"The UK firmly believes that the 15th anniversary must represent the start of a new era on Women, Peace and Security."

Statement by Baroness Verma, UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

read article

Thank you, your Excellency. Thank you Secretary General, and to UN Women, and civil society speakers present here today for your leadership on this agenda.

We welcome the resolution adopted today. It makes clear that leadership and accountability for implementation are required by all actors.

We echo our thanks to the Spanish Prime Minister for working with us on this important resolution.

I strongly echo the call for everyone here to make meaningful and practical commitments to implement fully resolution 1325.

The UK firmly believes that the 15th anniversary must represent the start of a new era on Women, Peace and Security. Let us begin this change today.

I will therefore announce eight areas where the United Kingdom will act:

Firstly, in arranging all future UK-hosted peace-building events, we will identify women involved in the conflict and and shine a torch on them to make sure their voices are heard. We will promote the active participation of women in such discussions through political and/or financial support. We will also provide support, including lobbying at the highest levels, to ensure women’s voices are represented in wider peace processes, negotiations, and state-building - and we will provide support at local levels to build the capacity of women to participate effectively.

Second, the UK will contribute $1 million of start-up funding to the Global Acceleration Instrument to help address the global deficit on funding for the implementation of the resolution.

We will also provide additional funding of over $800,000 each year for two years to support new research at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics - bringing the total UK Government funding for the Centre to over $3 million.

Third, the UK will ensure that all future relevant military doctrine is gender-sensitive. By November 2016, all UK troops deployed on overseas missions will receive training on Women, Peace and Security and Preventing Sexual Violence.

We are reviewing the external training we provide through our Peace Support Operation training centres, with a view to delivering additional WPS/PSV training to overseas troop contributing countries. The review will also help to develop “train the trainer” packages which can help further disseminate this work. We are growing and strengthening the pool of gender advisers within the Ministry of Defence.

Fourth, conflict prevention and early warning remain at the heart of this agenda.

The UK will ensure that, by September 2016, all our early warning and joint conflict analysis and assessment tools are fully gender-sensitive.

Next, over the next five years, the UK will drive forward the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative. We will tackle impunity for sexual violence crimes, ensuring widespread implementation of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

We will encourage greater support for survivors, including children and men. And we will work with other governments to deliver a more effective multilateral response.

Next, the UK will champion the Roadmap to Action to Protect Women and Girls in Emergencies - and help secure positive outcomes for women and girls at next year’s World Humanitarian Summit.

My seventh point, the UK will continue to provide technical and other support to help other governments develop, implement and measure the impact of their own Action Plans on 1325. We will help Iraq and Afghanistan implement their Action Plans.

Finally, the UK will ensure that our overseas work to counter violent extremism includes upstream activity targeted specifically at women. Women will be at the centre in the delivery of programming of overseas extremism work, both nationally and locally.

Mr President,

We strongly support the recommendations for the United Nations on Women, Peace and Security set out in the three major reviews this year and will work with others to ensure these are implemented. Just as we Member States must deliver on our responsibilities, the role of DPKO, DPA, UNDP and many other UN entities is critical to move matters forward, in headquarters and the field.

Finally, the UK will pledge to update the Security Council on our commitments at the annual debate on this agenda, and to that end I will call on others here today to join on our initiative and do likewise.

Thank you.

Published 13 October 2015