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Gender equality

MIKTA Countries Joint Statement at the UNSC Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 29 October 2020

Mr. President,

I have the honour to submit this statement on behalf of the MIKTA countries, namely Mexico, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Australia.

At the outset, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Russian Presidency for convening today’s Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This year marks the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325, which set the foundation for the guiding WPS agenda. At this critical juncture, we believe that today’s debate serves as a timely opportunity to take stock of what we have achieved so far, and to explore our next steps together.

In this regard, the MIKTA countries express our appreciation for the Secretary-General’s recent report which provides valuable assessments and recommendations on the implementation of the WPS agenda. For the last two decades, a solid normative framework has been developed through the subsequent resolutions of the Security Council. Although there has been some progress in this field, we are still witnessing a significant and troubling gap between our commitments and their implementation on the ground. Furthermore, disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls are posing a great risk of reversing our hard-won gains on gender equality and women’s empowerment. As such, it is critical to translate words to concrete action through full and effective implementation of the WPS agenda and to create tangible outcomes moving forward. To this end, we recognize as well the key role that civil society, women’s organizations and women peacebuilders play, in particular at local levels, to promote peace and security.

Mr. President,

As elaborated in the Secretary-General's report, women still remain underrepresented in peace processes. The MIKTA countries highlight that full, equal, and meaningful participation of all women, including young women, in all aspects and at all levels of peace and security efforts must be ensured. The voices of women must be heard in decision-making at all stages of peace processes, and more women must be seated at the negotiating table.

In particular, we would like to emphasize the importance of advancing the role of women in peacekeeping operations. In this regard, we are pleased to acknowledge the adoption of Security Council resolution 2538 this August on women peacekeepers, which Indonesia drafted and all MIKTA countries co-sponsored. We also note with support and appreciation the Secretary-General's Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy 2018-28. The MIKTA countries look forward to substantive progress being made through the full implementation of the relevant resolutions and strategies.

To this end, gender-perspectives should be integrated in all forms of mediation, prevention of conflicts, peace operations, post-conflict and post-crisis recovery and peacebuilding processes. Any violence or threats that hinder gender equality and the full, equal and meaningful participation of women can never be tolerated and must be held accountable.

Despite global efforts to eliminate conflict-related sexual violence and end impunity, it remains a deep and persistent problem. We note with deep concern that sexual violence continues to be used as a routine tactical element of war and situations of armed conflict and crisis. Sexual exploitation and abuse constitute abhorrent violations of human rights. Thus, it is imperative to coordinate our elevated efforts for prevention and to strengthen accountability. The MIKTA countries highlight the need for a survivor-centered approach and believe that comprehensive assistance should be provided to survivors of sexual violence.  

Mr. President,

While celebrating the 20th anniversary of the WPS agenda, we are simultaneously embarking on a new journey towards the next two decades and beyond. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is posing unprecedented challenges to all of us, and its potential long term socio-economic impacts cast a shadow on WPS as well. As such, we must emerge from the pandemic and recommit ourselves to this critical agenda; or we may lose what we have fought for to date. Tomorrow depends on today's actions. It is the sincere hope of the MIKTA countries that we can all be proud of our actions today when we look back on them in 2040. MIKTA, as a unique cross-regional group of countries on different continents, underscores its readiness and unwavering commitment to advancing the WPS agenda.

Thank you. /END/

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