Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC open debate on women, peace and security
We are glad to welcome you as President of the Security Council.
We thank High Commissioner Bachelet, Ms. Yaftali, and Ms. Asoka for their insights.
Women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda becomes an integral part of the process of peaceful settlement and post-conflict recovery. We proceed from the understanding that UNSC resolution 1325 (2000) remains a milestone document and some sort of a roadmap that paves the way towards increasing the role of women in conflict prevention and settlement, post-conflict recovery, and protecting women in conflicts.
The world knows many crises; not all of them pose a threat to international peace and security. Security Council can properly use its prerogatives and be effective in implementing resolution 1325 if it scrupulously upholds the mandate set out in this resolution, which means considering the issue of women in the context of maintaining peace and security and with regard to the situations that stand on the SC agenda.
Russia welcomes the steady growth of women’s engagement in efforts to sustain peace, including the negotiation and the peacekeeping segments of this process; and women’s contribution to solving crucial security-related issues, settlement of conflicts and post-conflict recovery.
This level of involvement is important, as it allows to create more resilient and confidential relations with local populations, prevent and investigate violations against women and children, and facilitates follow-up measures for rehabilitation and reintegration of those affected by such violations.
We are convinced that women can become more involved in peacekeeping efforts if we create proper conditions for that. In this context, we should mainstream our efforts in order to ensure broader access of women to resources and technology, as well as the banking sector. Increased attention should be paid to the problems of development of women, overcoming poverty, and granting access to education for women who live in countries having armed conflict. Family is a very special value, and we need to make sure that it is duly protected.
At the same time, women’s participation in all aspects and phases of peacekeeping process must not be a goal in itself, nor should it be a “chase after statistic”. Women’s engagement should proceed from specific features of every given situation, whereby there is a need to prioritize professional attributes of women, account for their personal interests and bear in mind that peacekeeping activity is associated with heavier workload.
Unfortunately, despite numerous efforts, women still suffer from various forms of violence. We are especially concerned by the cases when women get killed or injured, i.a. through indiscriminate or excessive use of force. Such crimes must not be connived or explained by inevitability of so-called collateral damage. Crimes must be investigated, and those responsible must be held to account.
This approach should not only apply to women-peacekeepers. I believe any state has a goal to ensure safety and security of all its citizens, without pointing out any specific category.
It is self-evident that violence against women is unacceptable at all times, and not only when they engage in peacekeeping. However, violence is also unacceptable against all people, regardless of their gender, race, language, religion, and belief.
We believe that establishment of preferential protection regimes for separate categories of peace process participants is both counter-productive and dangerous, because it may create additional social tension, give start to a new stage of conflict, or spiral-up the current one.
Let me say a commonplace thing: we can create safe conditions for women participating in peaceful settlement only if we ensure overall safety for all participants of the process. Only then can we achieve true, reliable and lasting peace.
In conclusion, we reiterate our commitment to constructive interaction with all states on issues of equitable participation of women and men in addressing security-related problems and promoting peaceful settlement of conflicts at all platforms and based on their respective mandates.