The Permanent Mission of Iceland to the United Nations
Statement by Ambassador Hjálmar W. Hannesson,
Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations
Open Debate in the Security Council
Resolution 1325 (2000) Women, Peace and Security
New York, 26 September 2006
Iceland, as a member of the European Economic Area (the EEA), but not a member of the European Union, aligned itself with the statement made earlier by Minister Elisabeth Rehn from Finland on behalf of the European Union. I would like, in addition, to make a few remarks.
Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this open debate and giving us the opportunity to discuss Security Council resolution 1325 concerning women, peace and security. Our thanks also go to the four briefers.
At the outset my Government would like to express its gratitude to the Secretary General for his comphrehensive report on women and peace and security, contained in document S/2006/770.
Resolution 1325 has put gender issues on the agenda of the Council. The resolution has proven to be an important tool to promote the direct involvement of women in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It is now finally recognized that women have a crucial role to play in peace processes and in achieving sustainable peace in conflict regions.
Since the adoption of resolution 1325, considerable attention has been paid to its implementation at the UN level. Last year we welcomed the UN System Wide Action Plan for the implementation of resolution 1325, as an instrument to mainstream a gender perspective throughout the work of the organization dealing with peace and security. In order to reach the Millennium Development Goals a gender perspective must be integrated into all strategies and programmes.
The report of the Secretary General indicates that some progress has been made in the implementation of the System Wide Action Plan, in particular, in areas such as peacekeeping and peacemaking. Nonetheless, much more remains to be done at the UN level, both at Headquarters and in the field. We would like to underline the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office in the promotion of the full implementation of resolution 1325. We fully share the opinion of the Secretary General that gender equality should be recognised as a core issue in the maintenance of peace and security
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. Women must be full agents in the shaping and rebuilding of their communities in the aftermath of war. It is our duty to continue our work towards the full implementation of resolution 1325, at the national, regional and international level.
Iceland is fully committed to implementing resolution 1325. This includes promoting the rights of women and girls and mainstreaming gender concerns in the UN system and in our foreign policy. In Iceland’s Policy on Development Co-operation 2005-2009 special emphasis is placed on the importance of issues of women in conflict areas. Much 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. Mrs. Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has recently reinforced Iceland’s commitment to gender mainstreaming by focusing the work of the Iceland Crisis Response Unit on certain main themes for selection of projects and peacekeeping operations in the civil spectrum. The aim is to ensure that the overall selection of projects and assignments give opportunities to women as well as to men.
In this context Iceland attaches much importance to the valuable work of UNIFEM in advancing gender equality and women’s rights. Iceland has increased its support to the work of UNIFEM more than tenfold over the last two years, and we will increase our support even further. The Icelandic Crisis Response Unit has for the past years seconded a gender expert to UNIFEM in Kosovo. The main objective of the program is to increase the awareness and obligations of the public administration in the area of women’s rights and other women’s issues based on UN resolutions. The project has now been expanded to six other countries in the Balkan peninsula.
I thank you, Mr. President again for convening this important meeting and we look forward to further discussions on the implementation of resolution 1325.