Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Gabon, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

We, the Security Council signatories of the Statement of Shared Commitments for the principles of Women, Peace, and Security have come together once again to demonstrate the priority we place on the WPS agenda during our terms on the Security Council.

Today the Council convenes to discuss the situation in the Central African Republic.

As the security, humanitarian and political situation remains dire, the participation and protection of women and girls continues to be severely impacted with serious implications on efforts towards their inclusion and empowerment. We encourage all efforts for dialogue to be inclusive and for the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women in decision-making, leadership and electoral positions, as well as in all political and peace processes, including through the joint roadmap. We welcome MINUSCA’s engagement and support of women in the electoral process.

As we commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict yesterday, the women and girls of the Central African Republic continue to be exposed to human rights and international humanitarian law violations, including sexual and gender-based violence. This is further exacerbated by displacement due to the conflict and the impacts of climate and ecological changes. Sexual and gender-based violence is one of the security threats to Central African civilians, particularly women and girls.  It is essential to hold perpetrators of such crimes accountable, and guarantee survivors’ access to justice, as well as gender-responsive medical, psychosocial and protection assistance. We further stress a zero-tolerance policy on all situations of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Gender equality and women’s socio-economic empowerment are fundamental to achieving sustainable development and lasting peace in the Central African Republic. We urge all parties, including UN agencies, to provide training and technical assistance in sectors that create viable and sustainable livelihoods for women and girls. We reiterate the importance for the full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of all women in the economy and across all sectors and communities. We welcome efforts by the Government to promote their public and political participation.