New York, 28. October 2005 Press release

Austrian Ambassador in UN Security Council debate on the role of women in the peace process

28.10.2005

Foreign Minister Plassnik called for strong integration of women at 60th UN General Assembly

New York, 28 October 2005 - In the open Security Council debate on 27 October on Resolution 1325, which was adopted in the year 2000 ("Women, Peace and Security"), Ambassador Gerhard Pfanzelter underlined the indispensable contribution of women to the stabilisation of societies after armed conflicts.

From the Austrian viewpoint, the new Peacebuilding Commission was an unique opportunity to ensure the participation of women in UN peace missions. A gender-specific perspective had to be integrated in the mandate and the structure of the Commission. According to Pfanzelter, the UN Special Representatives were called upon to monitor the early integration of women in the reconstruction process in conflict areas. The continuous assumption of social responsibilities by women could only be safeguarded in this way.

The importance of a strong commitment of women in post-conflict situations was already emphasised by Foreign Minister Plassnik in September at the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations, which was completely devoted to the reform of the United Nations. It was imperative to acknowledge women as equal partners and to make use of their knowledge in social, economic, and political reconstruction, i.e. for the transition from a state of war to real peace, said Plassnik.

In a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Plassnik, together with 13 colleagues and the EU Commissioner for External Relations, pleaded for a strong integration of women in the peacekeeping operations of the UN as well as in the Peacebuilding Commission. Supporting women’s issues was an important aspect of Austria’s foreign policy, said Plassnik.

The Security Council dealt with this theme for the first time in the year 2000 when it adopted Resolution 1325 on "Women, Peace and Security". In this Resolution it calls upon the member states to strive for a higher portion of women in all institutions of conflict prevention and conflict management. Other demands included the protection of the human rights of women and an end to impunity in the event of attacks against women.

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