UN Security Council High level Open Debate: The role of regional organizations in implementing women, peace and security in the face of political turmoil and seizures of power by force
Nordic intervention by H.E. Minister Ville Skinnari, Finland
Thank you to Albania for organizing this timely meeting. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden – and Finland.
Despite the significant progress in advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda, there continues to be a huge gap between what is achieved on paper and on the ground.
In Ukraine, we see mass displacement, indiscriminate killings of civilians, attacks on civilian infrastructure and shocking reports of sexual and gender-based violence and trafficking. Ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Sudan, Myanmar, and Mali, to name only a few, threaten the fragile gains of the women, peace and security agenda and the lives and work of women peacebuilders.
We need to drastically accelerate our efforts to bridge the widening gap. The role of national governments and regional and sub-regional organizations will be crucial in this regard.
We warmly welcome the participation of regional and sub-regional organizations in this open debate and call for a continued, regular exchange of views and better coordination between our actions.
In the context of military coups and takeovers, regional and sub-regional organizations are often instrumental in developing context-specific and tailor-made approaches.
They are often the first to react in crisis response, to engage with concerned parties to ensure protection of civilians. They are uniquely placed to build trust and promote dialogue among concerned parties, as well as to offer support in mediation and reconciliation; and they can be influential in advocating for women’s full, equal and meaningful – and safe – participation in all aspects of peace and security.
The work of regional WPS special envoys should be adequately supported and WPS experts need to be systematically and firmly involved on all levels and stages of planning and leadership of UN missions.
We all need to further step up our interaction with civil society and support for local women’s organizations and women peacebuilders. Their contextual, local expertise is crucial for our success. The WPS Focal Points Network provides an important platform for interaction and sharing of best practices.
Investing in better, coordinated data collection, gender analysis and systematic monitoring of results across all peace efforts, is key to making any radical shift on women’s meaningful participation possible. Initiatives, such as, the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action and Commitment 2025, led by Finland and Spain, are important in this respect.