Eesti alalise esindaja ÜRO juures sõnavõtt Julgeoleku Nõukogu avatud debatil "Naiste NGO-de roll relvastatud konfliktide ennetamisel ja lahendamisel ning rahutagamisel"
First of all I would like to thank the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary Ladsous and Ms Bineta Diop, the representative of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for their statements. Estoniaaligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.
Women have always played a unique role in conflicts, but it was only twelve years ago that a resolution adopted at the international level was dedicated solely to this issue. Today, 12 years after the adoption of resolution 1325, the further implementation of the principles enshrined in this resolution remains a challenge in many parts of the world.
We welcome the focus of today`s debate on the role of women's civil society organizations in contributing to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict and peacebuilding. As expressed in many statements here today, Estonia too is of firm opinion that implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 requires cooperation among all stakeholders: member states, regional and international organizations and civil society. The role of non-governmental organizations can in no way be overestimated. What could the international organizations or states accomplish if there was no support for this work on the ground? Not much, I assume. Nevertheless, in reality, the role of civil society organizations remains too often, if not mostly, unrecognized.
We find it particularly pertinent to stress the value of engaging women’s organizations and female community leaders in all aspects of conflicts – from prevention to post-conflict. They are a crucial factor in securing the credibility and legitimacy of international efforts. We therefore deplore the fact that women human rights defenders so often become targets in conflict. Ensuring their safety and opportunity to be heard is of utmost importance.
The promotion of the rights of women is one of the priorities of Estonia’s foreign policy. In all aspects of this work, special attention is paid to the participation of women’s NGOs in policy-making and peace processes. Estoniais contributing to international military and civilian missions in countries where conflict-resolution and peace-building is directly linked to the implementation of resolution 1325 and where the inclusion of a gender dimension in the planning and implementation of missions will enhance the efficiency of international efforts. As Estonia intends to take on even greater responsibility, my country is proud to have been elected a member of the Human Rights Council for the next term 2013–2015. I would like to assure you that one of our top priorities as a member will be the promotion of women`s rights and participation.
There is a growing understanding that women and children are impacted uniquely and disproportionately by the effects of conflict and its aftermath. Estonia has focused its development cooperation as well as its humanitarian assistance and human rights activities on supporting these vulnerable groups. We thus regularly contribute to international programmes and funds, including UN Women, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNGEI, as well as OCHA. In fact, Estonia is proud to announce that it is significantly increasing all its voluntary contribution to to UN agencies for 2013.
We welcome the fact that at the national level, the number of countries that have given priority to women and peace and security through national action plans has continued to grow, and that already 37 Member States have adopted national action plans. Estonia adopted its national action plan for the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325 in 2010 and has since shared its process of preparing an action plan with other countries. One of the most important conclusions of our 2011 implementation report is, that NGOs have a crucial role in furthering the agenda of 1325. The cooperation between public sector and NGOs is considered crucial in this regard.
Estonia welcomes the important steps taken within the framework of the United Nations in the past two years. However, the fact that according to the SG report on “Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution” only 4 of the UN negotiating party delegations out of the 14 peace processes underway in 2011 included a woman delegate, shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement. In similar vein, it is regrettable that in 2011 from the nine peace agreements signed (involving eight countries), only two (22 per cent) contained women and peace and security provisions — the same percentage as in 2010. We fully agree with the SG that the gender dimensions of mediation should be clearly and consistently articulated. Indeed, it is important to raise gender-specific issues from the onset of the conflict analysis phase and in the earliest moments of peace negotiations. This can help ensure that provisions related to gender equality are included in peace accords.
We are deeply concerned that according to the SG’s report sexual violence and the threat of sexual violence continues to be employed as a weapon of war in a range of conflicts. In some cases, even an increase of incidents was reported in 2011. Sexual and gender-based violence is a gross human rights violation, which is present in every armed conflict.
Estonia remains concerned about the lack of accountability for those who have committed gross violations of human rights. In this context, we would like to stress the role of the ICC, a significant actor in the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern committed against women and girls. We welcome the principles set out in the ICC’s first ever decision on reparations, in particular the confirmation that the needs of vulnerable victims – including women, children and victims of sexual and gender-based violence – must be addressed as a priority. Reparations can be used as a vehicle to empower women and girls and to address gender inequality, one of the root causes of violence against women.
As a member of the UN Women Executive Board, which has a significant role in also contributing to the implementation of 1325,as well as of Commission of the Status of Women, we support the objective of the empowerment of women in society. We fully agree with the Secretary General that translating norms into practice must in the end be measured against real change in the lives of women, girls, boys and men across the continuum from conflict to peace.
Finally, we have noted that according to data published in the SG report the information flow to the Security Council and the Council’s response to women and peace and security concerns continue to be uneven and would like to encourage the Council to pay further attention to this matter. In this regard, today`s debate is a very good example of affording the question of women and peace and security the consideration it deserves.
I thank you, Mr. President.