A view of 1325 from Serbia

24 October 2005
Greetings all,
I’m happy to be joining the conversation, albeit a bit late. This is a view of 1325 from Serbia.
Instead of the expected changes, the period after 5 October 2000 has been marked with the missing of opportunities for our country to create a discontinuity with the politics of the Milosevic regime, to start down the path of democracy and reconciliation, towards the establishment of a just and lasting peace and integration into the international community. A number of chances have been missed for active inclusion in the international community, which is possible only with complete respect for international standards and conventions. One of those conventions is the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 devoted to women, peace, and security.
Five years after the passing of Resolution 1325, our country has yet to ratify the resolution. Because of this, we consider it necessary to continue activities directed at familiarizing the public with the contents of Resolution 1325 as well as to demand that the competent institutions ratify and accept the mentioned resolution. With Resolution 1325, for the first time, the highest body of the UN officially confirmed the significance of civil society, in particular women's autonomous groups, in the building of peace and establishment of security. Without the participation of women on all levels decision-making, especially those where questions of peace, conflict prevention and the creation of new forms of security are decided, a just and lasting peace cannot be achieved.
We take the following as starting points:
Peace is not simply the absence of war – peace is the absence of fear, hatred, misery, and injustice;
A positive peace implies the absence of direct (physical, etc.) but also indirect or structural violence (poverty, exploitation, injustice, tyranny, etc.)
A positive peace is possible only on the basis of balanced development, social justice, and human security;
Security is not only the absence of armed conflict and open terror, but also implies the absence of fear, violence, repression, misery; security implies the investment in peace, health, education, and culture;
Human security is based on civilian/civic values, including full respect of human rights, particularly women's human rights.
Keeping in mind that we live in a country in which human security is seriously endangered, we consider it imperative that we warn of a series of forms of endangerment of the basic security of all citizens, in particular of activists of civil society. Retrograde forces, making use of the passive (in some cases even open) collaboration of state organs, are more and more openly and aggressively spreading hatred and producing a murderous climate, who's first victims are human rights defenders and advocates of peace.
In light of the failure on the part of our government to increase women’s security, we have devoted much of our recent energies to organizing conferences and workshops on the themes of Women, Peace, and Democracy and Women, Peace, and Security.  We are in final preparations for a conference on Women, Peace, and Security that will take place on the 31st of this month.  We are hoping that these efforts will help to foster a civil society that demands women’s full participation in peacemaking.
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