New York, 8 March 2023 (TDI): Minister of Denmark for Digital Government and Gender Equality delivered a joint Nordic Statement at an open debate on “Women, Peace, and Security – Towards the 25th Anniversary of 1325.’

The joint statement was from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway. The Minister first thanked Mozambique for convening a highly essential meeting on women, peace, and security (WPS).

The disproportionate impacts of conflict on women and girls were first recognized by women activists around two decades back.

They advocated for women in peacebuilding and Security Council’s efforts for conflict prevention. Women have always been in a leading role in times of conflict and crisis.

The example of Ukraine, following full-fledged Russian aggression, is evident where women have been the first responders, frontline defenders, and generously consumed in humanitarian response.

The repeated call for women’s participation by the Council is due to the untiring determination and courage of women illustrating their need for participation in all facets of peace and security.

Regrettably, there is always a looming threat of conflict-related sexual violence against women’s participation in peace and security situations such as in Ukraine and elsewhere. The intolerable intimidation hampers women’s efforts in conflict zones.

The Norway Minister called for strict obligation and respect for humanitarian and human rights laws by all parties to armed conflicts.

There is a compelling need for the prevention and accountability of conflict-related sexual violence everywhere in the world.

Towards the 25th anniversary of Resolution 1325, the Nordic countries stressed on the immediate and significant implementation of the women, peace, and security (WPS) agenda.

Also read: Norwegian delegation prepares for UN Commission on Status of Women

The council needs to ensure the advancement of a comprehensive WPS mandate in all UN peace operations. The commitment of Nordic Countries to achieve the desired outcomes goes beyond the work ambit of the Security Council.

The statement highlights two important areas for agenda implementation. It called for the thorough, equal, and meaningful participation of women in decision-making and peacebuilding processes.

It also includes enabling the full enjoyment of human rights for women & girls in all their diversity. The women-led organizations must have flexible & accessible financing resources to ensure capacity building, female participation, & protection against reprisals.

Lastly, intimidation, attacks, and reprisals against all women human rights defenders, peacebuilders, and civil society leaders should be penalized.

In 2021, 35 women human rights defenders, activists, and trade unionists were killed in cold-blooded murder as retaliation for their work. The unjust killings go underreported and many are threatened and harassed into silence.

It is the duty of the Council to protect and enable women’s participation. There should be a zero-tolerance policy for reprisal. The defenders must be defended.