UNSC Open Debate on Woman and Peace and Security Text of Remarks by Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan Permanent Representative of Turkey

Ertuğrul Apakan 28.10.2011
Thank you, Madam President.

At the outset I wish to thank you for organizing this high level open debate on an issue of utmost importance. We highly appreciate, Madam President\ Ambassador Joy Ogwu, your valuable efforts in that regard.

I wish to also thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive and pertinent reports.

We welcome the Concept Note on “women’s participation and role in conflict prevention and mediation.”

We also welcome with satisfaction the progress achieved by the UN WOMEN under the visionary leadership of Under-Secretary-General Madam Bachelet.

Madam President,

Since the adoption of the landmark Resolution 1325 in 2000, progress has been achieved across a broad range of issues for the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ rights in conflict-affected situations.

A stronger gender perspective in post-conflict processes as well as in UN programming and reporting has been steadily built.

The issues of gender equality and empowerment of women became critical components of the political deliberations and actions.

All in all, a better understanding is taking hold. In this vein, we greatly welcome and commend the efforts of various UN entities, the NGOs and women’s organizations that are working selflessly.

Yet, as today’s debate and the report of the Secretary General have shown us, there remain formidable challenges before us. Many structural and institutional impediments persist.

Women continue to be largely marginalized from national and international decision-making spheres because of persistent challenges; such as discriminatory laws, cultural stereotypes, lack of education, inability to access to basic services and economic opportunities, to name a few.

We firmly believe that the participation of women and the incorporation of gender perspective in all contexts are of vital importance. We have to increase the role of women each and every where.

We need more role for women in preventive diplomacy, in mediation, in peacekeeping and in post-conflict reconstruction and institution building.

And, we need more role for women in sustainable development as agents for transformation.

Madam President,

The integral link between peace, security, gender equality and development is evident. This interaction renders the participation of women into peace processes and the sustainable development mutually reinforcing.

Therefore, the issue of women’s security should be addressed with “holistic” methodologies, rather than “ad hoc” solutions.

We do not only need to work on further promoting the participation and the protection of women affected by the conflicts. But these actions should also be supported by wider development considerations.

This is the gist for effective stabilization.

In this respect, while we place gender equality and empowerment of women at the core of our efforts, we have to further encourage and support the participation of women in the work of peace, including post-conflict recovery efforts and sustainable development processes.

As such, we are particularly pleased to observe that the interconnection between security and the sustainable development has been acknowledged by the international community in greater terms. The Millennium Development Goal 3, namely ‘‘promoting gender equality and empowerment of women’’ will no doubt give emphasis to the effectiveness of these efforts, in that regard. Let me also remind that the Program of Action agreed upon at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in last May, stipulates a number of joint actions on gender equality and women’s empowerment; concrete steps to be taken jointly by least developed countries and development partners.

Madam President,

The positive ramifications of increasing the participation of women are widely recognized. Women in post-conflict countries are not merely victims of war, but also, agents of change towards modernization and transformation. Thus, women’s political participation in all contexts and in all stages of political transition bears critical importance. Situations of political transitions should be perceived as provider of opportunities for enhancing women’s roles in all levels of decision making.

We also deem that it is equally important to redouble our efforts in the fight against impunity. Unfortunately, armed conflicts and post-conflict disorder hit women and children the hardest. Targeted measures should be imposed against the perpetrators of sexual violence and rape. We all should help to make sure that an effective international mechanism is set in preventing and responding to such crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice.

Madam President,

I wish to conclude by underlining my country’s strong support to the full implementation of all Security Council resolutions on women and peace and security. Mindful of the positive repercussions of women’s increased participatory role in global affairs, we should strive to address the root causes of the challenges.

We wish to see women take their rightful place in the economic, social and political life of their societies. As Turkey, we are committed to this goal and hence we will continue to render our full support for the implementation of all the resolutions on women, peace and security.

Thank you.