"Open debate on women and peace and security"
Statement by Ambassador Henrique Valle
Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
 Security Council, New York, 27 October  2005

 

Brazil welcomes the initiative of the Romanian Presidency to convene this open debate on women and peace and security. This is a proper and timely occasion to discuss the implementation of resolution 1325, five years after its adoption of a text of great significance. We join other delegations in expressing our appreciation to the distinguished speakers for their presentations.

The importance of the full and effective implementation of the resolution is outlined in the 2005 World Summit Outcome. We need to continue to persevere in our efforts to empower women’s role in the various branches of UN peace and security activities, from conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction.

Over the last quinquennial, the Council has dealt with gender issues not only in its periodic thematic debates but also in tackling country specific situations. Progress has been made in integrating gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations, with concrete repercussions in the system.

While acknowledging the essential contributions made by women as peacemakers and peacebuilders in many settings, we are confronted with the reality of under-representation of women in peace processes as a whole. We have therefore to promote change in order to ensure full-fledged or at least an increased ratio of female participation in decision-making, not only in cease-fire negotiations but also in transitional processes.

The special needs of women and girls should be addressed in actions such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. With regard to transitional justice, the UN can work closely with national authorities in establishing programs aimed at ensuring accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations, including gender-based violence.

In this respect, it is deeply regrettable that women continue to be seriously affected by conflict. The despicable and recurrent practice of gender-based violence, especially rape and other forms of sexual abuse, is one of the worst challenges we face in terms of protection.

The issue of sexual abuse and exploitation by all categories of personnel in UN peacekeeping missions is also disturbing. We must condemn, in the strongest terms, all acts of sexual misconduct and implement codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures to prevent such acts from happening again and ensure full accountability. We support the measures undertaken by DPKO on this issue.

Mr. President,

To face these and other gender challenges in peace and security, comprehensive strategies must be pursued and concrete targets must be met.

My Delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for submitting to the Council an action plan aiming at the implementation of resolution 1325 across the UN system. Initiatives such as training not only for women’s organizations but also for peacekeeping personnel and capacity-building could be certainly intensified. We also recognize the importance of identifying women candidates for senior and decision-making positions, including special representatives and envoys, with due regard to equitable geographical distribution. The report also mentions that it is necessary to increase financial support for implementation of resolution 1325, including through extrabudgetary resources.

In addition, the contribution of civil society, especially women’s organizations, is fundamental in this process. Apart from the engagement with civil society at the national and regional levels, there have been increased informal exchanges between the Council and civil society organizations. In this respect, we thank Denmark for having organized an Arria Formula meeting, which helped to prepare this discussion.

As for intergovernmental oversight, one cannot disregard the possibility of cooperation between the Security Council and the ECOSOC, under article 65 of the Charter. The Peacebuilding Commission can contribute to the implementation of resolution 1325 and it will benefit from women’s skills and perspectives in peacebuilding processes.

Finally, Mr. President, the “Five Years On” report of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security notes that “when women are excluded … from peace negotiations and peacekeeping initiatives…, peace will, categorically, not work for women”. The Security Council needs to ensure that gender concerns continue to be included in new peacekeeping mandates. In doing so, we will strengthen our commitment to gender mainstreaming and reaffirm once again the fundamental role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding.

 Thank you.