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Nordic Joint Statement on the occasion of the UN Security Council Open Debate on “Women, Peace and Security: Twentieth Anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325" 

29.10.2020  15:34
The Nordic countries –Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark - welcome the most recent report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) as well as the recommendations therein. We commend the UN on efforts to enhance accountability and commit to doing our part.

20 years after the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1325, we recommit to stepping up our efforts to ensure full implementation of all resolutions and all pillars of the WPS agenda. In that regard, we welcome the Compact on WPS and Humanitarian Action (as part of Generation Equality Forum), the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund’s Rapid Response Window for the deployment of women to peace processes and the Commitment 2025 Initiative.

Inclusive peace processes are more likely to produce sustainable results responsive to a diverse set of needs. Yet the numbers in the SG Report speak for themselves; while progress has been achieved in many areas, women remain underrepresented at all stages of mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and in political processes generally. Much remains to be done.

To mention a few concrete examples:

First, women need to be part of delegations to peace talks. Representation of women in dialogue and mediation efforts are key to ensuring a sustainable outcome. 
Second, peace negotiations should be informed by a gender perspective to ensure the needs of the whole population are considered.

Third, reporting from conflict situations should include gender analysis and sex-disaggregated data.

Fourth, consultations with women’s organisations should be conducted regularly. We need to link local initiatives to formal peace talks. Briefings from women civil society representatives at the UNSC creates informed decisions.

Fifth, security assessments need to address the security of women, including conflict-related sexual and gender based violence.

Sixth, security sector reform, disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes should integrate a gender perspective to achieve inclusive political transitions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated conflicts and inequalities worldwide. We should not let it constitute a setback for hard-won progress on women’s and girls’ rights. We must work to ensure that our societies emerge more resilient, equal and inclusive. The Nordic countries remain particularly concerned by the SG Report’s clear demonstration of a global rise in sexual and gender-based violence and increased risk of sexual exploitation and abuse as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic constitutes a great challenge to women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ensuring these fundamental rights of women and girls is key to promoting their full, equal and meaningful participation and representation. Moreover, there is a pressing urgency for creating a safe environment for women peacebuilders and human rights defenders. This is our duty as member states.

The Nordic countries were amongst the first to launch national action plans (NAPs) for 1325. NAPs remain a key tool, but must be followed up with concrete and tangible efforts to support women and girls living in conflict-affected areas if we are to ensure accountability.
Political will and sufficient resources are needed to speed up implementation of UNSC-Resolution 1325. The Nordic countries strongly urge all UN member states to put women at the front and centre of their peace and security efforts, in conflict prevention and humanitarian response, from the very start of a peace dialogue to the implementation of a peace accord. We call on the UN to ensure gender parity in its mediation teams, and take concrete steps towards women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all peace processes and political transitions where the UN has a role and in the peace processes, it leads or co-leads.

It is not only the right thing to do. It will promote sustainable and lasting peace.