|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security|
I thank Secretary-General Guterres, UN Women Executive Director Mlambo-Ngcuka, and AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security Ms. Bineta Diop, for their respective briefings. I have also listened attentively to the statements of Ms. Lina Ekomo and Ms. Alaa Salah. China welcomes the adoption of resolution 2493by the Security Council and appreciates the efforts by the Government and Permanent Mission of South Africa.
Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the Security Council agenda for Women, Peace and security(WPS), the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The international community should capitalize on this opportunity to review and take stock of the achievements and shortcomings in the areas of WPS, so as to identify the right direction for future cooperation and increase consensus. China stands ready to actively support and participate in the comprehensive review of the implementation of Resolution 1325 and work with all parties to push the UN's work in the field of WPS to a new high.
Over the years, thanks to the vigorous efforts of the Council and all parties, women have played an increasingly prominent role in the field of peace and security and become increasingly important participants and contributors in the peace process. More and more women are holding senior positions at UN headquarters and in field missions, and the number of women peacekeepers and police is increasing gradually. In conflict-affected countries, women play an indispensable role in preventing conflict, conducting mediation and building peace, and measures to protect and assist them have been constantly improved. The international community should continue to strengthen coordination and give full play to the important role of women in maintaining international peace and security.
First, we should commit to seeking political solutions to hotspot issues through dialogue and consultation and create an international environment conducive to the survival and development of women. The Security Council should effectively implement its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, not only by taking effective measures to provide comprehensive security and protection to women affected by conflicts and carrying out humanitarian relief work, but, more importantly, by energetically pushing forward the political process and promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes, so as to shield women from the sufferings wrought by wars and conflicts and the harm resulting from terrorism and violent extremism. It is imperative to secure women's full right to participation and decision-making at all stages of the peace process while ensuring that women's representatives involved in the peace process truly reflect the voices of women on the ground. Chinese female peacekeepers and medical teams have been, in defiance of all odds and hardships, actively safeguarding peace in conflict areas and helping and taking care of women and children. They truly are beautiful sights to behold.
Second, we need to address both the symptoms and root causes of conflicts, effectively strengthen women's capacity building, and ensure their effective participation in the peace process. It is imperative to help women achieve equal development, escape poverty and access quality education, which constitute important conditions for their effective participation in the peace process. It is essential to actively help countries concerned carry out post-conflict reconstruction, focusing on capacity-building, and ensure that development benefits all people, not least women. Support should be provided for gender equality and women's empowerment in conflict-affected countries, and special funds should be earmarked to support capacity-building projects for women. Over the years, China has provided substantial support to countries in conflict in such areas as women's empowerment, counter-terrorism and conflict prevention through such platforms as China-Africa Cooperation Forum and China-Arab Cooperation Forum. China is actively fulfilling the commitments made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2015 Global Women's Summit by providing assistance to women and girls in developing countries in health, education, vocational and technical training and other fields. Capitalizing on the opportunity presented by the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, we will deepen our cooperation with all parties in an effort to advance women's empowerment.
Third, we need to fully respect the sovereignty and will of the countries concerned, and ensure that the various UN agencies can form synergies while leveraging their respective strengths. Countries concerned shoulder the primary responsibility in promoting women's effective participation in the peace process and should take appropriate measures in light of their national conditions. Relevant bodies such as the Security Council, ECOSOC, Peacebuilding Commission and UN Women should, in accordance with their respective mandates, fully play to their strengths and intensify coordination, in a joint effort to promote the important role of women in the field of peace and security. Regional and sub-regional organizations are best informed and can therefore provide targeted solutions. The autonomy and unique role of relevant regional and sub-regional organizations such as the African Union and the League of Arab States should be fully respected, with which policy exchanges should be strengthened and best practices shared. NGOs are expected play a constructive role by observing the laws of the countries concerned, respecting the ownership of the host government, and fully consulting with them. China therefore reserves its position vis-à-vis operative paragraph 6 of SCR 2493.
With regard to the work of the Council's Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, China has taken note of its related efforts. But the Group is not an official body of the Security Council. Any work carried out by it in the name of the Council must respect the views of all Council members in a manner consistent with the Security Council mandate and rules of procedure, or its decisions will not be authoritative or morally binding.
Thank you, Madam President.