Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to the German House!
Germany is delighted to host this Lunch Discussion together with Sweden and Peru, as current and incoming co-chairs of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
Women, Peace and Security (WPS) will be a top priority of our SC Membership in 2019/20. We are committed to making progress on the implementation of the WPS agenda in view of its 20th anniversary in 2020.
In order to do this, it is important to keep in mind that the implementation needs to happen on all levels: here in New York at the Security Council, but also at the regional and national level. Not only do we need to involve governments but also civil society, human rights defenders and other actors who can make a change.
Let me first give you a few examples on where Germany stands with the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda nationally, regionally and internationally, before we talk about the way ahead:
On an international level:
Germany is the Chair of the Focal Points Network on WPS in 2018. We used our chairmanship to discuss how we can build better alliances to advance the WPS agenda and to develop strategies on how to interlink processes at the regional, national and UN levels. The Focal Points Meeting in Berlin in April was one of the milestones in this regard.
At the regional level:
Germany has been supporting the African Women Leaders Network financially and politically from the very beginning, and we will continue to do so. During the past two years, the network has made a lot of progress: GER welcomes the “High Level Solidarity Missions” conducted by the Network, in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Chad and Niger.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo Germany supports a community-level initiative in South Kivu that aims at strengthening women’s livelihoods and their access to justice, including through the establishment of all-female peace courts.
Projects like this bring the Women, Peace and Security agenda into being on the ground.
At the national level:
The German Cabinet adopted the second National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS in 2017. We see WPS as a cross-cutting issue and we therefore implement the national action plan not only through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also with a number of other Ministries. We also implement the NAP in close cooperation and continuous dialogue with civil society organizations.
The General Federal Prosecutor has been investigating crimes committed by ISIS in IRQ since 2014.
Germany is offering refuge to numerous members of the Yezidi community who were victims of the terrible sexual violence they suffered at the hands of IS. For Germany, there could be no doubt that we also need to focus on investigating and prosecuting the appalling crimes committed against them.
What are some of our ideas ahead of the 2020 anniversary?
As a member of the Security Council in 2019/20, Germany will include WPS in regional and country-specific considerations of the SC.
We will build on the excellent work of other like-minded, and in particular of our Swedish friends who last July organized an SC briefing on Sahel focusing on WPS.
Germany will assume the co-chairmanship for the Informal Expert Group on WPS, which is currently co-chaired by Sweden and Peru. We will make best use of this vital instrument in order to push and monitor implementation of the WPS agenda in specific country situations.
In April 2019 the traditional open debate on sexual violence in conflict will be under our presidency.
In this context, we are interested in developing a new resolution to improve the normative framework.
A cross-cutting priority for Germany will be to invite women civil society briefers to the UNSC, including when dealing with specific country or regional agenda items.
In this regard, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the NGO Working Group on WPS/Louise Allen: Thank you for your fantastic job in providing and preparing briefers for the UNSC.
This is only the “kick off” of our conversation. I am looking forward to listening to your ideas and recommendations.
Thank you very much for your attention.