Statement by Ambassador Masood Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan during the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security New York, 30 November 2012

Mr. President,

Pakistan joins other Council Members in thanking India for convening this important open debate on Women, Peace and Security.

The Presidential Statement on this subject is an expression of collective support by all Council members to this common cause as well as their strong commitment to addressing challenges to women’s engagement at all levels.

We would like to place on record our appreciation for the excellent work done by the United Kingdom and Guatemala for developing the Presidential Statement.

Pakistan attaches highest importance to the participation of women in all walks of life and has taken concrete steps to that end.

Our national vision for women’s empowerment is guided by the words of our founding father, the Quaid-e-Azam, who said that “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both; that of the women.”

In the recent past, Pakistan’s Parliament has passed a number of laws to eliminate discrimination against women and to promote and protect their rights.

Mr. President,

We are thankful to the Deputy Secretary General for his insights on the subject as well as for the efforts made by the United Nations, under the Secretary General’s leadership, in mainstreaming a gender perspective both within and outside the United Nations.

We also thank USG Herve Ladsous for his useful briefing on how the UN is carrying out the women, peace and security agenda in Peacekeeping Operations.

As one of the biggest troop contributors, Pakistan supports efforts to mainstream a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations. Appointment of gender advisors in the field has served a useful purpose. This practice must be strengthened.

Conscious of the importance of gender sensitization of peacekeeping troops, Pakistan has incorporated two UN Standard Gender Training Modules. We are proud of our women peacekeepers who have served in different capacities such as police officers, doctors and nurses in peacekeeping operations in Asia, Africa and the Balkans. Shahzadi Gulfam, a Pakistani woman police officer, received the 2011 International Female Police Peacekeeper Award in recognition of her outstanding performance in Timor Leste. We are proud of her meritorious services.

Pakistan is also grateful to Madam Bachelet for an insightful presentation. We commend the valuable role UN Women plays in promoting the wider goal of gender equality in general and Women Peace and Security in particular. Pakistan will continue to play its part in strengthening UN Women.

Mr. President,

Human Rights instruments, particularly the Geneva Conventions, proscribe torture, violence, rape and other forms of sexual violence and ill treatment of women during conflicts.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court characterizes these acts in the context of armed conflict as crimes against humanity. Despite such progress in the normative framework, women’s suffering in conflict situations continues. There is growing awareness of their plight and there is increased focus on their protection. Still women and girls continue to be the primary victims in conflict situations and suffer disproportionately.

To start with, they are vulnerable to violence and exploitation. What’s worse, they are purposefully targeted and are largely excluded from the peace and reconstruction processes.

UNSC Resolution 1325 made an important contribution to the normative framework for the protection of women and girls in armed conflict. It elevates women from being hapless victims of conflict situations to equal stakeholders in prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in post-conflict reconstruction.

Mr. President,

Women are true agents of change. Their involvement in different stages of conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building activities produce positive results that are needed for peaceful and democratic societies.

To enable the Security Council and the UN system to do more to advance the protection of women in conflict situations and to enhance their participation in post-conflict processes, we propose the following measures:

Mr. President,

Today’s debate underlines the important role of women’s civil society organizations in prevention and resolution of armed conflict, as well as follow up peace-building processes. Concerned States and relevant UN entities should therefore make use of the talent and experience of women leaders from civil society to promote their active engagement and participation in a variety of appropriate roles to ensure the full and effective implementation of UNSC resolution 1325.

Thank you.