Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Open Debate on the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

Ertuğrul Apakan 05.10.2009
Mr. President

May I begin with welcoming Your Excellency to the Council and congratulating Viet Nam for the assumption of the Presidency of the Council in October. We wish you every success.

I also wish to express our sincere appreciation to Ambassador Rice and the US Delegation for their stewardship of the Council during the month of September.

Mr. President,

Given the adoption of Resolution 1888 only a week ago, this meeting has particular significance in demonstrating to the world at large the continued commitment of the Council to the empowerment of women in all its aspects.

I would like to commend Viet Nam's leading role for organizing this debate as well as for her efforts in the preparation of the resolution we have just adopted.

I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his report and the Deputy Secretary General for her briefing, both of which include valuable assessments and recommendations on how to improve the UN system pertaining to the security of women.

Finally, I should also commend the various UN entities' efforts, as well as those of the NGOs and women's organizations that are working selflessly to achieve the goals of Resolutions 1325 and 1820. I particularly thank Ms. Mayanja, Ms. Alberdi and Ms. Amin for their briefings and their contributions to our debate.

Mr. President,

Since the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000, there has been progress across a broad range of issues for the protection and promotion of women's and girls' rights in conflict-affected situations, particularly in terms of raising awareness for the challenges they face.

Thanks to the efforts of the international community, a strong understanding of the need for gender equality and women's empowerment, as a prerequisite for international peace and security, is slowly taking hold.

As mentioned in the Secretary General's reports, there are many ongoing projects and programs with a view to protecting women and girls against the gender-based violence and other forms of risks and challenges.

However, despite the progress achieved so far, we cannot fail to note that much remains to be done, particularly in the area of implementation. As today's debate and the report of the Secretary General have shown us, many structural and institutional impediments remain which we should overcome in order to meet the challenges before us.

We believe that more effective actions must be taken to protect and empower women. Addressing the particular needs of women and girls in post-conflict situations, with a particular emphasis on those issues related to their physical security, mental and reproductive health, employment, education and access to social services and justice, is a priority issue that we should tackle from the very beginning of the peace building process.

Likewise, equally strong measures are needed to increase the participation of women in post-conflict recovery efforts and peace processes since that will increase the effectiveness of these efforts. Indeed, we should not forget that women in post-conflict countries are not merely victims of war, but also agents of change towards modernization and transformation, with immense contributions to sustain peace and prosperity.

This is why Turkey has given its strong support to projects aimed at ensuring increased participation of women in all walks of social and political life. In other words, we believe that the empowerment of women in its entirety should be at the core of all our efforts. Let me refer to our experience with Afghanistan. We continue to support various programs dedicated to empower women in politics and governance, while undertaking many other projects with a view to providing equal and modern education opportunities to girls.

Mr. President,

We believe that while tackling the issue of women's security, which is inextricable from the international peace and security, we should move from "ad hoc" approaches towards a "systematic" one. To this end, the calls of resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and the resolution we adopted today should all become a regular part of the work of this Council in guiding the activities of the UN and member states.

We also believe that the establishment of a set of indicators as foreseen in Resolution 1889, might serve as a useful means through which we can monitor and track the implementation of measures at the global level.

As such, the new Gender Entity recently agreed by the General Assembly, would also strengthen our work towards women's empowerment by helping the UN pursue its efforts in a more systemized and coordinated manner in the areas related to women, peace and security.

Furthermore, as my Russian colleague Ambassador Churkin emphasized, we also believe the MDGs with regard to the status of women are important. The implementation of those MDGs will no doubt reinforce the implementation of Resolution 1325 for the security and empowerment of women in conflict-ridden regions.

Mr. President,

The months ahead of us in the run up to the 10th anniversary of resolution 1325 next year provides ample opportunity to translate these words into deeds in order to ensure basic and human rights of women all around the world.

As Turkey, we are committed to this goal and thus we will continue our support for the implementation of all the resolutions on women, peace and security.

Thank you Mr. President.