Mr. President,

The UAE thanks the Russian Federation for convening this year’s annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), which continues to be one of our priority topics and thank the Secretary General for his recent report on the implementation of resolution 1325.

We are observing the 20th anniversary of the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 today under exceptional circumstances, as the world is currently unified in halting the spread and overcoming the consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic. These past months have once again demonstrated the detrimental effects of crises on women and girls worldwide, at the same time highlighting how crucial their positive contributions in such contexts are, as they make up the majority frontline workers.

Over the past two decades, the Women, Peace and Security agenda has been pivotal in recognizing the disproportionate effects of conflicts on women and girls, but it has particularly contributed to the recognition of them as active agents and the meaningful role they play when it comes to conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict recovery processes.

While it is our duty to protect the progress made and to ensure gains will not be lost and inequalities further deepened, the advancement of the WPS agenda is a key priority for the UAE, and will remain as such during our recently announced candidacy for an elected seat on the Security Council for the 2022-2023 term with our focus on the full and effective implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 and its subsequent 9 resolutions.

The UAE firmly believes that women’s active engagement is a peace and security imperative, and twenty years after the inception of the WPS agenda, we can no longer allow for women and women’s issues to be sidelined. As we strongly believe that multilateral efforts are essential to achieving this goal, the UAE and Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security will launch, as a result of our panel series on the role of women in post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding throughout the past year, a UN Action Plan, which will outline concrete priority actions and reforms, encouraging Member States and UN agencies to introduce and extend measures that ensure post-conflict activities are gender-mainstreamed.

The number and influence of women uniformed personnel is an essential part of building sustainable peace, yet numbers of female peacekeepers remain persistently low. Through the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace & Security Initiative the UAE, in cooperation with UN Women, has enabled the successful graduation of over 300 women from Asia, Africa and the Middle East to facilitate their effective contribution to peacekeeping, conflict resolution and all aspects of building peace. The third round of trainings will commence next year. Through this, the UAE anticipates to contribute to closing the gaps related to gender-responsive security sector reform and thus calls on all Member States to identify and address barriers that women peacekeepers face.

While the focus on promoting women’s participation is essential, we cannot dismiss the fact that numbers of cases of sexual and gender-based violence remain unwaveringly high and continue to increase. The UAE strongly condemns these crimes, as they pose a serious threat to peace and security and holding perpetrators accountable is a critical component of preventing and deterring these crimes. Funding allocated to sexual gender-based violence is still far from covering the actual needs and the UAE continues to contribute to international efforts in this regard. Only last month, as a follow-up to last year’s Oslo conference, the UAE reiterated its support through additional financial contributions to the GenCap and ProCap programmes as well as Nadia’s Initiative. We call on all Member States to ensure their foreign aid specifically targets such indispensable programmes and to closely work together with UN entities and other organizations towards ending sexual and gender-based violence.

It is without question that for our shared ambition in preventing conflicts and achieving safer and more peaceful societies, we must deliver on the commitments made since the adoption of resolution 1325. The UAE will remain a committed partner, together with other Member States, UN agencies and civil society, to facilitate enabling environments for women and girls, in all parts of the world, for them to realize their full, equal and meaningful participation.

Thank you.