Statement of Lithuania at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
National statement delivered by Ambassador Audra Plepytė, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the UN, at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on ““Towards the successful implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda: moving from commitments to accomplishments in preparation for the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325” ".
Allow me to start by commending South Africa as the President of the Security Council for the month of October for convening this important debate. I would also like to thank the UN Secretary General for his comprehensive report, recommendations and encouragements.
Lithuania aligns itself with the statements [to be] delivered on behalf of the European Union and the Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security.
Security Council Resolution 1325 was a milestone in our collective efforts to advance gender equality around the globe. However, as we are preparing to mark the 20th anniversary of the resolution next year, we still have a mile to go on the uneven and challenging road of implementation. This indicates that despite achievements during 19 years, the objectives of the resolution have not been fully reached and significant work remains to be done. Violence against women and girls, violations of their human rights continue to occur in conflict and post conflict settings, representation of women at decision-making levels and inclusion of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict remain insufficient. It is equally worrying that political will is not always consistent and international community often falls short of its ambitions. We must not allow for any regression and backtracking on this important Agenda. We must therefore consolidate all political will to maintain course towards goals that were set 19 years ago.
We were encouraged and welcome recent decisions of the Security Council to expand sanction designation criteria for individuals who perpetrate sexual and gender-based violence in the context of armed conflict. We would like to see this practice developing further so that sexual and gender-based violence becomes a standard element of sanction regimes.
Protection and promotion of human rights of all women and girls and their empowerment is a long-standing priority of Lithuania. My country remains firmly committed to the implementation of the Women Peace and Security agenda. We are fully aware that the scale and complexity of the implementation of the Agenda requires coherent and comprehensive efforts. In this respect, the pivotal role of civil society, including women’s organizations, should be fully recognized. We express our concerns about increases in attacks and threats against the civil society, in particular women human rights defenders. Their safety and protection are essential, as they are our key allies in in moving the women, peace and security agenda forward.
Lithuania is currently working on the 2nd National Action Plan where means and instruments for the continuous implementation of the Women Peace and Security agenda are foreseen. While drafting the plan we work closely with the representatives of the civil society. We do not merely consult, we draft the plan together! We believe that it is vital to engage and cooperate with the experts and we find many of them in the civil society. The civil society can also help us look for innovative ways to promote the Women Peace and Security agenda and address the numerous challenges. Lithuania supports impactful initiatives aimed at searching for innovative ways to move forward, such as Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF). My country supports the work of the Fund and has just allocated another voluntary contribution for their important work.
Lithuania remains a strong advocate for the integration of the gender perspective into all aspects of peace operations. Increased numbers of women peacekeepers, deployment of women’s protection and gender advisers, as well as human rights and gender awareness training, have all proven successful and should be further advanced. Nationally, my country is striving to deploy more gender-balanced peacekeeping troops and continues to encourage female police and military women to apply. Mandatory pre-deployment trainings in Lithuania on gender sensitivity, preventing sexual exploitation, identifying and responding to indicators of conflict related sexual violence have moved beyond abstract concepts towards more practical, scenario-based learning. We encourage all troop-contributing countries to ensure that pre-deployment and in mission trainings meet the highest standards of the UN guidelines on gender sensitivities and sexual violence.
Despite some positive trends, the progress of implementing of the WPS agenda remains too slow and further work is needed to achieve our objectives. This debate is an important contribution to this effort and serves as an opportunity to share good practices, to articulate achievements, to identify barriers and to put forward bold proposals. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the resolution 1325, we need to move forward in a steadfast manner by leaving no one behind.
New York, 29 October, 2019