|Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations LIU Zhenmin at the Security Council Open Debate "the Roles of Women in the Consolidation of Peace"|
May I begin by thanking you for initiating the discussion of this issue. I also wish to thank the Secretary-General for his report and express my appreciation to Ms. Rachel Mayanja, Under-Secretary-General Mr. Jean-Marie Guehenno, Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Ms. Carolyn McAskie for their interventions.
This year marks the sixth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325 by the Security Council. It is also the first anniversary of the introduction by the Secretary-General of the UN System-wide Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325. This resolution constitutes the basis for the Council's work in the area of women, peace and security, and also identifies the direction for the Council's efforts in this arena.
As is described in the Secretary-General's report, six years of efforts and one year of practice show that the relevant bodies and agencies in the UN system have done a great deal of work in early warning and conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building, peace keeping, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict reconstruction, implementation of DDR programmes, and the protection of women's rights and interests in armed conflicts. Through the implementation of myriad specific projects, they helped elevate the status and role of women, and protected and bolstered their legitimate rights and interests.
Nonetheless, we also realize that the question of women, peace and security covers many levels and facets, involves many institutions and agencies, and finds expression in conflict situations with different characteristics. What's more, in carrying out their current specific mandates, these institutions and agencies have encountered some institutional and organizational challenges and inadequacies. In some conflict situations, women remain in tragic predicaments, lacking guarantee for their personal safety and security, and unable to participate effectively in the peace process and political life. The Chinese delegation attaches great significance to this issue. In this connection, I wish to stress the following points:
First and foremost, the existing outcomes in the area of women, peace and security should be followed up proactively and comprehensively; the Security Council should play a critical role in its own right. SCR 1325, the Outcome Document of last year's Summit, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and a series of outcomes in this area set out for us clear and long-term requirements which need to be met jointly through collective efforts by the Member States at large and various UN bodies, agencies and programmes. As the organ which shoulders the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Council should strive to remove the root causes of conflicts, intensify conflict prevention and peace-keeping so as to create an enabling environment for the survival and development of all vulnerable groups, women, children and civilians included. On their part, countries should formulate their own national strategies or programmes of action in light of their national conditions with a view to fulfilling the afore-mentioned commitments.
Second, in all phases of the peace process, the status and role of women should receive adequate attention. In this regard, an awareness and culture of paying attention to and respecting women should be formed. Pursuing gender equality is a demand that is enshrined in the UN Charter and Resolution 1325 as well as an obligation for all Member States. It is imperative to heed women's special needs and concerns at the different stages of conflict prevention, peace-keeping and peace building. Their potential and role should also be fully recognized and tapped. Women should enjoy full decision-making power in the peace process as they can provide firm support and a solid foundation for the hard-won peace. A peace process in which women are accorded attention and respect is a promising peace process; a social system in which women are valued and respected is a mature and durable social system. The Peace Building Commission, on which all parties place high hopes, came into being and had a smooth start in its substantive work. In its work in the years ahead, it should accord priority to women in post-conflict situation and encourage them to participate in all kinds of activities that are related to peace building.
Third, in the process of UN reform, efforts should be made to enhance the Organization's inter-agency coordination and capacity building in the field of women, peace and security while optimizing resource allocation. The Secretary-General's UN System-wide Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325 is a meaningful experiment as it involves dozens of UN bodies and encompasses hundreds of specific actions. We hope that the Plan will be followed through and integrated with the UN reform process in order that the different bodies within the UN system and the Secretariat are better adapted, systemically and practice-wise, to implement fully this resolution. Having deliberated on composite women-related issues over the years, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council possess vast experience and systematic agendas of work. For this reason, the Security Council should coordinate with them in its work and focus on questions within its own terms of reference in order to achieve the overall result of clear division of labour and emphasis on key issues.
There will be no lasting peace and social stability without the effective participation of women. The Beijing Declaration announces, "Local, national, regional and global peace is attainable and is inextricably linked with the advancement of women, who are a fundamental force for leadership, conflict resolution and the promotion of lasting peace at all levels." More than ten years later, a declaration such as this still provides guidance with profound significance. The Chinese government always attaches importance to the protection of women's rights and interests and to the advancement of women, having taken an active part in all UN processes in the field of women. We are ready to work in concert with the international community in a continued effort to achieve all the goals in the area of women, peace and security. Finally, China supports the Council's issuance of the Presidential Statement which now commands consensus.
Thank you, Mr. President.