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Ban wants women to engage in the design and delivery of transitional justice

The United Nations Security Council and senior UN officials today (18 October) issued a strong call on the international community to strengthen its commitment to ensuring that women play a more prominent role in conflict prevention, resolution and in post-war peacebuilding.
Unanimously adopting a new resolution this morning, the Security Council reaffirmed that sustainable peace hinges on an approach that integrates "political, security, development, and human rights, including gender equality," concerns and urged Member States and UN entities to ensure women's full and meaningful participation in peace and security issues, and committed to increase focus on their adequate access to justice in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Secretary-General Ban Ki moon, in his intervention, urged the Council "to deal with the full range of women's rights violations during conflict."

Ban said that the mandates of political and peacekeeping missions "should support national prosecutions for serious international crimes against women, and special measures should be taken to provide women with opportunities to engage in the design and delivery of transitional justice."

Addressing the Council via videoconference, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said "a human rights based approach is crucial to successfully address the root causes of conflict and threats to women's security."

Pillay said it was also crucial "to see the opportunities offered by transitions," including "transforming gender relations, dismantling negative gender stereotypes, reforming legislation that discriminates again women, supporting women's autonomy in public and private spaces, and eventually building just and equal societies where peace and development can prosper."

Ambassador Samantha Power of the United States noted that since the approval of resolution 1325 13 years ago, "the international community has agreed on the direction that we want to move."

Power said that "as we continue to go forward let us confront honestly the obstacles that remain before us, let's create a spin-free zone on 1325 and its implementation, and let's not conflate effort with results. They are different."

She added that instead, "concrete steps" must be taken "so that women share fully in efforts to avoid and contain conflict, just as they inevitably share in the suffering when such efforts are poorly designed or when they fail."

Held yearly, the open debate provides an opportunity for the wider UN membership to reflect on the progress made, and accelerate action on implementation of the Security Council resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, which requires parties in a conflict to respect women's rights and support their participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction.

Today's meeting also featured addresses from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and Brigitte Balipou, founder of the Association of Women Jurists of the Central African Republic, speaking on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.(Cihan)