Security Council reaffirms its support for boosting womens role in peacemaking

In a presidential statement read out in a formal meeting by Brian Cowan, the Foreign Minister of Ireland, which holds the presidency of the 15-member body for the month of October, the Council renewed its call on States to include women in the negotiations and implementation of peace accords, constitutions, and strategies for resettlement and rebuilding, and to take measures to support local women’s groups and indigenous processes for conflict resolution. In that context, the Council recognized the efforts of the Mano River Women’s Peace Network in facilitating peace and dialogue in the Mano River Union region, which comprises Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It was also encouraged by the inclusion of women in the political decision-making bodies in Burundi, Somalia and East Timor. The Council underscored the importance of including a gender perspective in all policies and programmes addressing armed conflicts and called for the inclusion of gender components in peacekeeping operations. It also renewed its support for gender-sensitive training guidelines and material on the protection, rights and particular needs of women, and on the importance of involving women in all peacekeeping and peace-building measures. It called on troop-contributing countries to include these elements in their national training programmes for peacekeepers. On the issue of gender balance among UN envoys, the Council said it was concerned that there were still no women appointed as special representatives or special envoys of the Secretary-General to peace missions, and urged Member States to redouble their efforts to nominate women candidates to the Secretary-General. The Council also urged Mr. Annan to appoint women as special representatives and envoys to pursue good offices on his behalf. Recognizing the need to implement international humanitarian and human rights law that protects the rights of civilians including women and girls during and after conflicts, the Council called on all parties to armed conflicts to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based and other forms of violence. read more