||Posted: Mar. 06 2004,10:43
Here is the full and unabridged text of the Women's NGO statement submitted on March 3 to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
In an environment when international human rights and humanitarian law, collective security and multilateralism are being challenged by unilateralism and the aggressive use of force, we affirm our commitment to the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action. This human rights framework provides the basis for conflict prevention and sustainable peace.
Armed conflict is preventable and women have a key role to play! Security Council Resolution 1325, adopted by consensus, calls for the greater inclusion of women at all stages of conflict prevention, mediation, resolution and post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. We call for a Security Council body to monitor the implementation of SC Resolution 1325. We further call for annual reports from all governments and the UN Secretary General measuring progress and reviewing challenges to the implementation of 1325.
Women's participation in conflict prevention and transformation cannot be achieved without significant economic and human resources. Capacity building of women's organizations is a prerequisite for their meaningful participation.
In order to enhance women's participation in conflict prevention:
1. There is a need to improve the collection, analysis and inclusion of information on women
and gender issues for conflict prevention and early warning efforts of the UN, regional organizations and member states.
2. There is a need for improvement in the collection, analysis and inclusion of women and gender issues in reports of the Secretary General to the Security Council.
3. Women's participation and inclusion of gender issues is required in all stages of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration -- a key component of preventing the re-escalation or resurgence of conflict.
Participation of women in great numbers at all stages of decision making should help ensure that nations' resources are directed to the promotion of human security -- the freedom from want and fear. Resources wasted on armaments and conflicts must be redirected to the provision of basic security needs such as access to adequate food, clean water, shelter, health care and education. A warrior culture, promoted daily by mass media, needs to be transformed through socialization and education for peace.
Sustainable and durable peace is not possible without a culture of peace. The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice in the 21st Century and the Program of Action for the Culture of Peace, adopted by the United Nations, call for comprehensive disarmament, peace education, human rights, democracy, and a world society that moves towards the abolition of war. Governments must prioritize the immediate implementation of the Hague Agenda for Peace and the Program of Action for the Culture of Peace. It is time to move from rhetoric to implementation.
Madame Chair, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, sustainable peace and justice can only be achieved with women's equal participation and representation at the highest levels of decision-making.