Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Maria Zabolotskaya at UNSC debate "Maintenance of international peace and security: The role of women and young people"

Mme President,

We thank Mozambique for convening this debate. We thank USG for political and peacebuilding affairs, Ms.Rosemary DiCarlo; Executive Dorector of UN-Women, Ms.Sima Bahous; ASG for youth affairs, Mr.Felipe Paullier; and AU Youth Ambassador Ms.Simone Diouf, for their briefings and input in this discussion.


We live in an increasingly complex geopolitical environment with the growing number of conflicts and emergence of new challenges and threats, which reaffirm the need for all sectors of society to come together to achieve lasting and sustainable peace and security.

Women, as an integral part of conflict resolution and building sustainable peace, contribute to more harmonious and durable solutions in reconciliation and mediation processes.

Young people, with their innovative ideas, energy and longing for change, can complement these efforts to create more effective solutions.

However we must not forget that women and young people are also the first victims of conflict and instability and that they need to be protected. A clear example is the situation in the Gaza Strip, where tens of thousands of women and children have lost their lives and where children and women are forced to live without a roof over their head and faced with severe shortages of food and even water.

We keep hearing about the importance of developing regional and national strategies and plans or establishing national mechanisms for the implementation of resolutions 1325 and 2250, which established the topics of “Women, peace and security” and “Youth, peace and security” on the agenda of the Security Council.

This being said, a question arises. What strategies and mechanisms for women and youth are involved in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? What role do such strategies play in the specific situation of the conflict? We believe this issue requires some clarity. Doesn’t it seem that, in this area, the UN is engaged in building up bureaucratic structures and formal elaboration and revision of “plans” that have no real role to play in ending and resolving conflicts?


We are gratified to see that the participation of women and young people in peacekeeping processes is growing steadily, including in the negotiation and peacekeeping segments, as well as their contribution to resolving security issues. Russia is contributing to the training of United Nations police peacekeepers from more than 50 countries, mainly African countries. Among them are a large number of women.

Such involvement allows for the establishment of more stable and trustful relations with the local population. It also facilitates follow-up measures for the rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of violence and other violations.

However, such engagement should be a natural process of social evolution, a conscious choice rather than a formal, externally imposed objective.

Russia shares the view that women and young people can and do make an even greater contribution to conflict prevention and resolution. However, attributes such as age and gender cannot be the determining (much less the only) criterion for the involvement of individuals in decision-making processes, especially on such sensitive issues as maintenance of peace and security. It is the real needs of the situation and professional skills that matter.

We must point out a tendency whereby involvement of women and young people turns into an ideological stance. In such cases, wealthy donor countries make provision of aid to poor and conflict-affected countries conditional on the level of women's and youth participation. Such neocolonial practices are unacceptable. No one has the right to tell sovereign governments how they should build their states, prevent conflict, or what percentage of women or young people should participate in their political institutions. Besides, donor countries themselves often fail to meet the demands they put forward to others.

One must be also mindful that the concept of youth also includes persons under 18 years of age, i.e. children, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children's participation in political activity cannot be considered justified due to their physical and mental immaturity. In this regard, efforts are needed to counter the political instrumentalization of youth and attempts to present the interests of certain political groups as the “vision of the younger generation”.


Achieving the goals of the Women, Peace, Security and Youth, Peace, Security agenda is impossible without addressing issues of women's and youth development: overcoming poverty, ensuring access to education, especially in countries in situations of armed conflict. It is education that plays a key role in shaping a generation ready to work for the benefit of society and peace. In this regard, Russia places a high priority on cooperation with developing countries in the field of education.

No less important is the strengthening of cooperation in the area of access for women and young people to resources, technology and the banking sector. We are convinced that those measures will contribute to sustainable post-conflict recovery.

Protecting the institutes of family and motherhood, as well as traditional family values is also crucial, for this is the moral pillar of any society and a guarantee of successful development at present and in the future.


The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the inclusion of women and young people in peacekeeping cannot be overlooked. Such measures have a devastating impact on the situation and well-being of these categories, placing them in a more vulnerable position. They deprive women and young people of prospects, job opportunities, education, social protection, and other benefits, which clearly affects their inclusion in public life.

Summing up, I would like to note that the creation of safe conditions for the participation of women and young people in the peace process is possible if all its participants enjoy shared security. Genuine, durable and lasting peace with due consideration for the interests of all stakeholders can only build up on top of a consolidated society.

Thank you.

Video of the statement