H.E. Mr. Jānis Mažeiks
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia
at the Open Debate of the Security Council
“Women, Peace and Security”
13 October 2015
I thank the Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UN-Women, as well as Ms. Yanar Mohammed, Ms. Julienne Lusenge and Ms. Alaa Murabit for their statements. I also thank Spain as the Presidency of the Security Council for organizing this important debate, marking the 15th anniversary since the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
Latvia aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.
In 2000, the Resolution 1325 recognized that war impacts women differently and stressed the need to increase women’s participation in peace talks. No other Security Council Resolution is better known for its number and name because it was truly a historic milestone. Today we can assess what has been achieved in the past 15 years, thanks to a very comprehensive Global Study on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, as well as to Secretary-General’s latest report on women, peace and security.
Significant developments have taken place over the last 15 years. The normative framework for women, peace and security has been strengthened by seven follow-up resolutions to the Resolution 1325, with the latest resolution adopted this morning, which Latvia proudly co-sponsored. The empowerment of women and girls and the respect for their human rights, as well as women’s full participation in decision making processes, including in conflict prevention and resolution, have been recognized as crucial contributors to peace-making and peacebuilding. There has been an important change in the way how the international community views and deals with conflict-related sexual violence.
Despite these positive changes, the global implementation of the Resolution 1325 has been far from complete. The participation of women in peace processes and post-conflict processes needs to be more visible and effective. More efforts are necessary to tackle the impunity for conflict-related sexual violence.
Moreover, the current challenges to international peace and security, such as the changing nature of conflicts, growing threat of non-state armed actors, use of new technologies for the warfare, and dire humanitarian crises, are too complex and often require comprehensive solutions. The rights of women and girls have been particularly violated by the spread of violent extremism.
These challenges affirm the need for the strengthening of prevention of conflicts, early warning and early action, especially by the Security Council. Latvia believes that findings of the Global Study together with the other two ongoing UN reviews - on Peace Operations and Peacebuilding Architecture – can contribute to the strengthened UN response to conflicts and the recognition of the special role of women in all areas of peace and security decision-making. We support the synergies between all three UN reviews.
Reducing the gaps in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda requires commitment by all actors, especially UN member states. Latvia has incorporated the principles of the Resolution 1325 in regulatory provisions of National Armed Forces, as well as in the pre-deployment training programmes. Women’s representation among Latvian military personnel, including among deployed personnel in international operations, has increased. The implementation of the Resolution 1325 has been an important element in Latvia’s development cooperation, for example in Afghanistan and Iraq. Latvia will continue to develop a national policy framework in order to address emerging challenges to achieving gender equality, as well as continue strengthening the legal framework in order to eliminate violence against women and girls.
While the guidelines and recommendations of the Global Study on the implementation of the Resolution 1325 still need to be studied, Latvia hopes they will help boosting the women, peace and security agenda in the future.