Check against delivery
Thank you, Madam Chair,
I would like to start by thanking Ireland, the chair of today’s meeting, as well as Mexico, Estonia, Kenya, Niger, Norway, Tunisia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, St.Vincent and the Grenadines and Vietnam for convening this discussion on the occasion of International Women’s Day. When talking about overcoming the multi-layered challenges that still hinder women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes, it is critical to do so in partnership with all stakeholders, so I also thank the briefers for their valuable contributions.
I will refrain from repeating the staggeringly low numbers of women’s participation in peace processes – be it as mediators, negotiators or signatories. But like my colleagues who have spoken so far, I will be vocal about the fact that we cannot allow inertia to persist in this chamber, especially when there is plenty of evidence before us that emphasizes the significance of women’s contributions to peace processes, for reasons of substance as well as durability. Women’s inclusion is not only a moral imperative, it is also a peace and security imperative.
To ensure that UN efforts reflect this reality in peacemaking efforts, we as Member States and the UN – especially SRSGs and USGs – have many of the levers we already need.
The first is management commitment – making WPS a core and normalized standard operating procedure and not a peripheral or good-to-have issue. We have seen progress on this front, but we need to match good intentions with good incentives. Linking UN staff performance to WPS metrics would be a powerful way to mainstream them, giving people clear responsibilities and accountability.
Second, to make sure that we are incentivizing the inclusion of women on these critical conversations, we need to allocate targeted funding, with a clear indication from the implementing agencies what outputs are entailed. The SG’s recommendation that 15% of peace and security spending explicitly target gender equality is a good starting point.
Third, Security Council members can include relevant language in the mandates of peacekeeping operations and special political missions where it is relevant, again lifting WPS from a niche status.
Beyond this Council, Member States should also be consistent in supporting these priorities during the budgetary process and adopting relevant policies and guidance in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations for example. We need to supplement high-level events about the issue with work on a clear management system for accountability and delivery.
Fourth, the UAE joins many other Member States in emphasizing that increasing the number of women in peacekeeping is an important component of ensuring the inclusivity of peace efforts. This is a critical gap that the UAE is working to address through our WPS training programme for women peacekeepers through the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace, and Security Initiative with UN Women. So far, over 300 women from Asia, Africa and the Middle East have been trained through this programme . We are hoping to organize a third round of trainings later this year. A key focus for us will be on working with troop- and police-contributing countries on the appropriate incentives and conditions to ensure these women can be deployed to UN-led operations in a systematic manner.
In conclusion, I would like to assure you that advancing women’s full, equal and meaningful participation will remain a key priority for the UAE and we look forward to collaborating with today’s hosts and the whole membership during our term on the Security Council for 2022-2023.