Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security
(New York, October 26, 2006)
Statement by Ambassador Claudia Blum, Permanent Representative of Colombia
Allow me to congratulate you on your work as President of the Security Council this October. I also wish to celebrate the fact that Japan has decided to hold this open debate a few days before 31 October, when it will be six years since the approval by the Security Council, of resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
We are thankful for the presentation of the Report, by Ms. Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women
In this report, it is possible to see the progress in the application of the Plan of Action for the application of resolution 1325 throughout the entire United Nations system and the difficulties that have been detected. Among them, those relative to the analysis of gender problems and the incorporation of a gender perspective in the Organization. The commitment to agree to and coordinate actions within the United Nations system, and with Member States, is essential to achieving the goals of resolution 1325.
The resolution has Colombia's determined support, as one of the countries that promoted it and as a member of the Group of Friends that drives its application and dissemination. In 2004, Colombia presented a report to the Secretary-General on the progress made in its implementation.
Aware that the main responsibility in the application of the resolution falls on Member States, Colombia has moved ahead with its implementation judicially and through special programs, which have had the support and cooperation of the UN system. UNIFEM has been an important ally since the Peace and Security Program was created in Colombia in 2003.
Colombia, likewise, has issued laws to protect, favor and promote the participation of women. Our legislation favors women heads of household and guarantees women a minimum of 30% of public posts at the decision-making levels in the different branches and organs of public administration, which has had an incremental effect in their participation.
The dissemination and promotion of resolution 1325 has been a constant priority in the coordinated work of the Presidential Advisory Office for the Equality of Women and the Ministry of Foreign Relations.
My country participated actively in the "First Training Course on Gender, Conflict and Construction of Peace: Andean Region", which was held in Lima in October 2005, under the auspice of "Women Waging Peace". A month later a similar event was held in Bogotá, with a wide participation of the public sector, representatives from civil society and academia, with the intention of spreading the reach of resolution 1325, and highlighting those elements that allow the integration of a gender perspective into the programs, projects and activities aimed at building peace.
The Democratic Security Policy applied in Colombia is based on a comprehensive vision that involves not only the security aspect but also the components of social equity and human development.
Within this framework, Colombia has a Social Reactivation Policy that seeks, among other things, greater gender equity. To this end, it has seven tools: educational revolution; social protection; driving of a solidary economy; social management of the countryside; social management of public services; democratization of property; and urban quality of life. Each one of these tools has a follow-up mechanism. Resulting from a law approved by the Congress, an Observatory for Gender Issues, responsible for incorporating a gender perspective to the analysis of the results achieved in the mentioned areas, was created inside the Presidential Advisory Office for the Equality of Women.
For the implementation of resolution 1325, the National Development Plan, in the Chapter on Social Equity, contains the mandate to carry out a policy in favor of women, under cross-cutting gender criteria coordinated by the Presidential Advisory Office for the Equality of Women.
The Advisory Office, the guiding entity of governmental policies in this area, has outlined the "Women Builders of Peace and Development" policy, which became the starting point from which to articulate objectives, strategies and actions to achieve the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
The Advisory Office equally promoted the reaching of a National Agreement for Equity between Women and Men. This agreement has a special meaning in the implementation of resolution 1325, as not only does it advance the incorporation of a gender perspective into public policies, but it strengthens the participation of women in equality of conditions with men, in all areas of society.
The Government of Colombia is firmly committed to the achievement of the goals of women, the promotion and protection of their rights, and to driving their full participation in public life. One of the goals for the 2006-2010 period is the inclusion of a gender perspective in the foreign policy and international cooperation agenda, with an emphasis on social development issues.
Since the year 2002, my Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Advisory Office for the Equality of Women, has been coordinating efforts for the implementation of resolution 1325. Among the initiatives is the creation of a Table on Women, Peace and Security. Finally, a common Agenda was adopted around the issue of women and their inclusion into the main actions for peace in Colombia.
I would like to emphasize that for the Government of Colombia, building and maintaining peace is not limited to reaching peace accords with illegal armed groups. The Government has always had as an objective the need to maintain and strengthen peace through social, economic and political reforms, in order to achieve greater rates of economic growth and job generation. This leads to greater access opportunities to education, health and social security. We are convinced this is the only way to build societies that are more just and democratic, and give women the place they deserve as a factor of development and social equity.
Thank you, Mr. President.