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Greater Efforts To Boost Women’s Role In Peace

Ban Urges Greater Efforts To Boost Women’s Role In Peace And Security

New York, Oct 24 2008 5:10PM

Countries need to take more action to increase the role of women in the search for peace and justice and enhance their input in decision-making, even though positive steps have been made in recent years, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in a report made public today.

“There is growing support for women’s equal participation in peace processes,” as well as “enhanced capacity-building efforts for women’s empowerment,” Mr. Ban said, adding that greater attention is being paid to sexual violence in conflict situations.

“However, the noticeable gap that remains between policies and their effective implementation must be closed,” he said.

The report to the Security Council called for more action to be taken at the country level to increase the role of women in all stages of conflict prevention, resolution and management, as well as peacebuilding.

Stepped-up efforts are also essential to prevent and halt sexual and gender-based violence through such means as more systematic responses by United Nations peacekeeping missions and humanitarian assistance programmes, protection of displaced women and strengthened strategies to address impunity for those committing sexual crimes.

The Secretary-General called on the Council to fortify their capacity to end sexual violence “should be prepared to dispatch missions to assess situations when violence is used or commissioned as a tactic of war or as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilians.”

The 15-member body should also remind parties to conflicts of their responsibility to protect women, he wrote in the report.

In a presidential statement adopted one year ago, the Council noted the “constant underrepresentation of women in formal peace processes,” and called for enhancing their role in matters related to the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.

It also expressed deep concern that gender-based violence, particularly rape, remain “pervasive, and in some situations have become systematic,” despite calls for the protection of women and girls.

ENDS

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