Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security. We join others in thanking the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Ms. Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, for her briefing. We also thank the Executive Director of UN-Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, for her briefing, and offer our continued support to UN-Women for their role in advancing this agenda. We would like to reiterate Ms. Mlambo-Ngucka’s call for efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment at the United Nations. As a Member of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security, the UAE would also like to endorse the Group’s joint statement.
Two years have passed since we marked the fifteen-year anniversary of resolution 1325, and the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2242, co-sponsored by nearly 70 Member States. As a co-sponsor of this resolution and strong advocate of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UAE is committed to building a strong framework for action to realize the full implementation of this agenda.
Since 2015, the UN has taken important steps to operationalizing this agenda. The Security Council established the Informal Experts Group on Women, Peace and Security, which focuses on integrating a gender perspective into country-specific situations on the Security Council’s agenda. The National Focal Points Network, of which the UAE is a foundational member, has driven coordination and implementation of the WPS agenda at the national level.
Yet, implementation of the WPS agenda on the ground remains a challenge, due to a confluence of threats ranging from the rise in terrorism and violent extremism, to the targeting of women and girls in conflict zones, to the protracted nature of the displacement crisis. The UAE recognizes the range of factors that prevent the full operationalization of the WPS agenda, and is doing its part to both prevent conflict and promote sustainable peace, which are critical to the achievement of Agenda 2030.
One of the founding principles of the UAE is the full, meaningful, and continually improving participation of women in every aspect of our society. In recognition of this core belief, the UAE’s foreign assistance strategy includes women’s protection and empowerment as one of its three key pillars. Respect for the rights of women and girls underpins every aspect of the UAE’s approach to our global response.
The UAE considers its partnership with UN-Women a key part of its strategy to implement the WPS agenda. Accordingly, the UAE has supported UN-Women since its inception, and recently announced a contribution of 15 million dollars to support UN-Women’s critical work over the next three years.
As a symbol of our strong partnership, and under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the UAE and UN-Women launched a Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi in 2016, which will enhance and strengthen collaboration to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls – a core part of the WPS agenda in the region.
The UAE also recognizes that a strong research base is required so that our policies intended to operationalize the WPS agenda are data-driven and effective. This is why the UAE contributes to this research base by supporting UN-Women’s “Women, Peace and Security Global Programme”, in order to promote conflict resilient societies through prevention efforts that facilitate women’s participation, leadership, and the protection of their rights. The Global Programme has furthered gender-sensitive research and data collection to reveal the drivers of extremism, and the impacts of counter-terrorism strategies on women’s rights and women’s organizations.
The UAE understands the importance of strengthening the capacity of governments to address accountability for conflict-related sexual violence. This is why the UAE has supported the UN’s Team of Experts: Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict in the development and implementation of an action plan on conflict-related sexual violence in Somalia, as well the establishment of prevention and response mechanisms, of which accountability is a central element.
The UAE recognizes that the international community will only achieve sustainable peace by placing women’s participation at the core of our global peace and security efforts. We will continue to advocate for the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of senior leadership and decision-making, and to work towards the effective implementation of the women, peace and security agenda.