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Advancing Women at the United Nations

an article by Nancy Wrenn

The two-week 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (under ECOSOC) began at the UN in New York on March 1. Members of many non-governmental organizations (NGO's) were delegates and invited to participate in both formal and informal sessions relating to the two themes for this session of Women's Participation in Peacekeeping and the Role of Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality. The following statement, which highlights the building blocks of the Culture of Peace, was prepared by NGO representatives as a formal "intervention." It is abridged here to fit within CPNN's space limit, but the full text is on the Discussion Board.

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.

We need greater participation of women at all stages of decision making to 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.


Question(s) related to this article:

How can we help make the UN a more effective instrument for peace?,

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Latest reader comment:

Nancy, Did you attend any of the CSW Beijing +Ten sessions?
What do you think are the prospects of the US signing CEDAW?

This report was posted on March 6, 2004.

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