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The Secretary-General’s video message to the Security Council’s open debate on women, peace and security

26 Oct 2010
Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General Urges Security Council to Take Appropriate Steps to End Impunity, Prevent Brutality against Women and Girls in Conflict
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message to the Security Council’s open debate on women, peace and security, in New York, today, 26 October:

I welcome the opportunity to address this commemorative open debate.


I thank the President and the members of the Council for allowing me to participate by video.


As you know, I am in Southeast Asia,en route to Vietnam to attend the third United Nations- Association of Southeast Asian Nation Summit.  I have asked the Deputy Secretary-General to represent me today.


The landmark adoption ten years ago of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) acknowledged the role of women in peace and security — not simply as victims, but as agents of change. 


It opened the way for incorporating gender perspectives into all our work to restore, keep and build peace.


The Council has also shown its commitment by following up with three subsequent resolutions, and by demanding country-specific reporting on how resolution 1325 (2000) is being implemented. 


Just two weeks ago, the Council received my report on Women's Participation in Peacebuilding, which details a clear seven-point agenda for action.


Member States, the United Nations system and civil society have all contributed to implementing 1325 (2000).


Twenty countries have adopted National Action Plans. 


And women are an increasing influence in national parliaments — including in countries emerging from armed conflict.  The proportion of female legislators in Burundi and Rwanda is truly inspiring.


Yet, the past decade is also marred with repeated instances of abuse.


Many of my reports to the Security Council on the progress of peacekeeping missions have noted widespread rape, physical abuse, extortion and other violations of the rights and physical security of women and children during and after conflict.


The recent horrifying mass rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are just the latest reminder of the challenges we face — and of the vital importance of fully implementing resolution 1325 (2000).


As my current report indicates, progress is difficult to quantify.  We lack adequate methods for monitoring our impact.


That is why I call on the Council to endorse the comprehensive set of indicators first presented in April and refined since then. 


The indicators will enable us to identify progress and provide the Council with systematic, comparable information for effective monitoring and accountability. 


As Member States and civil society representatives have repeatedly stated, this comprehensive set of indicators is among the most constructive additions to the 1325 (2000) tool kit.


But of course, they are also just a beginning.


Resolution 1325 (2000) will never be implemented successfully until we end sexual violence in conflict. 


We must hold those responsible to account, whether the crimes are committed by State or non-State parties.


I call on the Council to take appropriate steps to end impunity.


We must intensify efforts to prevent brutality against women and girls. 


Let us recognize the important role of women in the justice and security sector and support their participation.


And let us eliminate stereotypes and ensure women’s meaningful participation at all stages of peace processes and decision-making. 


The creation of UN Women will enable us to better assist Member States in addressing all issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women, including those related to women and peace and security. 


To head this effort we are fortunate to have the dynamism and political skill of Ms. Michelle Bachelet, who will present my report to you today.


I am determined that the United Nations system should lead by example. 


That is why I have appointed eleven women Special Representatives or Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to peacekeeping operations and special political missions.


It is why our heads of missions — women and men alike — held 27 Open Day meetings this year to consult with women’s organizations and receive their insights.


And it is why I will continue to push for full accountability in how our own peacekeepers conduct themselves in the field. 


On this, I trust that I can count on your full support.


I look forward to our continued collaboration in the coming decade. 


I am committed to working with the Council to ensure the full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) and its related resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009).


Only by acting on our promises can we hope to create change.