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Women for Peace and Security: Foreign Minister Maas opens Network Meeting

09.04.2018 - Article

Representatives of regional and international organizations and civil society from all over the world meet in Berlin on April 9-10 to discuss the role of women in maintaining peace and security.

Foreign Minister Maas provides opening remarks at the meeting of the Woman, Peace and Security Focal Points Network
Foreign Minister Maas provides opening remarks at the meeting of the Woman, Peace and Security Focal Points Network© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

"Women can and must play an active role"

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 100 years after women in Germany were granted the right to vote, there is still no real equal participation of women on the global scale. This applies to politics, but also to the preservation of peace and security. That's why the United Nations Security Council adopted  a resolution dedicated to the participation of women in the resolution of conflicts in 2000.

Women can and must play an active role in conflict prevention, peace talks, reconstruction, reconciliation in societies and particularly in post­conflict situations. That is the key message of UN Security Council Resolution 1325,

said Foreign Minister Maas in his opening speech at the meeting of the "Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network" on Monday in Berlin.

Abusing Women as a Means of Warfare

Foreign Minister Maas und Director-General Flor discuss with Fatima Askira, head of Borno Woman Development Initiative Nigeria
Foreign Minister Maas und Director-General Flor discuss with Fatima Askira, head of Borno Woman Development Initiative Nigeria© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

In armed conflicts, women often become victims of sexual violence as a tactic of warfare. This is also a component of UN Resolution 1325. The Secretary-General of the United Nations publishes regular reports on sexual violence in conflicts documenting the most serious human rights violations. Maas wants to promote discussions in New York: "We cannot merely criticize this state of affairs. We need to do something about it and we need to do it visibly and effectively."



Strong Partners for strong Women's Rights

Participants at the Meeting of the Woman, Peace and Security Focal Points Network
Participants at the Meeting of the Woman, Peace and Security Focal Points Network© Xander Heinl/photothek.net

The Federal Government attaches great importance to the strengthening of women's rights and the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325. That is why Germany has assumed the chair of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network this year. Among other things, it will serve to exchange experiences and successful models. Around 80 member states and regional organizations have now joined the network. This year's meeting in Berlin will shed light on how alliances can advance the agenda of the Security Council resolution - alliances with regional organizations or strong partners such as the G7, other networks or initiatives, but also alliances with civil society. This is especially important to Foreign Minister Maas: "Particularly at a time when many countries are curtailing the scope for civil society – something that is happening in far too many places in the world – we need to listen to and support civil society."

Additional content

Ladies and gentlemen, On behalf not only of the Federal Foreign Office, but also of the Federal Government, I am delighted to welcome you to the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network Meeting…

Speech by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the opening of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network Meeting

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