UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Tuesday called for establishing a monitoring mechanism for crimes committed against women and girls in territories under foreign occupation, including the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The most egregious atrocities and crimes against women and girls occur in situations of foreign occupation and suppression of the right to self-determination to peoples,” he said during a high-level debate in the UN Security Council on ‘Women, Peace and Security (WPS) towards the 25th Anniversary of Resolution 1325’.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that women continue to be the principal victims of war and conflict despite 90 states have adopted National Action Plans to protect women and girls.
He thanked the Veronica Nataniel Macamo Dlhovu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique for convening this Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, on the eve of International Women’s Day.
The world today is facing a pandemic of conflict, violence, war, hate, extremism and terrorism. Despite the Geneva Conventions, civilians are increasingly the primary targets of war and violence. And, as the Council’s landmark resolution 1325 observed, women and girls suffer disproportionately and inordinately from war, conflict and violence.
The strategy adopted in Security Council resolution 1325, and the 10 subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security, has served to enhance national and international recognition of the challenge and its manifestations.
Almost 90 states have adopted National Action Plans to protect women and girls and to empower them to contribute to prevent and respond to conflict, war and violence.
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Sexual Violence in Conflict has helped to enhance recognition of this challenge. The larger presence and role of women peacekeepers has visibly contributed to preventing and containing conflicts and violence and crimes against women.
“Yet, we are far from realizing the objectives of the Women, Peace and Security Agend,” Bilawal said.
The somber reality is that women continue to be the principal victims of war and conflict. We hear the cries of mothers, sisters and daughters – in Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, in Africa – suffering from the consequences of wars that were imposed on them. We have yet to implement the strategy to prevent war, ease its suffering, establish accountability for the crimes against women and girls and empower women, through skills, access and leadership, to contribute to prevention, recovery and redress from their imposed and disproportionate suffering.
We are disappointed at the restrictions imposed on education and work on women and girls in Afghanistan. The right of women and girls to access all levels of education and work is a fundamental right in keeping with Islamic injunctions. We urge the defacto authorities to take steps towards resumption of female education and allow them to contribute to Afghan Society.
The most egregious atrocities and crimes against women and girls occur in situations of foreign occupation and suppression of the right to self-determination of people. Here, the very object of violence is to suppress the civilian population. This is manifested most vividly in the occupied Palestinian territories and occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The women, peace and security strategy will remain incomplete and unfulfilled so long as the acute dimension of the plight of women under foreign occupation is not addressed frontally and vigorously. Above all, occupation forces must be held accountable.
To ensure implementation of the WPS strategy, it is essential to establish a monitoring mechanism for crimes committed against women and girls in territories under foreign occupation, including Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
The Security Council called for improved monitoring in resolution 1888 (2009), through the deployment of military and gender expert teams to conflict areas, and in resolution 1960 (2010) it endorsed measures to end the impunity of perpetrators. These provisions must be implemented.
Pakistan also supports effective implementation of the other measures in the Council’s resolutions on Women, Peace and Security: The deployment of Women Protection Advisors; A larger role for UN Women Peacekeepers, especially in leadership positions; addressing the root causes of conflicts; increasing the resources for women in conflict zones;stronger and equal role for women in the prevention of conflict, in the delivery of relief and recovery assistance and in forging lasting peace; the peaceful resolution of conflicts in accordance with the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions, utilizing the various mechanisms available under the UN Charter.