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UAE calls for a balanced women's participation in the protection of peace and security

posted on 01/11/2008: 757 views

New York - The UAE has called on the international community to help boost a balanced women's participation in all efforts being made in the making and protection of national peace, security and stability in their communities and regions, as well as in the decision making process, mediation, reconciliation, administration of humanitarian operations, disarmament and reconstruction efforts.

"Security Council Resolution 1325(2000), which was issued 8 years ago, represented an international acknowledgement of the important and equal role to be played by women in peacekeeping operations, prevention of conflicts and maintenance of international peace and security. This has become clear after wars and conflicts in many regions proved that the low participation of woman in the above-mentioned fields have made women and children more vulnerable to acts of killing, sexual violence, mutilation, starvation, forced displacement and other inhumane acts, which fall under the rubric of war crimes, and are punishable in accordance with the international criminal system," Ahmed Al-Jarman, UAE's Permanent Representative at the United Nations stated in an address to the open debate of the UN Security Council on "Women and Peace and Security".

He said the methodological approach called for by the resolution and other relevant presidential statements, was not only aiming at providing the necessary protection to women and girls and putting an end to the targeting of women and girls and violating their human rights during armed conflicts, but has also aimed at addressing their needs and concerns at the time of formulating strategies for containing existing tensions and preventing conflicts and for transitional periods, reconstruction and peace-building in post-conflict areas. "This requires taking necessary measures on a priority basis in order to ensure efficient and integrated participation of women in all efforts made to maintain and promote domestic peace and security in their communities, including effective participation in decision-making processes, mediation, reconciliation and negotiation, management of humanitarian operations, disarmament, demobilization, rebuilding capacities, integration and reconstruction," he added.

He pointed out that the UAE, which has closely followed with satisfaction the efforts made so far for gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations at the level of the UN system and national and civil societies, emphasizes the reality that women's involvement in these operations continues to be weak and ineffective due to the absence of political will and the lack of necessary resources. "We, therefore, call upon the Security Council and all agencies, funds and departments of the UN to continue their responsibility in accordance with their mandates to achieve gender equality and reinforce confidence in the rule of law and the security sector, which are considered prerequisites for the maintenance of sustainable peace and security," he stated.

Al-Jarman reiterated the UAE's call for the need for the re-evaluation and development of the implementation plan of resolution 1325 and addressing areas of weakness in this resolution, including those related to the insufficient funding for gender mainstreaming projects and the need to enhance the role of women in the following five main areas: prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery.

The UAE's call for the strengthening of cooperation among the UN entities, governments, civil organizations and task forces of regional governmental and non-governmental organizations, especially in the areas of exchange of information and good practices which proved to be effective in post-conflict countries. "This will ensure the full implementation of resolution 1325, including the creation of an enabling environment for the empowerment of women and expansion of women's direct political participation in the mediation and negotiation processes, peace talks, implementation of concluded agreements, and other humanitarian and development operations, which requires, in our opinion, gender balance in all delegations and task forces, and the inclusion of women's interests and concerns in the agendas of peace talks," he added.

The need for developing the important role of the United Nations and donating countries in assisting post-conflict countries in funding and implementing projects aimed at strengthening national legislations and training activities in areas of human rights and gender mainstreaming. This, the UAE believes, will ensure the active participation of women in leading various sectors in accordance with the national goals and international standards which call for a better accountability, monitoring and reporting system on the status of women, and the protection of their rights, which can be achieved through combating violence and illegal acts against women, including crimes committed by personnel participating in peacekeeping operations.

The UAE also believes the need to develop further methods and applications for training and empowering women in order to facilitate women's involvement in the legal reform process and democratization, in the drafting of the constitution and elections laws, in the education of voters, in leading parties and in participating in local governance and reconstruction efforts in post-conflict areas.

"There is also the need for reinforcing national, regional and international legislations related to forming commissions of inquiry and national and international independent courts with a view to putting an end to impunity and prosecuting and punishing those who are responsible for violations of women's rights, rape and war crimes, Al-Jarman stated.

The UAE also believes in the need for implementing comprehensive plans for raising awareness especially in conflict and post-conflict countries, in order to promote the full implementation of international humanitarian law and human rights law, which both protect women and girls rights during armed conflicts.

He pointed out that the United Arab Emirates had gone a long way in advancing the cause of women and strengthening their effective participation in the economic, social, cultural and political developments over the last three decades. "In keeping with the gender equality perspective, the UAE has implemented during the last few years a number of training programs to integrate women, alongside men, into humanitarian work and civil defence, including external military missions which are linked to relief programs and peacekeeping in areas of conflicts with a view to alleviating the suffering of affected populations," he explained.

Believing in her important role in decision-making and the enhancement of national stability and security, he said, the UAE Government encouraged the UAE woman to achieve significant and unprecedented gains by increasing her representation in the executive, legislative and judicial authorities. "The UAE Government has also enacted the necessary legislations for protecting women's constitutional rights on the basis of gender equality with men in rights and duties, and has acceded to a number of international conventions that safeguarded the rights of women, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The Government has also enacted the Family Code with a view to protecting women's rights and dignity," he stated.

He reiterated the UAE's concerns at the continuing dire humanitarian situation of the Palestinian women and children as a result of the Israeli continued aggression, siege and occupation of the Palestinian territories, in breach of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and other international humanitarian laws. "We demand from the Security Council to uphold its responsibilities towards demanding Israel to ensure the full implementation of its obligations under the relevant United Nations resolutions. Otherwise, our region will remain in a state of instability and insecurity, which in turn will generate more violence against women," he said. "We also hope that our deliberations on this item will lead to creating an integrated global institutional approach that leads to protecting women and children and improving their conditions during and after conflicts," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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