Statement on Ukraine – Women, Peace and Security-Europe and North America CSW Caucus

Published by Sissy Vovou

Europe and North America CSW Caucus
Europe and North America CSW Caucus –
Statement on Ukraine – Women, Peace and Security

At a time when the world is facing manifold challenges including rapid climate change, health pandemics, conflict, and violence against women and girls, is it not time for humanity to shake off the lethargy that prevents substantive positive change and declare it is time to stop?

The Europe and North America Caucus for the Commission on the Status of Women, is moved at this 66th Session, when we are deliberating the effects on women and girls of climate change, and bombarded by images of human suffering unravelling before us every moment through all communications channels, and the voices of Ukrainian women speaking to us directly from areas being bombarded by artillery in a manner no one would have thought possible in this age, to call for action.

We cannot remain silent on the conflict in Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with our sisters surviving conflict across the globe, but at this moment, Ukrainian women are suffering the results of the failure of global governance. Their voices are heard. We feel their pain and anger.

In recent times, still so vibrant in our collective memory, we have witnessed the human tragedies and preventable loss of life, in all conflict affected areas: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Myanmar, Sub Sahara Africa, Northern Cameroon, Congo, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan and now
Ukraine. Our sisters are still suffering. Millions of women and children, are being displaced from their homes facing famine, becoming victims of further violence such as rape, human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography. They bear the brunt of all wars; their bodies are the battle fields on which their perpetrators claim victory. They are bearers of environmental and climate disasters, while yet they are the builders of communities, pillars of the family and leaders in community well-being. All these women have been left behind. Will the women of Ukraine and their families also be left behind?

UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), was a milestone resolution including analysis and solutions – yet more than 21 years later it is still not implemented. It is a cornerstone for peacebuilding work and processes, recognizing for the first time the role of women in conflict, as targeted victims,
and, as actors in the prevention and resolution of conflict and equal participation in peacebuilding and decision making. Now is the time for full implementation of UNSCR 1325 and for including women at the negotiating and decision-making table without delay, not only but including, in Ukraine.

We call on the Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres to focus immediately on the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Noting the commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Beijing Platform for Action linking equality of women and men with peace and the 2010 report of the
Secretary-General’s seven-point action plan on gender-responsive peacebuilding, we call on all stakeholders to take urgent action to implement the solutions already outlined.

We call on the UN Secretary General to organise an extraordinary Town Hall during the second week of the CSW66 on Women, Peace and Security. We ask that he invite women’s organisations from conflict zones, particularly women from Ukraine, to listen to their concerns, to have an open dialogue and
Europe and North America CSW Caucus Europe and North America CSW Caucus – consult with women’s civil society on building sustainable peace and their participation in all stages of peace negotiations and the (post) conflict resolution processes.

We call on UN Women to initiate and fund training to facilitate women and civil society to form Peace Keeping and Negotiating Teams forthwith in all regions of countries in conflict and war, and in particular Ukraine; ensuring a broad inclusion of representatives from all sectors of society in terms of diversity, age, profession and educational level.

We welcome the current efforts and role UNHCR has played and call for more resources to respond to the refugee crisis in Ukraine. It is expected that up to 4 million people will flee Ukraine, the majority of whom are women and children. Special attention, including protection and services must be accorded to the elderly, persons with disabilities, widows, minority and all other vulnerable groups.

We call on the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict to document all forms of sexual violence against women and girls. We call on the UN to ensure that in the context of Ukraine all forms of violence against women and girls, especially sexual violence, rape and
trafficking are documented and identified as war crimes to subsequently provide evidence for the International Criminal Court and all other relevant Courts. Women and girls trapped in and fleeing from conflict and war are extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation by traffickers and organised networks, including abduction and subtle forms of enticement due to their heightened vulnerability in these situations, luring them into prostitution. Efforts to prevent and stop this must be intensified. It is urgent that women and children receive effective protection from the risks of trafficking into
prostitution and that all protection and law-enforcement agencies are on the alert. There can be no impunity for trafficking in women and girls.

The UN was created to ensure peace and prosperity for humanity. We believe it is time for all leaders to use meaningful diplomacy to achieve this. Universal peace and a Culture of Peace is possible in this century, what is currently lacking is political will. What is required is a re-shaping of our thinking. We
call on world leaders to come together immediately to make and ensure peace.

We, the Europe, and North America Caucus for CSW vehemently oppose any solution that will lead to further armed conflict. Responding with violence to violence can only lead to more human tragedy, environmental destruction, investments in armament and further economic disaster. Long lasting
victories are those of peace not of war.

At this CSW looking at climate change and the disasters it creates, we must state more strongly than ever before, that we share this planet with each other and all living things on it. We are one humanity living on one planet. It is imperative that solutions are found to eradicate conflict. We call for a new
understanding and practice of multilateralism- a multilateralism based on the reality of the oneness of humanity.

Europe and North America Caucus for CSW 25 March 2022
Europe and North America CSW Caucus
Europe and North America CSW Caucus –

Organisations wishing to be cited as signatories (list limited due to tight time-line)
BPW – Europe Persons Against Non-State Torture
BPW – France The Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights
BPW-UK Red Pepper Association
Black Environment Network Regards de Femmes
Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women
(BPW Canada)
Rozaria Memorial Trust
Canadian Federation of University Women Soroptimist International
Climate & Sustainability Soroptimist International of Europe
Congregation of Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland
ECPAT-USA She Changes Climate
Federación internacional de empresarias BPW Spain Shevelution
Feminist Observatory of Violence against Women, Belgium Scottish Women’s Convention
European Center of the International Council of Women Security Women
European Union of Women Servas International
Gender, Peace & Security Training for Women Network, NI
Graduate Women International UK Civil Society Women’s Alliance
Global Choices US Women’s Caucus at the UN
Global Fund for Widows Wales Assembly of Women
International Alliance of Women Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD)
International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women Women’s Advisory Council of the United Nations
Association – UK
International Council of Jewish Women Women@the well
International Council of Women Women’s Baltic Peacebuilding Initiative
International Federation for Business and Professional
Women (IFBPW)
Women Cyber Security Society (WCS2)
International Network of Liberal Women Women’s Federation for World Peace Intl
International Longevity Center-Canada Women Graduates – USA, Inc
Judith Trust Women’s Intercultural Network
Kirmizi Biber Dernegi, Turkey Women’s UN Report Network – WUNRN
KULU-Women and Development (KULU), Denmark Women Unsilenced
Make Mothers Matter (MMM) Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality
MUSONET, Mali Women’s World Summit Foundation
Mothers Union Women Worldwide Advancing Freedom & Equality
Mother’s Legacy Project Workforce Solutions Group
National Alliance of Women’s Organisations, UK World Citizens Network
National Board of Catholic Women England & Wales Young Global Leadership
National Council of Women of Canada Zonta Club of Brooklyn (NY, USA)
National Council of Women of Great Britain Zonta London Club
Northern Ireland Women’s European Platform
Pacific Rim Institute for Development and Education
Europe and North America CSW Caucus
Europe and North America CSW Caucus –

UN Security Council Resolution 1325: through it the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women; recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict prevention, peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. It also stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security in peace and security: Increased participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making; Attention to specific protection needs of women and girls in conflict; Gender perspective in post-conflict processes; Gender perspective in UN programming, reporting, and in SC missions; Gender perspective and training in UN peace support operations. In April 2019, the United Kingdom and Germany invited Member States, UN entities, and regional organizations to commit publicly to specific actions ahead of the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325. Sixty-four Member States, 8 UN entities, and 3 regional organizations made commitments. These ranged from new national action plans with an adoption target date before October 2020 to funding pledges, institutional
arrangements, and announcements to host, chair, or join existing global initiatives, among others.

These commitments will be monitored by UN Women and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Implementation of UNSCR1325 Women Peace and Security and in accordance with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the women, peace and security agenda are mutually supportive across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 5 relates to gender equality and Goal 16 to stable and peaceful societies, and The Beijing Platform for Action recognized that peace is inextricably linked with equality between women and men and development. It put forward a set of strategic objectives and actions to be taken. (See especially Chapter IV, Section E, which focuses on “Women and armed conflict”. And furthermore the 2010 reports of the Secretary-General’s seven-point action plan on gender-responsive peacebuilding”, which seeks to enhance the United Nations’ responses to women’s needs and priorities in the aftermath of conflict, and support women as equal participants in shaping their communities and societies. It sets out commitments across the following areas: conflict resolution, post-conflict planning and financing, civilian capacity, governance, rule of law, and women’s economic recovery. Notably, it commits the United Nations to allocate a minimum of 15 per cent of all UN-managed funding in support of peacebuilding projects to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment