More New York news

27 October 2005
Maria's message on the Arria Formula offers us not just an opportunity to celebrate, but also an important challenge to reflect. On one hand, the Arria Formula was again a success - the speeches were good, Security Council member states showed good will and asked good questions. But we should acknowledge that three member states did not attend at all, and we had fewer Ambassadors/DPRs then ever. Why? Maybe we can take responsiblity for this - and I want to be frank here. The Security Council (SC) resolution offered us an opportunity to enter the peace and security discussion and as Amb Chowdhury suggested when he spoke at the launch of Five Years On (an excellent publication!), the subtitle could have been - "Making Peace Work for Women, and Ensuring Women are Working for Peace," instead of simply stopping at "Making Peace Work for Women". I simply wonder if we can do a better job of speaking to the SC mandate and the issues on the SC agenda directly.

The Peacebuilding Commission is an opportunity to look at the nexus between peace and security and development to the extent that it focuses on the critical transition period when DDR (disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration) programmes typically end at DD, and the CNN effect contributes to the cut of political will and funding just when women's organizing for peace and stability are ramping up. We know that this is the time when hard won gains during the post-conflict are often most at jeopardy. But when addressing SC resolution 1325, I feel it is important that we remain disciplined in what we request and expect and not allow ourselves to drift into Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and General Assembly (GA) territory by insisting for example that SC authorize funding for education programmes for girls, for example. Having said that, I want to acknowledge that multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation can support gender equality intiatives within the SC mandate - women's access to decision making in conflict resolution and peace building, consideration for women and girls in DDR programmes, enhanced protection for civilians, including refugees and survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).  But I want to stress that we need to remain on message to be heard and have effective influence on the Security Council. We need to read Secretary General reports to the Security Council to know where the gaps are and how our contribution as women can fill in necessary information and expertise.

Yesterday's discussion on "responsibility to protect" (R2P) and 1325 also touched on this issue. INSTRAW has produced a very thoughtful document on how to infuse gender considerations into R2P thinking - "A Site For Sore Eyes:  Bringing Gender Vision to the Responsiblity to Protection Framework".  It was interesting that they included sections on "responsiblity to rebuild" and "development". We know that the Secretary General's Outcome Document clearly highlights the inter-section and inter-action of security and development issues internationally and so it is good to see R2P gender thinking contributing to the entire continuum.  Again, I think that this will be important for Peacebuilding Commission discussions.

I hope this intervention is helpful and clear enough. Perhaps ultimately women's lives and human security definitions of security are more holistic then the way that the UN SC/ECOSOC/GA have divided them... a topic for UN reform?  Just sharing some of my own lessons learned.
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