I wish to firstly thank the Presidency for convening this meeting, which is timely coming roughly a year after the completion of the review of Security Council resolution 1325. The presence of high-level representatives around the table testifies to its importance.
2. I wish to also thank UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon; UN Women Executive Director Ms. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and Ms. Rita Lopidia of South Sudan, representing civil society – for their respective briefings.
3. My delegation greatly appreciates their tireless commitment to women’s rights and empowerment in the pursuit of peace and security and we pay tribute to their continuing efforts in this regard.
4. Malaysia aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by Thailand on behalf of ASEAN. I wish to add the following remarks as further contribution to the discussion.
5. The High-level Review, and the accompanying Global Study on the implementation of Resolution 1325 successfully renewed international momentum to fully actualize the involvement of women and leverage on their influence in matters of peace and security.
6. Similarly, the adoption of Resolution 2242 provided additional impetus for the Security Council to explore WPS issues more deeply, including in country-specific contexts through the Informal Experts Group (IEG) on WPS. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and commend Spain and the UK for their able leadership of the IEG which has enriched wider Council discussions.
7. We commend the steps taken by Member States to adopt or review National Action Plans on WPS and encourage their continued implementation. The establishment of a WPS National Focal Point Network is another useful platform for sharing information and experiences among Member States, including on national action plans.
8. While there has been some positive progress, we stress that much more can and must be done to fully utilize the WPS agenda to resolve and prevent armed conflict. In our assessment, three key areas require more focus and attention, namely: peace processes, peacekeeping and policy-making.
9. We fully support efforts to increase and prioritise participation of women at all levels in peace processes and mediation efforts. The peace process in Colombia showed us how the significant involvement of women - both at the main peace talks in Havana, as well as in national and regional consultations – was critical in supporting the successful conclusion of the peace agreement between the Government and the FARC-EP.
10. Increased access to gender expertise by international mediators and negotiating parties in the drafting of peace agreements, resulting in the inclusion of gender-specific provisions in a greater number of agreements, is another positive development which should be sustained.
11. We also share the assessment that presence of women peacekeepers in conflict zones can facilitate interaction and confidence-building with local communities and affected populations, particularly women and children.
12. In addition to endorsing the “3Ps of Planning, Pledges and Performance”, the London Communique adopted by the UN peacekeeping ministerial meeting last month also affirmed the commitment to increase women’s participation in uniformed roles.
13. In this regard, I am pleased to share that as of 16 September 2016, Malaysia has increased the number of women military personnel deployed within our contingent under UNIFIL from 26 to 40.
14. Additionally, in implementing pledges on capacity-building made during the 2015 peacekeeping summit, the Malaysian Peacekeeping Center conducted three (3) training courses on gender, cultural diversity and protection of civilians in the first half of 2016, the latter with the cooperation of the Government of Japan. These courses have benefited over 40 military and civilian personnel. We hope to maintain and expand such training in the coming years.
15. Resolution 1325 (2000) recognized the need for gender perspectives to be taken into account in political, security and humanitarian action. While there has been some progress in mainstreaming gender considerations in the work of the UN - notably the recent adoption of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Gender Strategy – there is still a long way to go in fully implementing such policies.
16. In this regard, Malaysia believes that increasing the number of women in decision-making positions contributes to the development and implementation of holistic and gender-inclusive policies which benefit the community, State or organization as a whole.
17. The call made in Resolution 1325 (2000) for increased representation of women at all decision-making levels remains as acute and relevant now as it was then, including within the UN. We continue to support the Secretary General’s efforts to achieve gender parity within the UN, especially at senior decision-making levels.
18. In conclusion, the aim of the WPS agenda is aspirational: to restore the role of women and girls - one half of humanity – as effective actors with equal stake in peace and security efforts. Our task will only be complete when women’s representation and participation in conflict prevention, its management and resolution is axiomatic.
19. Until then, Mr. Secretary-General, my delegation offers our steadfast commitment and support in furthering this agenda. We hope that Secretary-General designate Mr. Guterres will continue to build on the WPS initiatives initiated under your tenure.