Council conclusions on WPS in November 2022, reaffirming determination to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in security related decisions.
Finally, we continue to engage actively with women’s organisations and women human rights defenders working in conflict-related settings, as well as women mediators, women journalists and media workers and peace-builders. We work with them on conflict prevention, countering violent extremism and radicalisation, peace negotiations and peacebuilding, climate, peace, and security, humanitarian action and development programmes, through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
I thank you.
* North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.