Statement at the UN Security Council Debate on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325)
Thank you Mr. President,
Allow me to first thank you for convening this important debate, providing as it does an opportunity for all Members to contribute to the discussion on the global women, peace and security agenda.
Fiji recognizes the importance of Resolution 1325 and acknowledges the progress that has been made globally to achieve its objectives. We appreciate the specific actions taken in the implementation of Resolution 1325 as identified in the Secretary-General’s report, and thank the Secretary-General for his report. We also appreciate the increased coordination and coherence in policy and programming in the area of women, peace and security through the work of UN Women, and particularly so in the Pacific region by a strengthened UN Women’s office in Fiji.
We recognize, however, that national implementation will remain the key to meeting the objectives of the resolution. In this respect, Fiji is working within the framework of its Roadmap for Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development to create enabling environments for women in both the public and private domains. Recognising the importance of women in public leadership positions, the Fijian government has a target of achieving at least 30% representation of women in all government appointed boards and committees. Meanwhile, Fijian authorities continue to implement and raise awareness of the Crimes Decree (2009) and the Domestic Violence Decree (2010) which contain provisions, inter alia, on sexual violence and trafficking.
Since our Open Debate at the Security Council on this subject last year, the Pacific region has taken the lead in developing and launching a Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. This plan will support national efforts to ensure that women are included as active participants at all stages of conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building. It is a landmark achievement for our region and I would like to acknowledge the collaborative efforts of various UN agencies with regional intergovernmental organizations and with the Fiji-based CSO –FemLINKPACIFIC, that allowed this plan to be articulated at the regional level.
In considering the crucial role of women as agents of positive change in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building, Fiji has made a concerted effort to increase the number of well-qualified female peacekeepers that it sends to UN peacekeeping missions across the world. In its most recent nominations of police personnel for rotation in UNMIL and UNMISS, 55% of police personnel nominated for deployment by Fiji were women. Particularly bearing in mind the growing role of peacekeeping missions in supporting the capacity of local authorities, Fiji will continue to send its best qualified people to mentor and train local counterparts, particularly in dealing with sexual violence and encouraging women’s participation in helping build post-conflict societies.
A discussion on women, peace and security is incomplete without factoring in the security challenges posed by the consequences of climate change. This is so because for exposed countries like Fiji, women and children are among the most affected by natural disasters. The realities of climate change and the consequent proliferation of natural disasters are inescapable challenges for our people and for our land. Aside from the emotional trauma arising from ever-increasing natural disasters, their adverse impacts can be shown to affect food security, access to arable land and increased violence against women.
We also recognize that women play a leading role in the re-building of communities after natural disasters. We therefore appreciate the theme of this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction, that “women and girls are the [in]visible force of resilience”.
Finally, while we acknowledge that much progress has been made, it is self-evident the international community still has a long way to go to ensure that the dignity, peace and security of women worldwide is realised.
I thank you, Mr President.