Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council Arria-formula VTC meeting on Ensuring the Full, Equal and Meaningful Participation of Women in UN-led Peace Processes, March 8, 2021

08.03.2021 - Speech

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Madame Chair,

We have heard it many times today already: There can be no lasting peace without women! We all know what the problems are. Now is the time to find solutions, now is the time to go beyond mere words, now is the time to finally act.

The past year has sadly shown how fragile the progress that we had made in the past decades on gender equality and empowerment is. The SG’s warning was loud and clear: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are on the verge of losing all progress made so far. But every crisis comes with opportunities:  to reshape the world that we all want to live in - a world that offers fair chances to everyone, including to the 4 billion women and girls worldwide!

Now is the time to hold everyone accountable for their promises – including and especially the UN! Who has more credibility and potential to act than the UN? The UN needs to lead the way and serve as a role model. We should have hard targets and quotas when it comes to UN-led peace processes: we need 50% women among senior negotiators and mediators who are women. We need 50% of their teams to be women. We need gender expertise and experience in all mediation teams. We need to have full, equal and meaningful participation of women around the table, from all parties! No more excuses!

And we need to make sure that all agreements signed and sponsored by the UN are gender-sensitive and gender-responsive. We need women in implementing agreements, in monitoring ceasefires and peace agreements; we need women peacebuilders and women leaders. No more excuses!

Women do not need more just capacity building – they already have capacities. What they need is access, funding and support to get to the right decision-making tables, to be included and to be heard. This is why the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund is so important – it just launched its new campaign 1000 Women Leaders right before this Arria meeting. The WPHF’s Rapid Response Window tries to close this gap of access and funding – often small amounts make a much bigger difference on the ground than extensive complicated programming. This is why Germany proudly supports the WPHF as one of its biggest donors, so that women in Iraq, Columbia, Afghanistan and many other places take their active part in building peace.

During our tenure on the Security Council and as Co-Chair of the IEG we have had many discussions with UN senior leadership on how to best implement the WPS Agenda. We have seen where the gaps are, and we have seen great potential for more action. Let’s make use of all this potential.

We all need to do our share in going beyond words, in being held accountable for our promises and commitments. Germany intends to do its part, also as a newly selected Catalytic Member of the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action of the Generation Equality Forum. Let’s make 2021 the year where women are finally equally represented in all peace processes! 

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