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Statement of the Permanent Representative of Estonia, Mr. Sven Jürgenson at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 25 October 2016

25.10.2016

Mr. President Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of Estonia, I would like to thank all the speakers today, and a special thanks to the Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon for this year’s report on women, peace and security. We would like align ourselves with the statement made by the EU and the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security as well as reiterate our commitment and support for protecting women’s and girls’ rights globally.

A fundamental lesson, that this report teaches us, is the sheer detail in which women’s rights violations need to be dealt with so that no one gets left behind. Every topic diverges into a number of smaller issues; for example, violence against women breaks down into matters such as stereotyping, conflict-zone violence, sexual violence and extremist violence. Focusing only on sexual violence for instance, we start looking at questions of identification, prevention, detection and victim support. From victim support we derive different types of services – whether it is creating awareness, promoting access or supplying psychological and physical specialists. This overall process is a fragile transition that begins with the facts, figures and estimates we read on paper, and narrows down to the actual care and support each and every woman receives personally. Every detail in this transition will correspond to a certain woman living in the world. When a detail is forgotten, it may be, that a woman is too. We as member states must do two things for the benefit of every single woman in need of help: invest and collaborate more.

Estonia invests both domestically and globally into achieving gender-equality. At home we have adopted state action plans and development strategies aimed at tackling issues such as stereotyping, violence and inaccessible victim support services. Our newly elected president, Mrs. Kaljulaid is hopefully a testament that Estonian people may reach their highest ranks regardless of their gender. However, we continue to encourage women’s participation in all spheres of society, governance and industry. In the military for example, where the majority of participants are male, we hope to triple the number of female attendants in two years-time. Internationally, we remain committed to promoting the potential of ICT and innovation towards protecting women’s and girl’s rights. ICT can give access to voting and education; it can detect and collect data and offer victim support services; it can function as a platform for free speech and global communication - the list goes on. We must establish more ICT mechanisms for protecting the rights of women and girls.

Here, I would like to commend UN Women for collaborating with us on the topic of ICT as well as incorporating technology into their own programs and supporting a number of related measures. This brings me to the subject of collaboration. Intergovernmental cooperation is extremely significant, however, everyone needs to be heard and NGOs and civil societies have the ability to provide new insight and data that could otherwise be missed. This in doubt helps our joint efforts in ensuring that every detail is accounted for and no one is left behind. And so I would like to stress, that civil societies and NGOs must be given larger platforms and more access in the UN meetings and conferences.

Mr Secretary General,

As the report noted, last year we saw the record number of speakers in this debate – 113. This is not a surprise, as we believe that everyone should have a say in this global challenge – whether it be reflective or predictive; factual or emotional; pessimistic or positive, it is only until we hear every detail, that we get to solve every problem.

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