Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti
Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
Women and Peace and Security
New York, 27 April 2010
I thank you for organizing this briefing. We welcome Special Representative Margot Wallström and ASG Rachel Mayanja and thank them for their very important presentations.
In the almost ten years since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), the international community has come a long way. We have understood more fully the implications of armed conflict for women. We have also become more aware of their specific needs and roles in maintaining or restoring peace and security. Through resolution 1820 (2008) we have recognized the gravity of sexual violence and have enhanced our actions against it.
Resolution 1325 deals with women as agents of peace. Such a role comprises many facets ranging from conflict prevention to post-conflict peacebuiding. I would like to briefly touch upon two of such facets.
The first one regards institutions. In post-conflict scenarios, where institutions are rebuilt and gradually consolidated, there is often a window of opportunity to surmount historical gender inequalities or insensitivities. It is precisely when the redistribution of power and roles within a society is being redrawn after the trauma of war that efforts must be made to ensure that the concerns and needs of women are duly contemplated. This is especially applicable to processes such as constitutional, political and educational reforms.
The second aspect I wish to stress relates to the economic empowerment of women in post-conflict situations, which is as important as institutional empowerment. Of particular relevance is the participation of women in efforts to rehabilitate and reactivate the economy. Given the fundamental role played by women in key economic sectors, particularly in agriculture, the impact of development projects can be enhanced if such projects are focused on women.
Resolutions 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009) took us further in our endeavour regarding women, peace and security, as they help us to translate a wider awareness of challenges and opportunities into effective action.
Among the decisions taken by the Security Council in such resolutions, two are particularly relevant due to their potential implications in the mid and long-term.
The first one is the request to the Secretary-General to submit a set of indicators to track implementation of resolution 1325. The development of indicators is meant to allow for a more rigorous and result-oriented interventions.
We look forward to the consultative process that will follow and give all stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to the further development of the proposed indicators. In such effort, we should bear in mind the importance of focusing on qualitative, rather than quantitative ways of measuring progress, and of ensuring flexibility, as challenges facing each country are different and should be recognized and treated as such.
It would be important to guard against putting additional reporting burden on developing States, especially those emerging from conflicts. Collecting and aggregating data and preparing reports can be a challenging task. Instead of a mechanism for academic analysis, the indictors must support countries in their practical efforts to improve the situation of women in post-conflict situations.
The second important decision by the Security Council in 2009 regarding women, peace and security was the establishment of the post of Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. It provides the UN system with an authoritative voice empowered to "provide coherent and strategic leadership" on the fight against sexual violence in armed conflict. It fills a void in bringing different parts of the system to work closer.
We welcome Ms. Wallstrom's appointment to the position. We support her two forward-looking recommendations of continuous consideration and making prevention top priorities, as well as her "5-point agenda". It proposes a balanced set of measures focused both on the past and on the future, on accountability and on cooperation, command responsibilities and adds a welcome focus on peer liability.
We commend Ms. Wallstrom's initiative to visit the DRC. We encourage and support efforts to increase cooperation with the Congolese government in addressing capacity building and other needs in the fight against sexual violence. We also appreciate the measures taken by MONUC to improve women's security.
In concluding, I would like to thank Japan for preparing the draft PRST before us, which has our full support.
I thank you".