UN Warned That Without Women in Peace Process, There Will Be No Peace
Fifteen years after the United Nations passed its landmark resolution recognizing the links between gender, peace, and security, the body has still failed to bring women to the table, the head of the United Nations’ women’s agency said Tuesday, which has had a detrimental impact on the safety and rights of women, and the sustainability of peace, worldwide.
“A growing body of evidence shows that perhaps the greatest and most underutilized tool we have for successfully building peace is the meaningful inclusion of women,” UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka told the assembly.
The day-long Open Debate was held to mark the 15th anniversary the adoption of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325, which called for increased participation of women in peacebuilding efforts at all decision making levels, prevention of gender-based violence, protection of women and girls against violence, and the promotion of gender perspectives in peace missions. During the meeting, the Security Council adopted a new text, recommitting itself to this purpose.
However, during her remarks, Mlambo-Ngcuka noted that “the voices of women leaders and frontline activists for peace are rare in this forum,” and that her experience has shown that they are often “the true unsung heroes” in conflict situations.
“I have traveled and followed our work in displacement camps in Central Africa, Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, and to South Sudan, where the women peace activists shoulder the unseen burden of keeping communities together in the worst of times and under the worst of circumstances,” she said. “I have seen both the relevance of Security Council Resolution 1325 and conversely the many missed opportunities where it has not been put into effect, with dire cost.”
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