On 19 January 2015, the Security Council held an open debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security with a focus on the importance of inclusive development as a priority for sustainable peace. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon opened the debate and significantly, President Michelle Bachelet Jeria gave the country statement for Chile who holds the rotating presidency for this month. The primary concern for speakers in the all-day debate was the link between peace and security and development, with the post-2015 sustainable development agenda being a crucial part of the discussions. A presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/3) was also issued, which emphasized the linkages between security and development. Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, also gave a statement at the opening of the debate, and there were 70 speakers in attendance.
Out of the 70 statements that were made, 42 speakers used gendered language in their statements and 37 of those speakers specifically highlighted the importance of women’s empowerment and participation. Another 5 speakers supported gender-equality at the debate and 3 speakers addressed the need to prevent gender-based violence. The Presidential Statement included language pertaining to women’s participation, women’s empowerment and gender equality, as did the Secretary General’s opening statement. Although the majority of speakers (60%) somehow noted their awareness of the implementation of SCR 2122, more efforts need to be made so that all speakers realize the necessity of focusing on Women, Peace and Security as part of future discussions on the maintenance of international peace and security.
All of the speakers addressed inclusive development in terms of economic, social and political security. Along these lines, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon stated that “post-conflict societies must prioritize social, economic and political inclusion if they are to have any hope of rebuilding trust between communities.” Despite the connections there were made between peacekeeping and development, there was a lack of attention paid to disarmament. In future discussions of poverty-alleviation and peacebuilding, there should be more political will for awareness and implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.