Peacekeeping requires more women - 13 October 2015 [fr]
Women, Peace and Security - Speech by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 13 octobrer 2015
I should like at the outset to thank the Secretary-General and the Prime Minister of Spain, Mr. Mariano Rajoy Brey,for their outstanding efforts to promote the women and peace and security agenda of the Security Council.
This has allowed us to celebrate today the fifteenth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000), which is at the heart of so many of the other resolutions adopted by the Council and also at the heart of France’s priorities.
I also wish to acknowledge the outstanding work of the Executive Director of UN-Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, whose coordination role to promote this agenda and gender equality within the United Nations is absolutely essential.
Finally, I wish to thank Ms. Lusenge, Ms. Mohammed and Ms. Murabit for their poignant testimonies and their relentless commitment to giving Congolese, Iraqi and Libyan women a voice, a place and a chance in their respective societies. Their commitment is a source of admiration and inspiration for us all.
This high-level meeting on the issue of women and peace and security does not only mark the anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) 15 years ago, nor is it a simple review of the progress made since 2000. It represents a new start for the women and peace and security agenda — a new start for more equality. In that regard, I welcome the unanimous adoption of resolution 2242 (2015), which will allow us to pave the way for a revival of the women and peace and security agenda in the years to come.
I wish to emphasize two aspects of that relaunch.
First, it is a political revival, in the best sense of the term. Indeed, the women and peace and security agenda is a political agenda and should be treated as such by States and the United Nations. States have the responsibility to ensure the more active participation of women in political processes, peace negotiations and conflict resolution and prevention mechanisms. States have the responsibility to involve women’s organizations in policy discussions, not only to hear their voices but above all to enable them to contribute to decisions.
It is also the responsibility of States to appoint more women to key positions, including with respect to the prevention and resolution of conflicts. The United Nations also bears this political responsibility. The appointment of more women to the positions of special envoy or high-level expert alongside the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General is a step in the right direction.
Such policy decisions must multiply. It a question not of symbols but of added value critical to the Organization.The review of the women and peace and security agenda also represents a new operational framework. In particular, the maintenance and consolidation of peace require more women, not only in peace operations, but also through all the issues related to peacekeeping and peacebuilding. The planning and mandates of operations should take these issues into account at all stages of a crisis: upstream, to prevent risks; during, to protect women from violence; and afterwards, to help victims to rebuild.
Good cooperation between the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support with UN-Women is indispensable to that end. I commend the efforts of those Departments to take better into account the situation of women in peacekeeping operations.I have stressed the responsibility of Member States and the United Nations for the implementation of measures related to the women and peace and security agenda.
I wish to conclude my remarks by citing France’s actions in that regard. Since 2010, the French Government has adopted two national action plans for the implementation of the women and peace and security agenda.
These national action plans are subject to an evaluation of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights and our Parliament. To that end, France has mobilized several million euros to support some 50 projects dedicated to strengthening the capacities of women in countries in conflict, such as Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to Syrian refugee women living in camps in neighbouring countries, with the support of UN-Women and several non-governmental organizations.
You have asked, Sir, that this high-level review serve as an opportunity for States to announce specific commitments.
I wish to share three instances of France’s commitments.At the political level, France is committed to strengthening its mobilization to promote the women and peace and security agenda nationally, internationally and regionally. At the national level, we will increase the visibility of our plan of action. France, more than 20 per cent of whose ambassadors are women, is committed to achieving the target of 40 per cent women appointed to high-level diplomatic positions by 2018.
That process is well under way. At the international level, we will pursue our efforts in the Security Council to ensure that the provisions of resolutions on women and peace and security are well represented in the mandates of peacekeeping operations,as they are in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.
In the European Union, we continue to advocate for the inclusion of women in the Common Security and Defence Policy and to support the protection of women in conflict situations and in crisis resolution.At the operational level, France — which, through the deployment of over 900 military and police personnel, is contributing to six peacekeeping operations — is committed to the utmost vigilance and resolve to ensure compliance with the rules laid down by the United Nations in the fight against sexual abuse and respect for human rights.
The recruitment, training and deployment of our personnel to operations will continue according to a national process that ensures compliance with these rules. In the case of recent allegations of sexual abuse, our political leaders are deeply committed to the adoption of the most stringent sanctions, in addition to the judicial response, where such cases prove legitimate.Finally, at the financial level, I am pleased to announce that France will contribute €50,000 to the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women.
The most recent biennial General Assembly resolution on the fight against violence against women (resolution 69/147), which France and the Netherlands have led since 2006, calls on States to contribute to the Fund. We hope that other States will follow. This contribution complements the financial support to the tune of €100,000 that France will offer UN-Women to strengthen women’s access to justice.
This high-level meeting marks not the end but the beginning of an ambitious reform of the women and peace and security. France is determined to accompany this reform for more equality so as to promote change in the perception and treatment of issues related to women in the United Nations. As the French poet Louis Aragon once said, “Woman is the future of man”. Woman is also the future of peace.