European Union High-level Conference calls for renewed efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women’s participation in peace and security
In the presence of H.R.H Princess Astrid of Belgium, Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, and Steven Vanackere, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, co-hosted a high-level conference at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels today to mark the tenth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women’s Participation in Peace and Security and called for its full and speedy implementation.
Catherine Ashton said: “UN Security Council Resolution 1325 underlined the importance of women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. However, 10 years down the road, this commitment has not yet been fulfilled.” While praising the efforts made so far and pointing to the adoption in 2008 of UNSC Resolution 1820 on the fight against sexual violence, the High Representative/Vice President called for more progress. Women continue to be the target of violence in armed conflicts around the world and remain largely absent from formal peace negotiations and peace-keeping efforts. HR/VP Ashton promised determined action, particularly within the European External Action Service, and described the European Union’s comprehensive approach to implementing Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security, in which gender equality and women’s rights are central to its crisismanagement missions and development cooperation.
“Women suffer disproportionately from conflict situations, as is made clear by the ravages caused by sexual violence”, declared Steven Vanackere, for the Belgian Presidency. He called for better legal instruments and for measures to protect women. “Like other countries, among which eight EU Member States, Belgium has adopted a national Action Plan in order to implement the UN Resolutions under national legislation. This shows the commitment of our country, but also our specific responsibility in this regard”, said Minister Vanackere.
The conference, which was addressed by keynote speakers Rachel Mayanja, UN Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and Margot Wallstrm, Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General on sexual violence in armed conflict, as well as other leading figures including Alain Leroy, head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2003, called specifically for greater accountability and monitoring of respect for women’s rights in armed conflicts, notably by the UN Security Council. It underlined the need to boost the participation of women in international peace and security operations and demanded an end to impunity for violence against women in armed conflicts.
Council of the European Union