Women Empowered as Agents of Peace, Reconciliation, Growth

U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rosemary A. DiCarlo today said the United States is committed to empower women as agents of peace, reconciliation and growth.

In her remarks at a Security Council Session on Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Mediation, Ms. DiCarlo highlighted that the awarding of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, and Liberian peace activist Leymah Roberta Gbowee is recognition of the role that women can play in helping resolve conflict.

“All three women are excellent examples of the difference women can make when given the opportunity to make decisions about the future of their countries. They have had significant impact on their societies and we congratulate them.” -Ms. DiCarlo

Ms. Otero noted that over the past several years, the United Nations and its member states have taken important steps to increase women’s participation in issues related to peace and security. She said they established UN Women and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict.

“Through this Council’s work, we defined what we expect of parties to conflict with respect to the protection of women. We established a framework to track implementation of Resolution 1325. Many states, including my country, are developing national action plans to guide their engagement on issues of women, peace, and security.” -Ms. DiCarlo

Ms. Otero noted that the Secretary-General’s report provides examples of both real progress and the challenges ahead. She said they welcome the initiative of DPKO and DPA to include gender components, advisors, or focal points in all field missions on this issue.

“We’re pleased that a gender and mediation specialist has been appointed to the Standby Team of Mediation Experts to ensure that women’s concerns are addressed in conflict prevention and resolution, and not just toward the end of a conflict, as is often the case. And we are encouraged that a growing number of reports to the Security Council, as well as mission mandate renewal resolutions, address issues related to women in conflict and post-conflict situations.” -Ms. Dicarlo

She emphasized that the Secretary-General noted, “mere reference to women, peace and security resolutions is not enough.”

“We must give UN entities strong support to implement and deliver results for gender equality.” -Ms. DiCarlo

Ms. DiCarlo underlined that gaps also remain in ensuring that those serving in UN missions are held accountable for their performance, particularly in the case of sexual exploitation and abuse. She added that as the Secretary-General acknowledged, “the UN still lacks a system that enables complaints of sexual exploitation and abuse to be reported safely.

She stressed that the United Nations needs to lead by example by actively enforcing the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. She added that conflict-related sexual violence must be addressed from the very start in peace processes, and more women should be included as mediators and members of negotiating teams

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.