Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, October 2000

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

On October 24, 2000 the Security Council held an Open Debate on “Women, Peace and Security”, passing landmark Resolution 1325. An overwhelming number of speakers advocated for the urgent need to include women in all aspects of peacebuilding initiatives and all stages of peace processes. Resolution 1325 calls for the participation of women at the local, national, regional and international levels and calls for the inclusion of women in positions of leadership and authority within the UN system. The statements highlighted that women's involvement is key to sustainable peace and security, and thus, that women have a critical role to play in peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and peacemaking.

Many representatives spoke to how women's roles in peace negotiations up until this point have been underplayed and undervalued, with women being largely excluded from the peace table. Therefore, speakers such as India, expressed the need for all UN entities to lead by example and make room for women, especially in decision-making positions. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the theme of “Women, Peace and Security” is an important step in bridging together the multiple goals of the UN Charter, namely, saving future generations from the scourges of war and proclaiming equality between men and women. Secretary-General Kofi Annan therefore stressed the interlinkages between women's rights, and international peace and security. Resolution 1325 also calls for gender mainstreaming in all mandates and missions of the UN and Security Council, with a keen emphasis on incorporating gender perspectives in peacekeeping missions and peace operations. It also calls for the establishment of formal mechanisms to ensure to the protection of women and girls in armed conflict, the participation of women in peace negotiations, and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence. Issues surrounding human rights, access to justice, international humanitarian law, and conflict prevention were also brought to the fore and discussed in light of women's equal rights.

Statements were given by: Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Anegal E.V. King, Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of UNIFEM, Jamaica, the United States, Argentina, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, China, Bangladesh, the Russian Federation, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Malaysia, Ukraine, Mali, Mozambique, Egypt, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Liechtenstein, Singapore, Pakistan, Cyprus, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, United Republic of Tanzania, Australia, Croatia, Belarus, Namibia, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates, Malawi, Guatemala, Norway, Rwanda, Botswana and Nepal