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Statement by GoF of WPS: Security Council Open Debate on Women Peace and Security

Madam President,

I am pleased to speak on behalf of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace, and Security, an informal network of 65 Member States, representing all five regional groups of the UN, and the European Union[1].

The Group thanks Norway for highlighting the important links between the protection of women peacebuilders and human rights defenders and their participation in advancing peace and security.

We wish to emphasize three points:

First, we condemn all threats, harassment, attacks, and reprisals against women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates. In line with Resolution 2493 (2019), we urge all Member States to address harassment, both online and offline, as well as all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against them. We also urge Member States to hold all perpetrators of such acts accountable.

We are deeply concerned that some women have faced reprisals for briefing the Security Council. The Security Council and the UN system must develop effective measures to prevent and respond to these reprisals.

Second, we call on all Member States to create safe and enabling environments for women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates. They must receive the support they need to carry out their work safely, independently and without undue interference. That support includes the promotion of women and girls’ human rights, building the capacity of national institutions to ensure the protection of peacebuilders, the development of local early warning mechanisms and support for at-risk individuals. It is essential that we work directly with those who are targeted to understand the threats they face and work in partnership with them to identify ways to effectively strengthen their protection and put an end to these threats.

We reiterate our support for the Security Council to incorporate and apply sexual violence as a designation criterion in UN sanction regimes.

The Group also encourages the Security Council to ensure that peace operations provide, monitor and report on gender-responsive support to peacebuilders and human rights defenders at risk.

Finally, the Group encourages Member States, the United Nations, international financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders to provide rapid, flexible funding for the protection of women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates, particularly those in need of emergency assistance, including psychosocial support.

Collectively, we can and must do more to support all women on the front lines of peace and security efforts.

We cannot achieve our shared goal of ensuring women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all stages and at all levels of peace processes if women peacebuilders and human rights defenders fear for their safety.

Thank you.



[1] 1 Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States of America, Zambia.

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