Statement by Mr. Andreas Riecken Deputy Permanent Representative on the SC Open Debate of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security
Open Debate of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security, 30 November 2012 - Austrian statement
Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished participants,
Austria aligns herself with the statement made earlier on behalf of the European Union.
We thank today’s briefers as well as India for re-scheduling the open debate on this important topic of women’s civil society organizations’ contribution to conflict prevention and resolution, and we particularly welcome the participation of the representative of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security in the debate.
Women, including women’s civil society organizations, are all too often excluded from participation in peace efforts and negotiations. The very instructive data contained in the Secretary-General’s report, which were collected against the indicators, clearly show the need for improvement regarding the meaningful inclusion and participation of women from an early stage in all efforts for conflict prevention and resolution, including peace negotiations as well as peace-building.
In order to ensure women’s political and economic participation in post-conflict settings, measures to improve their security are vital. We are concerned about the information contained in the Secretary-General’s report regarding the high number of attacks on human rights defenders in some of the countries and territories reviewed in the past year. We fully support the Secretary-General’s recommendation for the Security Council to pay special attention to the protection of women human rights defenders.
We also need to step up our efforts with regard to women in decision-making positions. While temporary special measures, including electoral gender quotas, can be an effective tool to increase women’s political participation both as voters and as candidates, we agree that more attention needs to be paid to address the structural factors that discourage women’s candidacy and electoral participation.
Much has been achieved in the course of the past 12 years since the adoption of resolution 1325. However, as the Secretary-General has clearly pointed out, we need to do more. The number of women in peacekeeping operations and political missions, including in senior positions in UN field missions and the appointment of women UN mediators must be enhanced. We encourage the Security Council to make the consideration of issues related to women, peace and security part of all its thematic and country-specific discussions, and to address it in missions’ mandates.
In line with the Presidential Statement No. 22 of 2010 I would like to inform about measures taken by Austria in implementation of resolution 1325 in the past year:
- Austria has completed the revision of her National Action Plan on the implementation of resolution 1325. The revised National Action Plan - adopted in January 2012 - is guided by the UN indicators on women, peace and security. Civil society has been closely involved in the revision process.
- This year Austria has also adopted her third National Action Plan on Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings. Women are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of this sort of organized crime, mainly for sexual exploitation.
- Austria has developed an interdisciplinary training course on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. The training course is tailored to command personnel active in international crisis management. It will be held, for the first time, in December 2012 at the Austrian Peace Center in Schlaining with participants from 20 Member States and international organizations. Modules on women in armed conflict will form an important part of the course, with the objective for participants to develop a gender-sensitive needs analysis and to develop practical solutions to effectively address these needs.
- 9 mission gender advisors have been trained and deployment has started to the Balkans in 2011. After a first assignment to Kosovo, which proved extremely successful, Austria will continue this engagement in 2013.
- Furthermore, Austria has continued her support to UN Women and has offered support for the development of a National Action Plan to partner countries with a view to launching a concrete cooperation early next year.
Thank you, Mr. President.