Statement by H. E. Mr. Urmas Paet, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Estonia at the side ecent in frames of the CSW "UNSCR 1325 - What lies ahead?"
friends and advocates of the UNSC Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security,
I warmly welcome you all to today’s discussion on the UNSC resolution
1325. Before I share my thoughts on the topic, I would like to say that I feel privileged
to share the podium with Ms. Bineta Diop, the founder and president of Femmes Africa Solidarité, widely
recognized organization involved in engendering peace processes in Africa. I also thank Ms. Anne Marie Goetz from UN Women, Ms
Soon-Young Yoon from the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, and Ms. Mavic
Cabrera-Balleza from the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders for joining us
Ladies and gentlemen,
In October 2000, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 - “Women,
Peace and Security” - to acknowledge the disproportionate effect of war and
conflicts on women and children. It is more than 12 years since we adopted the
Resolution. It is time to analyze our achievements. Though the tenth
anniversary gave a great impetus to its implementation, my critical assessment is
that until now we have done more when it comes to procedures than in relation
to its implementation. I would like to share my views on some fundamental
aspects of the 1325 concept and try to find answers to the questions why we
have not reached the targets we set. Based on Estonia’s experience, I shall also
share some thoughts on how we could overcome those gaps together.
Resolution 1325 binds the elements of security, development and human
rights indivisibly and contains elements of such concepts and topics as Responsibility
to Protect, humanitarian and development cooperation, children in armed
conflicts, sexual violence, education etc. This means that a narrow approach is
doomed to fail in our modern, intertwined security environment neither would it
find sufficient political attention by high level decision makers. Moreover, it
often leads to a blurred interpretation of the whole concept.
It is often argued that because resolution 1325 deals with women in
military conflict, it is not of concern to societies in peace. We therefore often
miss the crucial roles of prevention and of empowerment.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Over the past years, sexual violence and the threat of sexual violence
continued to be employed as a tactic of war, including in Côte d'Ivoire, the DR
Congo, Libya, Syria and northern Mali. These conflicts have made evident the
need to protect civilians, especially the most vulnerable groups of women and
children. Estonia underlines the importance of fighting sexual violence and
torture in armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations. The violators
should be seen in a broader context as they do not always wear a military
uniform, but may nevertheless hold a position of power and a delusive feeling of
impunity. Estonia commends the efforts of the UN Secretary General’s Special
Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs. Zainab Hawa
Bangura and her predecessor Mrs. Margot Wallström to address and act on
this issue. Estonia also welcomes that some states have already taken steps to
tackle this challenge. And we also welcome that several international security organisations,
for example NATO, have taken measures by appointing its Special
Representative for resolution 1325, or are in the process of developing Action
Plans, such as the OSCE.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Women, in situations of military conflict, usually have no possibility
to protect their rights through the legal system. Reducing impunity is
therefore a vital part of efforts aimed at combating violence against women. Estonia
remains concerned about the lack of accountability when it comes to those who
have committed gross violations of human rights.
Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, President of the Assembly of States Parties of
the International Criminal Court, has repeatedly raised the issue of sexual
violence against women and girls, which can amount to the international crimes - war
crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide. As a founding member of
the ICC, and party to the Rome Statute, Estonia stresses that the international
criminal justice system, especially the ICC, plays a crucial role in providing
timely and decisive response to such crimes. Investigations by the Court may
deter further atrocities, prevent their escalation or accelerate their end.
Therefore it is essential to cooperate with the Court and apprehend those who
have been indicted. It is the responsibility of all states to put an end to
Another notable feature of the ICC is its unprecedented commitment to
ensuring victims a participatory role in the Court’s proceedings, thereby
empowering victims. We
also 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. But ICC prosecutions will not be enough
to ensure accountability on their own. To reverse impunity for sexual violence
it is important that States implement the legal framework necessary to
prosecute these crimes.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Women are powerful
agents for peace and security. They must be engaged and included in
mediation. However, we still do not see women among peace negotiators, 12 years
after the problem was acknowledge by the Security Council. It is due to traditions,
culture, quite often also religion or education that peace does not have a
women’s touch. But it needs one. It is a challenge for our mind-set to replace
“women as victims” with “women as actors”. ”Violence against women” should become
“women against violence.” Women are ready to act, and ready to take the leadership.
The Arab awakening, or countries like Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Liberia, Nepal etc. – there are many good examples from
all over the world that provide excellent lessons for the future how to bring
women into action.
The final issue that I would like to touch upon is related to the
National Action Plans. In order to further promote the implementation of the resolution
1325, in 2010 Estonia adopted its National Action Plan. Our goal was to define and systematize Estonia’s
activities in the field of international peace missions and development
cooperation, incorporating the gender perspective and setting future
priorities. Currently, Estonia is in the process of finalizing the second implementation report of the plan. Allow
me to highlight some of our experiences and lessons-learned.
cooperation between different authorities at the international and national
level is a need and a challenge. In the partnerships and dialogues we need to
focus on goals that are realistic and implementable.
is a strong promoter of progress indicators which help us to evaluate our
action impact, the achieved change and trends. As qualitative change needs more
time to evaluate, we sometimes miss the quantitative indicators to show the
immediate effect of our action. To overcome this gap, we await the EU’s report
on resolution 1325 indicators, which should be finalized this year.
tailor-made approach shall be applied to
achieve balanced economic, political and social empowerment of women. It should
be enforced by a strong sense of national ownership. Local leaders must take on
the responsibility. The international community can support them, and we
continue to do it. In this regard I very much hope that the African Union will
soon nominate its special representative on 1325. We also look forward to the soon-to-be published report by the Secretary
General Ban Ki-Moon on the topic.
In parallel, we must use the regional capacities and
most of the conflicts involve more than one country. South Caucasus is a good
example here, where several 1325-related initiatives have brought the partners
together to tackle jointly the common challenges.
needs resources and good results can be achieved when both the public and
private sector contribute. With effective donor coordination, sometimes very
little additional resources are required to implement the objectives set out in
the Action Plan on a much larger scale.
Education is very important in promoting resolution 1325
and gender issues.
With the aim of raising awareness, the whole school
curriculum in Estonia includes elements of resolution 1325. For example, the history classes include peace
education. The civil education curriculum includes topics of human rights,
refugees and the displacement of people. And the natural sciences teach the
impact of crises on the environment and demographic processes. Estonia has
developed its “teachers teach the teachers” capability and is ready to share
its experience and lessons learned.
Secondly, universal access to quality education is
essential to eradicate poverty and to increase social inclusion. Knowledge and
skills are crucial to participate fully in civic life, to enjoy attractive
employment and income-earning opportunities.
looking more concretely into the future and keeping in mind the goals of
sustainable development, I commend the
UN Secretary General’s Action Plan
on Women in Peace Building which sets economic recovery target of 40% for
the post-conflict temporary jobs should be created for women.
The twinning network of 1325-contact countries wherein a
donor country with National Action Plan could support a partner country to
develop its capacities in implementing resolution 1325 should be
broadened. We have about 40 countries with NAP – it should be easy to reach double this number.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Experience shows that to further accelerate the implementation of resolution
1325, there is no alternative to action. Let us work on promoting the willingness
of states to tackle this issue.
I thank you, and I wish us a lively continuation of the discussion.