Excellencies, Distinguished Participants, ladies and gentlemen,
Ten years ago, the UN Security Council adopted the ground breaking resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
Despite 10 years of efforts and progress, commitments towards the protection women and girls in conflict-affected and post-conflict situations have fallen short of the pledges made and worse, of the needs on the ground.
Violence against women and girls in conflict situations continues to be devastating, notably through one of its most gruesome forms, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, as happened in Eastern-DRC.
I would therefore like to thank the Secretary General, Canada and the other organising countries for giving us the opportunity to inject fresh impetus for renewed commitments as we approach the debate in the Security Council which will mark the 10th anniversary of the resolution.
The European Union is strongly committed to the full implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its follow-up resolutions.
This is reflected in a series of concrete actions taken by the EU.
In 2008, the EU adopted a comprehensive approach on the implementation of resolutions 1325 and 1820. This approach covers humanitarian, development, security and foreign policies for the prevention, protection, and participation of women.
In practical and operational terms:
- We have supported specific programmes addressing the needs of women and girls in conflict-affected and post-conflict situations, like funding specific medical structures for victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
- We have appointed gender advisors or gender focal points to all our EU Peace and Security overseas missions,
- We have started using a gender marker to track gender mainstreaming in our development cooperation programmes,
- Finally, we have just adopted in July 2010 a set of 17 indicators to measure our progress and assess gaps in implementing our Comprehensive approach. This is a strong commitment towards strengthened accountability.
As for renewed and measurable commitments, we foresee inter alia:
- To report regularly on the implementation of our women, peace and security commitments, using the 17 indicators I mentioned.
- To develop specific standard training elements to be used by EU staff as well as our Peace and Security missions, on gender and human rights in crisis management.
- By 2013 the EU will develop local strategies to implement SCR 1325 in its activities in at least 60% of fragile, conflict or post-conflict countries.
- To further boost women's participation in peace and security, we will implement specific capacity building projects to support civil society and women's networks in crisis affected countries. For example, on October 18-19 we will facilitate a seminar between European and African civil society organisations, with resolution 1325 as one of the two main topics of discussion.
Let me conclude by warmly welcoming the recent appointment of Michelle Bachelet at the head of the new UN entity for gender equality and women's empowerment. I am sure she and Margot Wallström (UN special representative on sexual violence) will make a strong team and provide the needed leadership to engage the international community to be more accountable and help make UNSCR 1325 a reality on the ground.
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.