Statement by H. E. Ms. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Ambassadorial-level virtual meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission on “Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) at its 20th Anniversary: Strengthening Linkages between Women, Peace and Security; and Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace on 02 October 2020

Mr. Chair,

 Thank you for organizing today’s meeting. As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 this month, the discussion on stronger linkage between WPS and sustaining peace couldn’t have been timelier.

I would also like to express my appreciation to the distinguished experts for their insightful remarks.

Mr. Chair,

Participation of women in peace and security is a priority agenda for Bangladesh. Since our birth as a nation in 1971, our women have made invaluable contribution in rebuilding our country. In Bangladesh, women’s role in the disaster management, rescue and recovery has been exemplary. We have pioneered women’s peacekeeping. Women play essential preventive role in the context of emerging security threats, including violent extremism. Our strong faith in the ability of women as the agents of peace has been complemented by laws & regulations, and affirmative actions.

Our national experience has inspired us to promote the adoption of the Resolution 1325 in 2000, when we had been a non-permanent member of the Council. We have last year launched our first-ever National Action Plan (NAP) on Women Peace and Security (2019-22). The NAP, once implemented, would help integrate WPS agenda among cross section of stakeholders, including the civil society.

Mr. Chair,

We welcomed the adoption of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Gender Strategy in 2016. Along with Canada, we acted as focal points for the implementation of the PBC Gender Strategy in 2017.

We are pleased to know the implementation of the gender strategy has resulted in some encouraging outcomes. We appreciate the Peacebuilding Fund’s increased investment in gender equality projects. We also acknowledge the gradual integration of gender perspectives in PBC’s work. Among the 126 documents reviewed in 2020, 63 made direct references to consultation with the women’s organizations, 37 documents undertook gender analysis. Not a single document reviewed in 2020 misses gender reference. We congratulate PBC for its achievement.

However, we cannot be complacent. There remains many formidable challenges, particularly in the implementation of the WPS agenda across all pillars. PBC can play critical role in filling those gaps. And the gender strategy of PBC could be an important tool in that regard.

First, PBC can support partnerships and networking among women organizations for sharing good practices and capacity building.  Participation of civil society, media and private sector in such efforts would be crucial.

 Second, In the post conflict and humanitarian settings, PBC has to enhance its advocacy, bridging and convening role for ensuring a responsive approach to the gender aspects of transitions. All sectors of the society, including men and community leaders, need to be sensitized to ensure women’s increased role in recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Third: Accountability and justice for conflict-related sexual violence has to be ensured. In cases, where the State concerned is unwilling or unable to ensure justice, the international community should take responsibility.

Fourth, quality, up-to-date gender data will continue to be critical for advancing WPS agenda. A sound database can help map the gains and gaps in reaching out women and girls in a society and design policy interventions accordingly. It is important that national planning, budgeting, monitoring and auditing institutions are equipped with the right, cost-effective tools to generate and process gender-sensitive data. PBC can help ithe national governments in this regard.

Fifth, the importance of education, training, and national capacitybuilding through meaningful partnerships cannot be overemphasized. UN agencies and other international partners need to support Governments to forge ahead with women’s development and empowerment efforts. To make it happen, capacities of UN Women’s country office and UN Country Teams must also be enhanced.

Sixth, Women’s participation in peacekeeping need to be increased. In addition to that, gender considerations are to be made an integral part of mission’s drawdown and transition. Peacekeeping mission’s capacity to address gender dimension is often the victim of budget cut which should not be allowed to happen.

Finally, increased, sustained and coordinated mobilization of finances, including through earmarking, are critical for giving real effect to the women, peace and security agenda in its various dimensions.

We hope that the momentous occasions of 20th anniversary of WPS agenda would help build fresh momentum to ensure full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peacebuilding.

I thank you.