U.S. Ambassador and Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations Jeffrey DeLaurentis today stressed that women are essential drivers of the peacebuilding process.
At a Security Council debate on peacebuilding, Mr. DeLaurentis The United States is currently developing a national action plan on women, peace, and security, to focus efforts on women’s participation in relief and recovery efforts.
“Women must be empowered not just as beneficiaries of development, but as agents of economic, social, and political transformation. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize this year to three women peacebuilders is a strong testament to their indispensability in successful peace processes.” -Mr. DeLaurentis
He also highlighted that peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict is among U.S. highest priorities, representing the greatest opportunity to transform the dynamics that led to bloodshed in the first place.
According to Mr. DeLaurentis, the strength of UN peacebuilding is dependent on the expertise and capabilities of its field personnel – and of the UN’s agility in deploying, leading, and managing them effectively.
“The United States … welcome the unfolding Civilian Capacity Review implementation process, whose efforts must improve the UN’s flexibility, resourcefulness, and decisiveness in deploying qualified and capable civilian specialists to the field.” -Mr. DeLaurentis
He stressed that if UN efforts to build peace are to be truly sustainable, they must incorporate women throughout the process. Mr. DeLaurentis echoed the Secretary-General’s 2010 Women in Peacebuilding, saying “women are crucial partners in shoring up three pillars of lasting peace: economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy.”
He cited that in U.S. post-conflict development efforts, they recognzed that women are essential drivers of the peacebuilding process.
“For example, members of the U.S. Civilian Response Corps in South Sudan are working with local women leaders in areas historically under-represented in the political circles in Juba to facilitate their increased participation in political processes.” -Mr. DeLaurentis
He noted that the U.S. government also commends the work of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone, which has developed an approach on gender matters that combats gender-based violence and promotes access to health care, political participation and justice for women.