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UN chief laments slow progress in women participation in peace processes
update:October 30,2019
Oct.30,2019 -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday lamented the slow progress in women's participation in peace processes 19 years after the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Women, Peace and Security.
"The commitment that is always reflected around this table is not translating into real change around the world. It is not coming fast enough or far enough," said Guterres.
The UN chief made the remarks after the Security Council passed Resolution 2493 to reinforce the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the lead up to the commemoration of its 20th anniversary.
He noted nearly two decades since Resolution 1325 was adopted, women still face exclusion from so many peace and political processes, and that peace agreements are still adopted without provisions considering the needs and priorities of women and girls.
A pitifully small 0.2 percent of bilateral aid to fragile and conflict-affected situations goes to women's organizations, he said, adding the number of attacks against women human rights defenders, humanitarians and peacebuilders continues to rise.
Sexual and gender-based violence continues to be used as a weapon of war, and this year alone, millions of women and girls were in need of life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, Guterres said.
Nevertheless, the secretary-general voiced determination to speed up improvement.
He listed progress made in Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, and Syria, noting some 30 percent of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee are women.
Turning to United Nations itself, Guterres said all heads of special political missions and his special envoys have been instructed to report regularly on their efforts to promote women's direct participation throughout all stages of peace processes.
Also, in UN peacekeeping operations, efforts have been made to end sexual exploitation and abuse and increase women's participation, and incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse have been reduced by half, he said.
Closing his remarks, he warned failure to act on women's rights and the principles of the women, peace and security agenda brings enormous costs. "Let us work together to change the narrative and improve by implementation the situation on the ground."
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