Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Maria Zabolotskaya at the UN Security Council Arria Formula meeting on preventing terrorism and violent extremism through tackling gender stereotypes, masculinities, and structural gender inequality
Thank you for giving me the floor and providing the opportunity to exchange views on the topic of countering terrorism in a gender perspective. We listened with interest to presentations made by ASG Michele Coninsx, Dr. David Duriesmith and Ms. Fauzia Abdi Ali.
Terrorism is the scourge that is equally devastating for men and women, boys and girls, youth and elderly. Terrorist attacks do not differentiate victims. Although it is generally assumed that women are less involved in terrorist acts as perpetrators, in reality it is not exactly the case. The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters serves as a proof that men and women may be equally susceptible to terrorist narratives, incitement and radicalization. In some cases female terrorist fighters have been tasked with preparation and perpetration of large-scale attacks.
The law enforcement authorities of States and academic community research the nuances of radicalization and victimization processes taking into account various factors, gender aspects being one of them. The level of importance of this factor among others continues to be an issue for discussion.
In this regard it must be noted that this meeting is held in the aftermath of comprehensive consideration of various aspects of ensuring counter-terrorism security and preventing the diverse range of factors contributing to radicalization and violence during the second United Nations Counter-Terrorism Week. However, the resolution on the seventh review of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS), which was designed to reflect on the outcomes of these debates, does not, for instance, recognize masculinity as one of the aforementioned conditions.
It is important to stress that gender stereotyping leading to discrimination as any other forms of stereotyping which are not in line with our international obligations and national legislation are not acceptable. However it does not necessarily mean that this issue is central to the counter-terrorism efforts.
At the same time not enough attention is given to the dire conditions in camps in Northern Syria, where women and girls continue to struggle for survival. We must unite our efforts to promote and facilitate their urgent repatriation to the countries of origin with a view to rehabilitating and reintegrating them back into society. In some cases, of course, this may involve appropriate vetting and prosecution. The same applies to men. We are convinced that this problem must be the focus of international attention in the fight against terrorism at this stage.
I thank you Mr. Chair.