NEW YORK – During the annual UN Security Council Open Debate on women, peace and security (WPS) on 29 October 2019, the UAE emphasized the importance of ensuring the full and meaningful participation of women throughout all stages of peace processes and negotiations.  In her statement, H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, outlined the UAE’s efforts to advance the WPS agenda and address the gaps in its implementation.

“The WPS agenda is not only morally imperative for women’s empowerment and gender equality, it is also critical to preventing conflict and building sustainable peace,” Ambassador Nusseibeh said at the debate. “Women are our first-responders, our community and family pillars, and agents of change. The UAE remains committed to this vision.”

Ambassador Nusseibeh underscored that women needed to be an integral part of both formal and informal negotiations throughout the peace process and should not be excluded in the aftermath of conflict resolution. She stressed that early planning based on gender-sensitive conflict and political analysis must inform all peace and security interventions.

Ambassador Nusseibeh emphasized the importance of increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations. In this regard, she highlighted the UAE-UN Women military and peacekeeping training programme for women, which launched successfully in early 2019 and consisted of 134 participants from the Arab region in its first round. She noted that the second round of the programme is set to launch in January 2020 and will expand to also include women from Asia and Africa.

Noting the multiplier effect the inclusion of women in post-conflict reconstruction has, Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted the recent launch of the joint panel discussion series with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security on the role of women in post-conflict reconstruction – a key dimension of the WPS agenda. She added that drawing on the findings of the discussions, a UN plan of action will also be released for the UN community with a shortlist of key reforms and actions to ensure gender is mainstreamed across UN services to post-conflict and recovering communities.

Furthermore, Ambassador Nusseibeh reaffirmed the UAE’s strong support for the proposal that 15 percent of all UN security and peace spending explicitly target gender equality and women’s empowerment. She called for prioritizing financing mechanisms that specifically address women’s vital role in humanitarian and conflict responses as well as meaningful budget line items for protection and peace work.

Ambassador Nusseibeh stated that electoral reforms around the world should be prioritized to enable women’s safe political participation as voters and candidate, including the use of quotas where needed – as the UAE has done to ensure gender balance in the Federal National Council in the recent elections. She also called on the Council to have women from conflict zones, particularly youth, to brief on relevant issues of great importance for the WPS agenda.

Earlier in the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2492, introduced by South Africa and co-sponsored by the UAE, urging Member States to intensify international and national efforts to promote the full and meaningful participation of women across all stages of peace processes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the anniversary of Resolution 1325 (2000) in 2020.