Commitments Database: A 1325 Call to Action Statement Austria

Saturday, September 25, 2010
Author: 
H.E. Mr. Michael Spindelegger
Countries: 
Europe
Western Europe
Peacewomen Comment: 

This statement was made on September 25, 2010 at "A 1325 Call to Action", ministerial meeting in preparation for the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. It is hosted as part of the Commitments Database project (link: www.peacewomen.org/commitments).

PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

Mr. Secretary-General,
President Robinson,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all I would like to thank Canada for its excellent work in chairing the Group of Friends on Women, Peace and Security and for taking the lead in organizing today's important meeting as well as President Robinson and the civil society organisations that were involved in developing the idea of a high-level "commitments to action" meeting. Civil society organizations and women's groups have been key in pushing the women, peace and security agenda since its inception. We are looking forward to continuing our cooperation in the weeks to come.

We are equally grateful to the Secretary General for his participation in this event and the genuine commitment and leadership he has shown since taking office, including the appointment of women to senior UN positions.

The 10th anniversary is an opportunity for us to take stock and assess where we stand. Despite many efforts, progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 and its subsequent resolutions on women peace and security has been uneven and slow. Women still remain absent from the negotiating table, are still underrepresented and widely marginalized in peace processes and early recovery. As a consequence, the specific needs of women and girls continue to be largely ignored. More than that, women and girls continue to be targeted and fall victim to sexual violence. We need to redouble our efforts through concrete action. This is why today's event is so important.

Many shortcomings can be addressed swiftly, if we commit ourselves to concrete, measurable and time-bound contributions to the implementation of this resolution.

[Commitments:]
• Austria was one of the first countries to develop a National Action Plan for resolution 1325. Lessons learned in the implementation of this Action Plan have shown the need for further revision. Austria is committed to update its National Action Plan by 2011. This process will take place in close cooperation with civil society, as was the case for the development of our National Action Plan.
• Austria will also continue to further strengthen its training and awareness building activities on 1325, in particular in pre-deployment trainings for peace and humanitarian operations that are being provided for civilian and military experts from around the world. Res. 1325 is also a key-component of the induction-courses for Austrian civil servants and a priority for the Austrian development cooperation activities.
• Austria is furthermore committed to a continuous enhancement of its rule of law standards. The Rome Statute is the first international treaty to identify crimes against women, like rape or other forms of sexual violence, as crimes against humanity, war crimes, and in some instances, genocide. Austria is currently in the process of incorporating these provisions of the ICC Statue into its criminal code.

We hope that the commitments to action that are being made today will not be a onetime effort limited to the 10 year anniversary. We need to ensure a follow-up to review the progress made in implementing commitments and identifying the obstacles on an annual basis at the Open Debates on women, peace and security in the Security Council. Further commitments along the way will be more than welcome.

Also the Security Council has to show active leadership and shoulder its responsibility for the implementation of resolution 1325. The situation and needs of women need to be an integral part of the day to day business of the Council and must be considered in a systematic manner in the country-specific deliberations.

We expect the Council to adopt a substantive outcome at its open debate in October that will significantly strengthen the implementation of resolution 1325. The set of indicators to track implementation of all key aspects of the women, peace and security agenda will be an important means to this end. Their endorsement is a key priority for the debate in October and will enhance monitoring and accountability for violations, while strengthening the Council's early warning capacities.

The anniversary provides a unique opportunity to show leadership and political will. We must renew our commitment and work towards a more consistent implementation of resolution 1325 and its subsequent resolutions. It is my intention to participate in the Security Council's Open Debate on 29 October under the Presidency of Uganda. I am positive to be able to announce further concrete commitments for implementing the goals of resolution 1325 in the Council. I hope that many other ministers and political representatives will do the same at this important occasion.

Last but not least I would like to use this opportunity to express Austria's appreciation for the nomination of the Former President of Chile, Ms. Michele Bachelet, as the new Undersecretary-General heading UN Women. This new entity will need to play a central role in coordinating the UN's activities in implementing resolution 1325. Ms. Bachelet enjoys our full support.