Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
(25 October 2018)

Mr. President,

We thank Bolivia for organizing this debate on a very important issue.

We also thank the briefers for their remarks.

Mr. President,

Ending conflicts, forging peace, alleviating human suffering, addressing injustice, protecting human rights and placing the world on a safer path are all at the heart of our work here at the United Nations, whose 73rd anniversary we marked yesterday.

While considerable progress has been made at the normative level on several counts, conflicts and violence are, in fact, on the rise. According to the Secretary General’s report, more countries are experiencing some form of violent conflict than at any time in the past 30 years.

Conflicts are becoming ever more complex and also protracted, as they tend to linger on.

Delayed and weak responses, often dictated by big power rivalry and expedient policies are perpetuating human suffering.

In all this instability and chaos, women, particularly young girls, continue to suffer disproportionate and lasting consequences. In many conflict zones, they remain a soft target, often exploited by aggressors with impunity as a war tactic to humiliate and terrorize civilians.

Mr. President,

The Security Council’s landmark resolution 1325 was a watershed moment that rightfully brought women’s issues to the center of the global conflict prevention debate, and in the larger context, of international peace and security.

Women across the world have emerged as leaders and consensus builders, inspiring hopes of peace and prosperity amidst conflict and violence.

Over the years, the Women, Peace and Security Agenda has become a powerful vehicle to ensure the feminization of peace in a post conflict environment. Yet women remain largely invisible to, and excluded from, peace processes and negotiations.

Patriarchal cultures, structural inequalities and discriminatory power structures continue to inhibit efforts for inclusive peace, women’s rights and effective conflict prevention.

Mr. President,

The WPS agenda, at its core, is an attempt to bring new perspectives to conflict resolution. It focuses on the root causes and drivers of conflicts and shines a much needed light on the most oppressed and marginalized.

By focusing on creating an enabling environment for more meaningful participation of women, it also aims to bring them to the table as true stakeholders, able to define and protect their interests.

Here, I would like to emphasize five specific points:

Mr. President,

My country’s own experience shows that giving women a key role brings fresh perspectives and builds a solid foundation for a vibrant society.

We remain determined to carry forward our ambitious domestic agenda for women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming, which my country’s new government has made a top priority and will continue to engage constructively with the international community in this regard.

I thank you.