Remarks by Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan at the Panel Discussion on Women, Peace and Security: International and Armenian Practice15 March, 2019
Dear Ms. Hutchinson,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On this final day of the NATO week in Armenia I express my gratitude to our partner Embassies, my colleagues from the Foreign Ministry and other governmental agencies for their contribution to the series of events of the NATO week.
Likewise, I would like to welcome Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO SG Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security and thank her for the participation in this discussion.
In recent years, we have successfully continued our mutually beneficial partnership with NATO. Today we have a solid agenda of cooperation with the Alliance - the main vehicle of it being Armenia-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) – including the fulfillment of commitments on implementation of the UNSCR 1325.
Next year, we will mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). Regretfully, since then the world has not become more secure, in many places people continue to face the reality where violence, discrimination and hate prevail.
It is our firm conviction that women are “strong agents of change for peace and security” and that peace and security efforts are more sustainable when women are equal partners in the prevention of violent conflicts, the delivery of relief and recovery efforts, as well as in contributing to the lasting and durable settlements.
Thus, ensuring their solid participation in the resolution of conflicts is not merely an exercise of gender equality, it is an instrument enhancing the chances of peace and development.
I would like to recall in this regard the recently inaugurated “Women for Peace” campaign, which aims to be an inclusive platform for women and mothers to promote peace and reconciliation in the conflict torn areas in our region and beyond. This is an illustrative example of the participation of women in the peace building efforts.
The lead-up to this 20th anniversary provides a suitable opportunity to assess the progress and identify the further steps.
In February of this year, our Government approved the 1st National Action Plan on implementation of the UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Armenia became the 80th UN member state to have adopted NAP.
Before the adoption of the National Action Plan Armenian Government and the civil society, each in their own way, have been taking action towards implementation of the resolution 1325. However, it was not a duty-coordinated activity.
The elaboration of the NAP was a year-long exercise engaging Government agencies, civil society and international organizations. As a result, we have a comprehensive, coherent and coordinated policy paper with the central role of the State as the primary responsibility barer for the advancement of women, peace and security agenda.
It takes into account the situation on the ground with a view to accelerating political participation and economic empowerment of women in the context of peacebuilding, conflict-prevention and conflict resolution. Particular focus has been given to vulnerable population groups, including women from border communities, women affected by conflict, women displaced or under risk of displacement.
Implementation of the resolution 1325 in the overall context of promoting women's rights which relates to Government priorities to ensure equality of its citizens before the law and create equal opportunities in economic and social life. These priorities square firmly in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5, where the commitments related to women, peace and security tiding to increasing their participation in public life, at local, national and regional levels.
With the aim to increase the political representation of women, more effective quota for women representation has been prescribed by Electoral Code (25 percent representation of women in elective bodies instead of the previous 20 percent). At the same time, a gradual approach has been stipulated, and higher quota has been prescribed for next elections bringing it up to a level 30 percent.
We need to take innovative, gender-sensitive approaches, with a view to address root causes and risk factors that hamper the participation of women and create conditions that put an effective end to such malpractices.
This discussion is indeed very timely for the Armenian public allowing once again to focus on the important link between the empowerment of women and the sustainability of peace and development, both at national, regional and international levels. And this is an ongoing challenge for all of us, in this country and in this region. That is why I want to renew my appeal to collective, responsible and resolute action on advancing this agenda on Women, Peace and Security.
Thank you very much. I wish all of you, and all of us productive discussion.