Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson
Permanent Representative of Iceland
to the United Nations
Women and peace and security
Open debate in the Security Council
First of all, Mr. President, allow me to express the satisfaction of my delegation, as a non-Council member to be able to discuss the issue of women, peace and security in an open meeting, on the fifth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1325. We thank you for convening this meeting and wish, in particular, to thank the special panelists who spoke earlier and added valuable points of views to our deliberations.
At the outset my Government would like to express its gratitude to the Secretary General for his report on women and peace and security, contained in document S/2005/636.
Resolution 1325 was a groundbreaking step forward in reaffirming the importance of equal participation and direct involvement of women in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. By its adoption, it was finally recognized that women have an important role to play in peace processes and in achieving sustainable peace in conflict regions. This landmark resolution is a challenge to all of us, for it requires a fundamental change in procedure, delivery, attitudes and habits.
Since the adoption of resolution 1325, considerable attention has been paid to its implementation at the UN level. This has been appropriate as we focus on ensuring the mainstreaming of a gender perspective throughout the work of the organization. We believe that in order to reach the Millennium Development Goals, it is important that a gender perspective be integrated into all strategies and programmes.
In this context, Iceland warmly welcomes the United Nations Action Plan for implementing resolution 1325 across the United Nations system which has been presented to the Security Council today. The System-Wide Action Plan is an important tool for better coordination and building on the synergies of the United Nations system. With adoption of the Action Plan, the United Nations is creating a good precedent which should encourage member states to mainstream gender perspective in their own policies. We also hope that the recently established Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office will demonstrate a strong commitment to the full implementation of resolution 1325.
Women in war and women who have survived war must enjoy protection and justice and women must be full agents in the shaping and rebuilding of their communities in the aftermath of war. Therefore, we must ensure that the provisions of resolution 1325 are realized and that women can fully and equally participate in all levels of decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and peace-building. It is in our duty to continue our work towards the full implementation of resolution 1325, at the national, regional and international level.
The Icelandic authorities have put emphasis on supporting the implementation of resolution 1325. Indeed, an important part of Iceland's development cooperation is directed towards facilitating a smooth transition from conflict situations with special emphasis on women and their role in peacebuilding. Here, Iceland's support to UNIFEM is especially worth highlighting, Iceland's contribution to UNIFEM has more than doubled this year and for the past few years the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit as seconded a gender expert to UNIFEM in Kosovo.
Finally Mr. President,
I would like to underline that Iceland strongly condemns the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse committed by United Nations peacekeeping personnel and we fully support the Secretary General in his determination to uproot this kind of behaviour. Such abuse undermines our peace efforts and the credibility of the United Nations. Efforts must be redoubled and preventive education in this field must be a continuous feature of the training of United Nations Peacekeepers.