7 March 2023
Thank you, Madame President.
I congratulate Mozambique for its Presidency of the Security Council for this month. Congratulations also for convening this debate on the eve of International Women’s Day! I also thank the Executive Director UN Women, Mrs. Sima Bahous, African Union Special Envoy, Bineta Diop and President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, H.E. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger for their insights on the topic of today’s discussion.
- The cultural ethos of India has taught her people to regard our planet earth as a mother. As a nation with a strong civilisational character rooted in women’s empowerment and equal participation in social and economic life, we strongly believe that the progress of women is the very basis for the empowerment of a nation.
- UNSC Resolution 1325 was path breaking, as it ushered in a gendered perspective to the maintenance of international peace and security. It for the first time recognized that women are disproportionately affected by violence and that their participation in the peace processes is indispensable for forging lasting peace and security.
- Over the years, we have seen a strengthening of the normative framework of the Women Peace and Security agenda. However, in spite of that, women are still routinely under-represented in and excluded from formal peace processes, political dialogues and peacebuilding. The gender perspective is yet neglected in conflict prevention, recovery, and reconstruction.
- It is our collective responsibility to take the Women, Peace and Security journey forward at a pace that fully harnesses its transformative potential. Four issues are particularly relevant in this regard:
One, Member States must provide a conducive environment for the participation and inclusion of women in political processes and decision-making. To foster such an enabling environment, the principles of democracy, pluralism and the rule of law are essential prerequisites. In this context, as this Council is aware, we have been emphasising the importance of an inclusive and representative governance in Afghanistan, with the meaningful participation of women in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2593 of 2021.
While supporting political participation, we must also equally focus in a holistic manner on the socio-economic empowerment of women, including their access to credit, finance and technology. Digital technologies have enormous potential to empower women by providing greater access for women to education, finance, credit, social services, marketplace and employment.
Two, the United Nations and regional organisations must assist national authorities, upon their request, in developing capabilities to strengthen their national legal frameworks and related institutional structures for ensuring accountability and checking the impunity of those perpetrating violence against women.
Member States should also be provided support for capacity building in post-conflict situations to address meaningfully and institutionally the inequalities and violence faced by women, and to ensure their full participation in decision-making. A focus on women in peacebuilding efforts is crucial.
Three, women police officers and peacekeepers play an indispensable role in furthering the WPS agenda in post-conflict situations. India welcomes efforts towards a Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy leading to an increase in the deployment of women peacekeepers. In January 2023, India had deployed a platoon of Women Peacekeepers in Abyei as part of the Indian Battalion in United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA). This was our single largest deployment of women peacekeepers. In 2007, India was the first country to deploy all-women Formed Police Units in Liberia. These initiatives are reflective of our intent to increase significantly the number of women in Peacekeeping contingents.
India also supports increasing the deployment of Women Protection Advisors for effective monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on sexual violence in conflicts.
Four, terrorism and violent extremism continue to be the biggest violators of human rights and a persistent threat to global peace and security. Needless to say, women and girls suffer invariably and disproportionately. Violence against women and girls perpetrated by terrorists remains rampant. This deserves the strongest condemnation and calls for the adoption of a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of terrorism.
- Before I conclude, let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. My delegation considers it unworthy to even respond to such malicious and false propaganda. Rather, our focus is where it shall always be – positive and forward looking. Today’s discussion is critically important to strengthen our collective efforts to accelerate the full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We respect the topic of the debate and recognise the importance of time. As such, our focus shall remain to topic.
- I will conclude, Madame President, by reiterating India’s firm commitment to contribute further to the normative and practical aspects of the WPS agenda.