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Ministry Statements and Speeches 2009

Security Council: Women, Peace and Security

Statement by H.E. Jim McLay, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Monday 5 October 2009

New Zealand seeks the protection, and equal participation, of women in peace processes; and therefore welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this open debate.

This is the third consecutive month the Security Council has debated issues of women, peace and security. We welcome the increased focus, particularly the attention given to the scourge of sexual violence.  We commend the Council’s readiness to address these issues more systematically.

Only last week, New Zealand joined in co-sponsoring Resolution 1888 in this Council. Along with resolutions 1325, 1820, 1882, 1888 and the resolution that was adopted today, we have come a considerable way in developing a comprehensive set of norms to protect and enhance the participation of women and girls in peace processes.

Today, we lend a strong voice to calls urging States, Regional Groups and the UN system to turn those words into action.

To do this, we recognise the need for stronger leadership and coordination across the UN system. We welcome two recent initiatives that should contribute to this:

We now urge the Secretary General to appoint strong and dynamic advocates of the 1325 agenda to the roles of Special Representative and head of the new composite gender entity.

Mr President:

As we focus more on sexual violence, we must also redouble our efforts to implement the other crucial aspects of Resolution 1325 – increased participation of women in both peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions and in mediation and negotiation processes.

To make a lasting impact on the lives of women in conflict and post-conflict situations we must adopt an integrated approach to each of the pillars of Resolution 1325. To this end, the appointment of a Special Representative should provide much needed visibility, leadership and coherence. For this reason we believe the mandate of the Special Representative  should cover all aspects of the women, peace and security agenda, not just the issue of sexual violence.

Mr President:

New Zealand acknowledges that States must also take responsibility for progressing the goals of Resolution 1325, including enabling the full participation of women and girls in the peace process. Among other things, women need access to shelter, healthcare, a livelihood, education and justice. They should be part of the decision-making processes. And, above all, they must be free from violence. 

New Zealand is committed to addressing these needs as part of its own peacekeeping efforts. Concrete examples of ways we do this through our provincial reconstruction team in Bamiyan Province in Afghanistan include:

Mr President:

Nine years on from the adoption of Resolution 1325, much remains to be done.

This Council has my assurance that New Zealand, through its development cooperation programmes, its peacekeeping efforts and its domestic policies, will continue to seek ways to enhance and ensure  the protection, and equal participation, of women in peace processes.

Resolution 1325 has our full, ongoing and determined support.

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