New Zealand appreciates this opportunity to mark the twelfth anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, and thanks last month’s president, Guatemala, and now India, for organising this important debate.
It is appropriate that this particular debate should focus on the role of women’s civil society organisations.
1325 was not created in a vacuum.
Nor did it result only from the foresight of Member States.
Rather, it was women’s’ civil society organisations who were particularly instrumental in the initial passage of 1325 - the culmination of many years active campaigning; and they continue to play a key role in ensuring inclusion of gender perspectives in all UN debates on peace and security issues.
We particularly note the important role played by women’s organisations in our own region; they were vital components of peace processes in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (which will highlight the issue in its later statement to this Council) and the Solomon Islands; and, as Luxembourg has noted, also in Timor-Leste.
And, again in our own region, in September of this year, we were very pleased to see the launch of the first Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security – on which occasion Prime Minister Puna of the Cook Islands underscored the contribution of Pacific women’s civil society organisations in the development of that Action Plan.
We repeat that sentiment in this forum, today; indeed, we emphasise the need to mainstream gender perspectives across all issues in the peace and security agenda.
We also welcome the Secretary General’s report on women, peace and security, and draw attention to several points -
It's critically important that the full Women, Peace and Security agenda is considered as part of the planning for drawdown and handover – as has just been highlighted by Sweden.
In this regard, we commend the leadership of Trinidad and Tobago in bringing, to the UN, the issues of Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control; and are pleased that this year’s First Committee resolution was adopted by consensus.
We hope we can make further progress, drawing on the positive outcomes from this year’s Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons – which, for most, truly are the "weapons of mass destruction".
New Zealand particularly highlights the importance of further research and analysis to improve our understanding of the role women can and must play in this area.
Mr President –
At a time when many National Action Plans are up for review, New Zealand is pleased to acknowledge that, as we continue to develop our own plan, we are learning from the experience of many others.
Overall, however, we must all continue to push ahead with the Women, Peace and Security agenda through on-going and enhanced collaboration between Member States, international, regional and sub-regional organisations and civil society.
New Zealand will certainly continue to play its part in that very important endeavour.