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Eesti ja Läti ühissõnavõtt Julgeolekunõukogu avatud arutelul tsiviilisikute kaitse teemal

30.01.2015

Mr. President,

 

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of Latvia and Estonia.

 

I thank the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Ms. Helen Durham, International Red Cross Director on International Law and Policy, and Ms. Ilwad Elman from NGO Working group on Women, Peace and Security, for their statements. I also thank the Chilean Presidency of the Security Council for organizing this debate and putting the focus of it on the protection challenges faced by women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Latvia and Estonia align themselves with the statement delivered by the European Union.

 

Mr. President,

Remarkable achievements are made at the normative level to operationalize the women, peace and security agenda, women’s protection has also been at the centre of many Security Council deliberations. However, challenges lie at the implementation level and in sustaining the progress. We look forward to the High - level Review and global study on progress and obstacles in implementing the Security Council resolution 1325 as well as the follow-up resolutions. 2015 will be an important year for advancement of women’s rights due to the convergence of the review with other global policy events such as the post- 2015 agenda and the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. We should take the full advantage of those opportunities to recommit to the women, peace and security agenda and to address specific needs and challenges faced by women and girls, including in conflict and post-conflict settings. Latvia and Estonia will spare no efforts in facilitating progress in this regard.

 

Mr. President,

Increase of conflicts and violent extremism over the past year has had a dramatic impact on civilians, in particular on women and girls. Saturday's barbaric shelling of Mariupol by terrorists in which 30 innocent civilians perished - two thirds of them women and children - is a grim reminder why we must advance our work on this issue. The perpetrators of this senseless attack and their supporters must face the consequences.

            We are also concerned about the continued incidence of sexual and gender-based violence and targeted attacks against women and girls and those defending their rights. We welcome the increased use of the human rights and sexual violence related criteria in the Security Council sanctions regimes. All parties to armed conflict should comply with international humanitarian and human rights law.

            We stress that all crimes of sexual violence should be prosecuted and punished under national and international law. Accountability is an important element in enhancing compliance by parties to armed conflict with their international obligations. It is equally important for bringing justice to victims of those crimes. The national authorities have a primary responsibility to provide accountability for serious human rights violations. At the same time, the International Criminal Court continues to play a crucial role if they are unable or unwilling to do so.

 

Mr. President,

Latvia and Estonia support the efforts to mainstream gender aspects into peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping operations need to be equipped with robust mandates that put the protection of civilians, including the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, at their core. The key elements of the effective implementation of those mandates are, among others, appropriate training for peacekeeping personnel and their senior mission leadership; effective coordination between all mission components and between peacekeeping operations and other UN actors on the ground, as well as close cooperation with local population, civil society organizations and local institutions. An adequate reflection of women’s rights violations in the periodic reports of peacekeeping operations and special political missions to the Security Council is also of particular importance. We welcome the efforts to build capacity for gender-sensitive conflict analysis and the use of sex-disaggregated data.

 

Latvia and Estonia strongly believe that the issues related to the women, peace and security agenda should be fully integrated into the various reviews currently being undertaken by the UN – namely on peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sanctions. We welcome the Secretary-General’s “Rights Up Front” initiative to develop a coherent approach to human rights issues throughout the UN system and to strengthen early warning and preventive capabilities.

 

Mr. President,

In the year when several global processes provide an opportunity to put priorities and commitments on gender equality at the centre of international and national agenda, we cannot afford backsliding on women’s rights. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to addressing security challenges faced by women. Women’s representation and participation at all stages and levels of decision-making in conflict and post-conflict settings are essential for voicing women’s rights and concerns early on and for ensuring their protection.

 

Mr. President,

In conclusion, let me reiterate both Latvia’s and Estonia’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment and readiness to contribute to all ongoing processes in order to ensure the sustainable progress in ensuring the full enjoyment of all human rights by women and girls.

I thank you. 

 

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