Statement by Turkey at the UN Security Council on "Women, Peace and Security"

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 04.11.2019
Mr. President,

At the outset, I would like to express our appreciation to the South African Presidency for convening the annual Security Council open debate focusing on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. I would also like to thank the Presidency of the United Kingdom for the resumption of the open debate today. Our appreciation also goes to the Secretary-General for his latest annual report, which provides a valuable assessment on the implementation of relevant resolutions, as well as pertinent recommendations to further advance the WPS agenda.

As we prepare to mark the twentieth anniversary of Resolution 1325 (2000) which set the foundation for the Women, Peace and Security agenda, we need to reflect on our achievements and address the remaining gaps and challenges in realizing our overall objective in a unified manner. With this understanding, Turkey co-sponsored the Security Council Resolution 2492 adopted on the 29th of October.

Mr. President,

Turkey has placed gender equality at the heart of its foreign policy and therefore considers the increased use of the women, peace and security agenda, in all its four pillars, as a critical tool for conflict prevention and resolution, as well as for peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Through the resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent related resolutions of the Security Council, a solid normative framework has been established towards this end. We welcome the adoption of resolution 2467(2019) on sexual violence in conflict in April this year and see it as a further concrete enhancement to this framework.

We are pleased to see that these resolutions encouraged the UN system and the Member States to step up their efforts and develop programs to increase women’s participation, as leaders in military and law enforcement and as peacebuilders in treaty and peace agreements negotiations. There has also been deeper awareness and more serious attention of the vulnerability and asymmetric impact of conflict on women.

In that context, Turkey considers the work of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict and the Informal Expert Group (IEG) on women, peace and security as well as the development of the Secretary-General’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2028 as important steps towards strengthening the role of women in maintaining peace and security.

Mr. President,

Turkey remains committed to contribute to the advancement of the WPS agenda by taking into account the specific protection needs of women as a result of armed conflicts. We continue to provide assistance and psychosocial support to women and girls affected by armed conflict in our region.

As such, Turkey deploys multifaceted services to offer dignified living conditions for more than 3.5 million Syrians who took refuge in Turkey, fleeing from the conflict in Syria. 1.6 million of these people are women.

Women Health Centers established by the Turkish Ministry of Family, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and UNFPA offer health trainings, comprehensive support and empowerment programs for those women and girls.

Since 2014, the program has delivered multi-dimensional support to close to 400 thousand refugees in and outside of temporary refugee centers. For the years 2020-2021, we will further strengthen the service capacity and expand the coverage of this project.

While we work hard to mitigate the countless negative effects of displacement on women affected by armed conflict, we regret that earlier in this open debate this platform has been abused to disseminate falsehoods about my country’s limited cross-border counter-terrorism operation. Turkey’s views on this issue have been amply presented to the Security Council on October 24th. We flatly reject and condemn any misrepresentation of Turkey’s counterterrorism efforts. It is clear that we do not have any moral lessons to learn from those who refrained from doing their part in shouldering the refugee crisis.

Mr. President,

Despite measurable progress, there is still much work to be done to fully translate the women and peace and security agenda into action. This requires more concerted efforts by not only the Member States but also the United Nations entities as well as regional organizations and the civil society.

It is imperative to directly address the root causes of conflicts, including by promotion of gender equality, and greater and meaningful participation of women in all forms of mediation, prevention of conflicts, UN Peace Operations, post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding processes. We also acknowledge the important role played by gender advisors in UN Peace Operations and support their increasing relevance.

Needless to say that further efforts are required to see more women gain positions of leadership seats at the negotiating table, enhancing their engagement in political and economic decision-making at all stages of peace processes, as well as for the implementation of peace agreements.

As we look forward, Turkey sees the twentieth anniversary of the resolution 1325 as an opportunity to shape the agenda for the next decade and stands ready to play its role in the international efforts to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

Thank you.