March 7, 2023
Let me congratulate you and your country, Mozambique, on your assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of March. We also commend you, Madam President, on the able manner you are presiding over this meeting and look forward to your continuing leadership. As we recall the promise that resolution 1325 held, when it was adopted in this very Chamber, under the Presidency of Namibia, we salute the efforts of not only the members that worked tirelessly to ensure the unanimous adoption of the first ever resolution on WPS in October 2000, but also the support of women-led civil society organisations and women’s advocacy groups whose efforts brought it to life.
We, commend the Mozambican delegation for affording this Council the opportunity to take stock of the implementation of Resolution 1325, and to set goals towards its further implementation, to advance the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace and security. In this regard, we also express appreciation to all the briefers for their rich perspectives which, rightly, point us towards the actions required to fulfil the commitments we have all made. Since the adoption of resolution 1325, there has been a significant increase in the frequency of gender-specific provisions in the mandates of UN peace operations among other decisions and elements of this Council. We have also witnessed a steady rise in the number of women, women’s groups and gender experts who serve as official or unofficial negotiators, mediators, and advocates, as well as the number of women who brief this
However, in spite of the encouraging progress, in many conflict contexts all over the world, women are seen only as powerless victims to be exploited rather than as agents of change whose capacities could be useful. Indeed, while we are proud witnesses of the remarkable work done by women peacebuilders and women’s advocacy groups all over the world, we are equally disheartened by the fact that women in many societies today have been robbed of their will to celebrate or even live. In Afghanistan, the continuing and progressive closure of the public space to women by the Taliban is unacceptable and represents an erosion of the gains made in the area of women’s rights.
In Colombia, afro-Colombian women have historically faced multiple forms of discrimination, abuse and exclusion from political and economic decision-making processes due to the intersection of their race, gender, and economic status. From Myanmar to Yemen, mothers, sisters, wives and daughters continue to be subjected to sexual violence, harassment and many other violations often as weapons of war. Torture, arbitrary detentions and harassment are also directed at the women who risk their lives defending women’s rights.
It is in these contexts that we urge governments, regional organisations and the international community at large to take concrete steps to protect the rights of women and ensure their participation in decision-making processes.
We welcome, in this regard, the immense courage and resilience shown by women civil society actors and peacebuilders in Africa over the years. Their ability to achieve considerable gains despite financial, cultural, technical and security challenges is a shining example of the well-known resourcefulness and bravery of the African woman.
In West Africa and the Sahel, women’s groups have played a critical role in advocating for peace and reconciliation. In Mali and Nigeria, networks of women CSOs work tirelessly to promote dialogue and understanding between different ethnic and religious groups, rescue abducted women and girls in occupied territories and provide rescued survivors with assistance and support, among others. These organizations, and many others like them on the continent are making a real difference in the lives of women in Africa and I wish to reiterate the importance of joining international efforts with those that are already happening at the grassroots level.
At the national level we urge governments not to lose momentum nor to diminish their ambition. In Ghana, under the coordination of Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the government. will continue to effectively implement Resolution 1325 through the second National Action Plan which spans the period 2020-2025. With the support of stakeholders such as the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and WANEP, my Ministry, under the National Action Plan, is overseeing the training of women in peace and security, including on issues such as conflict prevention and mediation at the community level.
We appreciate the contribution of the Elsie Fund, which in UNFIL has made it possible for appropriate facilities to be available for our female troops, and remain committed to enhance the levels of Ghanaian women in UN peacekeeping operations. We would continue to increase Ghana’s protective abilities through national legislation and policies. In conclusion, Madam President, as we mark this day dedicated to women, let us remember that Women’s voices bring real gender perspectives to peace discourses, which lead to better policies and more sustainable peace deals. Therefore, the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peacebuilding deserves our zealous and concrete action. We look forward to the 25th anniversary of resolution 1325 and hope that our redoubled efforts would bring us closer to our goals.
I thank you for your attention.