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"This issue of women, peace and security should be taken as a priority"

UK sponsor OSCE Security Dialogue on Women, Peace & Security highlighting the Foreign Secretary’s Prevention of Sexual Violence in conflict Initiative

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FCO experts presenting to OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

On 12 June 2013, the UK Delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe sponsored an OSCE Security Dialogue on the theme of Women, Peace & Security in Vienna.

UK experts from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Conflict Resolution Department spoke to the OSCE participating States on the Prevention of Sexual Violence in conflict Initiative (PSVI).

The UK Delegation to the OSCE’s Military Advisor, Lt Col Simon Macrory-Tinning explained the purpose of the meeting. “I’m delighted that the UK could sponsor the Security Dialogue at the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC). It’s one of a series of events and activities that the UK Delegation to the OSCE is doing to promote the UK’s PSVI priorities, in line with the April G8 Foreign Minister’s Declaration.

There are some very clear affinities between the Initiative and the work of the OSCE, not least the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000) and related resolutions. The OSCE has some characteristics which are very helpful in both respects. Firstly there are 57 participating States, each that can act on a national basis. The Organisation also affirms the sorts of commitments that PSVI addresses and are mandated by UNSCR 1325, such as the Conflict Cycle.

Beyond that, the activities of the OSCE, and its field missions in particular, are places that we can add real practical value and make a difference in areas of potential conflict.

As a recognised, regional institution, the OSCE can clearly do more things at a practical and local level that will add to the global efforts of the United Nations.

UNSCR 1325 was adopted in 2000 with subsequent related resolutions and seeks to address the adverse effects on women and in children in conflict. It’s calling for action to protect women and children, it’s calling for the prosecution of offenders and it’s calling for the participation of women at all levels in conflict resolution.”

FCO presentation to the OSCE on the Preventing Sexual Violence in conflict Initiative

The FSC chair, Lithuanian Ambassador Čekuolis, said, “This issue of women, peace and security cannot be left on the back seat of the car. It should be taken as a priority and now we should be in the implementation stage. The Security Dialogues are useful, because there are 57 Member States (in the OSCE) and the information will go back to 57 capitals and politicians, diplomats, the military, and various NGOs will be made aware of this issue.”

Andrew Long, Senior Policy Advisor from the FCO, said, “This presentation is part of our work to extend the messages of PSVI beyond the G8 group of nations and generate more interest and more momentum behind the Intitiative. We want to get across the message that this is a peace and security issue; preventing sexual violence and tackling human rights crimes emanating from conflict is critical to addressing long term peace and stability.”

For more information:

Preventing Sexual Violence in conflict Initiative

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

Published 26 July 2013