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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > Reports to Congress, U.S. Votes, Fact Sheets, Testimony > Other Remarks > 2002

Women, Peace, and Security

Josiah Rosenblatt, U.S. Minister-Counsellor for Political Affairs
Remarks in the UN Security Council
New York, New York
October 28, 2002

Released by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Mr. President, we welcome the opportunity to participate in this discussion on women, peace and security. It has been nearly two years to the day since the passage of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 and we are pleased that the Council has maintained a focus on tracking its implementation.

We welcome the completion of the Secretary-Generalís report on women, peace, and security, which provides a thoughtful analysis of the challenges confronting women and girls during armed conflict and offers a number of useful recommendations on ways the international community can help address them. We thank the Secretary-General for presenting this report to us personally, and for sharing with us his goals for implementation of the reportís recommendations. The report, and the study from which it is drawn, provide documentation concerning women as both victims and as actors that cannot, in the 21st century, be ignored. We also thank Carolyn Hannon, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women, which produced this report, and acknowledge Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Director of UNIFEM, whose parallel report will be released in the next few days.

Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325, the UN, member states, and the international community have made significant progress in responding to the particular needs of women in times of conflict. The Council has recognized and supported the informal peace initiatives of womenís groups and networks. Additionally, establishment by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of gender units and gender adviser positions in missions such as UNMISET, UNMIK, MONUC, UNMIBH, and UNAMSIL has made a difference on the ground in the lives of women and girls affected by armed conflict. We commend the efforts of DPKO, troop contributing countries, and Council members towards implementing 1325.

However, much more remains to be done.

I know that we are in agreement that reports and discussions about the situation of women and girls in armed conflict are just a beginning. But reports provide the supporting data that the Secretary-General, the Council, the Secretariat, and member states contributing to peace operations can use to integrate gender perspectives into all peace-building, peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts. Reports can help us to determine the best way to achieve our goals in three specific areas:

-- to improve the lives of women and girls who are victims of armed conflict,

-- to ensure that women and girls who have been combatants are eligible for the same assistance as men, and finally,

-- to involve women increasingly as actors, at the grass-roots level, in Peacekeeping Missions, and in planning and decision-making levels at UN headquarters.

Mr. President, my government supports the Secretary-Generalís recommendation, set forth in the report, that data collected in research, assessments and appraisals on peace operations be disaggregated by sex and age, and that specific data on the situation of women and girls be provided. This data will inform future planning and operations. But we should not ignore the wealth of data already available to us that will enable us to begin the integration process now.

We hope there will be an opportunity at a later date to discuss in depth some of the issues raised in the report and to begin to look at ways of prioritizing action on the various recommendations. For example, the U.S. would be interested in hearing the Department of Peacekeeping Operationsí views on its progress in mainstreaming gender perspectives into peacekeeping operations and the challenges it faces in promoting more gender diversity among the peacekeeping operations staff.

We enthusiastically support an increase in gender diversity in peacekeeping operations, and the appointment of more women as Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and as special envoys, and have provided names of qualified women candidates to the Secretary-General for this purpose.

Mr. President, thank you again for convening this important and timely meeting and we look forward to further discussions on the implementation of 1325 in the future.

Thank you.



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