Wien, 19 October 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: “The international potential of women should be fully leveraged”

Tenth anniversary of Resolution 1325: “Women, peace and security”

Vienna, 19 October 2010: “No matter whether they are in the eastern Congo or Darfur -women and girls are forever those most affected by armed conflict. Austria, therefore, calls upon the UN Security Council to include the protection of civilians systematically in all its international peace mission mandates. The tenth anniversary of Resolution 1325, which addresses the role and protection of women in conflict situations, should therefore not only be used to take stock, but also to take practical measures for the future,” stated Austria’s Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at today’s evening event commemorating “Women, Peace and Security” – a decade of UN Resolution 1325.

Resolution 1325 was a milestone in the fight for international women’s rights and the protection of women. But even a decade on there are still large gaps in the implementation of this Resolution: “The shocking mass rapes in eastern Congo and the continued brutal attacks on humanitarian aid personnel, for instance in Chad, clearly show that we are far from achieving our goal; on the contrary, we must redouble our efforts,” emphasised the Foreign Minister.

In this context it is necessary to take into account women’s concerns in all aspects of international peace efforts. “The situation and the needs of women must constitute an integral part of the Security Council’s daily work. They must consistently and systematically be included in its consultations and in the mandates of UN peace-keeping missions,” stated Foreign Minister Spindelegger, adding that “it would be short-sighted not to fully leverage the potential of women. Their capacities in resolving conflict and taking care of victims are essential if peace missions are to be successful. Austria will therefore continue its support for ensuring women’s increasing participation and leading roles in peace processes.”

Conflict prevention and peacekeeping also continues to be a priority for Austrian Development Co-operation. Austria was one of the first countries to draw up a national action plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325, which, among other things, also promotes a CARE Austria programme supporting women affected by conflicts in Uganda, Burundi and Nepal.

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