Vienna, 25 November 2008 Press release

Plassnik: "Women´s concerns should be better taken into account in UN peace missions"

Joint initiative by Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Vienna, 25 November 2008 - "Women´s active participation in international peace missions is still not a matter of course, not even in the 21st century. The concrete requirements of UN Resolutions 1325 and 1820 must be better implemented at all levels. I have consistently supported this endeavour within the framework of the International Women Leaders Network, among other organisations.
During our EU Presidency in 2006, a monitoring catalogue was elaborated which ensures that women’s concerns are taken into account to a greater extent in preparing and implementing peace missions. Together with US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice I have now proposed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that this successful model should be used in UN peace missions as well," stated Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik following the presentation of a joint letter from the two foreign ministers to UN Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro by Ambassador Gerhard Pfanzelter.

"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his deputy Asha-Rose Migiro are strong allies in our commitment to the full integration of women into international peace work and conflict resolution," stated the Foreign Minister, pointing out that Ban Ki-moon had entrusted leadership positions for conflict regions to as many as eight women since the Women Leaders Network Meeting held in Vienna in May 2007, in addition to the highest legal expert of the United Nations, Patricia O´Brien, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, the deputy chief of the UN police, Ann-Marie Orter, and the Austrian judge Renate Winter as President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. "I therefore hope that Ban Ki-moon will give an equally positive response on this occasion too and implement our new proposal," concluded Plassnik.

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