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Statement by H.E. Margus Kolga, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN at the UN Security Council open debate “Women’s Participation and Role in Conflict Prevention and Mediation”

28.10.2011

Madam President, Distinguished Colleagues,

My delegation fully aligns itself with the statement made earlier by the European Union.

For the start I would like to emphasise that women’s security is part of overall peace and security, and women can and are very able to contribute to peace processes. Here I would like to use the same quotation from Aristotle as Estonian President during the UNGA general debate this year. Aristotle noted that where the state of women is bad “almost half of human life is spoilt.” This is no less true today and will remain so.

I therefore welcome this Security Council debate, already second in the row, to discuss women’s participation and role in conflict prevention and mediation. Involvement of women in peacekeeping operations and conflict prevention is of the utmost importance to assure the success of the operations, as this is the only way to reach the whole population.

Madam President,

Estonia adopted its First National Action Plan for the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325 and its follow-up resolutions, which determines our priorities for the future, last year in October. We are now in a process to review the implementation of Action Plan over the past year.

The purpose of the National Action Plan is to ensure that Estonia’s international military and civil contributions and development cooperation takes systematically into account women’s needs, and it contains commitments with regard to the inclusion of the gender perspective in these activities. One of the countries that is closely connected to the implementation of our Action Plan is Afghanistan, where NATO and as well Estonia, has endeavoured to the involvement and advancement of women. In November 2010 Estonia organized an international conference “Women, Peace and Security – the Afghan view”, which’s focus was on the cooperation of national and international contributors.

National Action Plan also includes Estonia’s commitments regarding resolution 1325 that stem from its role as a contributor to international peace and security through active participation in international civilian and military operations, as a donor country and a member of the European Union, NATO, OSCE and the United Nations.

Madam President,

The aim of the Action Plan is also to raise general awareness and interest in gender related issues in our society and increase gender related expertise. We support women’s participation in peace and security related posts and take further steps in increasing women’s participation in military, police and rescue service. In the future we would like to integrate the gender perspective to the pre-mission training more than so far. It is also our aim to consider gender related issues during the general training of officers and non-commissioned officers.

At the international level it is our interest that resolution 1325 is continuously politically important subject in the United Nations, OSCE, European Union, and NATO. We welcome the UN strategic results framework and the set of indicators on Women, Peace and Security, which guides the implementation of resolution and we also welcome the comprehensive report on the NATO/EAPC policy on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions.

Finally, let me note our appreciation of the work of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, whose leadership in this role is of crucial importance to the implementation of resolution 1325. We also expect that UN Women will play an active role in helping to turn the principles of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 “Women, Peace and Security” from paper to reality. I would also like to extend our appreciation to the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in the Conflict and to the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict for their involvement.

 Thank you.

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