30 November 2012 – Security Council – Women, Peace and Security – Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
I thank you, Mr. President, for having convened this open debate.
I also thank Deputy Secretary-General
Eliasson; Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director
of UN-Women; Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-
General for Peacekeeping; and Ms. Bineta Diop,
President of Femmes Africa Solidarité, for their
The Security Council recognizes two facts. On
the one hand, women are the main civilian victims
of conf lict. On the other, they are never or rarely
involved in the political negotiations to end crises. The
Council has drawn two main conclusions from that:
their protection, which must be strengthened, and their
necessary participation in peace and conf lict resolution
That appeal was heard in part. Today, 12 years
since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000), the United
Nations increasingly takes the role of women into
account in its peace and security activities.
ever more present, including as executive directors, in
mediation teams and in United Nations field missions.
Under the leadership of Ms. Bachelet, UN-Women
has improved the consistency and coordination of
efforts to protection and promote women. The Security
Council takes better account of the issue of women in
However, we need to do more in that
regard. France wants to see an increase in the number
of advisory posts for the protection of women, in
Those developments should not let it be forgotten
that women are still to a large extent excluded from
conf lict prevention and resolution processes, which
is still too often the exclusive remit of men. In crisis
situations, in particular, women remain the main target
of intolerable violence. In post-crisis situations, their
suffering is often ignored.
That shortcoming is also often evident is peace
agreements. In 2011, nine peace agreements were
signed in the world but only two, in Yemen and Somalia,
included specific provisions on women. It is precisely
in transition situations that progress for women can be
There must therefore be even more in-depth
consultation with women’s organization in civil society.
In that context, informal meetings of the Security
Council with women active in the field must continue
and be promoted and their number increased.
I also wish to commend the tireless efforts
of Ms. Bineta Diop, who, as the head of Femmes
Africa Solidarité, is working to implement
resolution 1325 (2000) in several African States,
including the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire, and in Darfur. In the recent
tragic days, I would like to underscore the events in the
eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where, once
again, the civilian population, and women in particular,
are the victims of clashes.
Women in conf lict situations continue to be regular
target of unacceptable violence. That happens when
they become involved. Recently, we have also seen
defenders of women’s rights targeted by all kinds of
extremists, who want to silence them. In Afghanistan,
women who play an active part in the reconstruction
of their country and participate in political life are
threatened by extremist groups. They also remain the
primary target for sexual violence, which is still used as
a weapon of war to terrorize civilian populations.
On many occasions, the Security Council has
made statements on the situation in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo — which I have already
mentioned — condemning the savage campaigns of
rape and sexual violence by rebel groups in the Kivus.
Also in Mali, women are the first victims of the
violence unleashed against them by Islamic groups that
have taken control of the north of the country. There are
worrying reports by Islamist groups of the number of
unmarried women who have had children. Clearly, such
women will subsequently be the targets of violence. We
cannot remain inactive given that reality.
In that connection, I commend the work of the
Special Representative of the Secretary-General on
Sexual Violence in Conf lict. Thanks to her efforts, we
now have a list of groups systematically using sexual
violence. That list should help put an end to their
impunity. In view of such crimes, combating impunity
is indeed essential. In that regard, the International
Criminal Court should fully play its role. Furthermore,
France also welcomes the policy of zero tolerance
towards United Nations personnel implemented by the
Secretary-General, which must continue.
In 2010, France adopted a national action plan for
the implementation of the resolutions on women and
peace and security. In that context, we are cooperating at
the international level, in partnership with UN-Women.
We are thus funding programmes to combat violence in
six African countries and in the Arab world, including
Jordan, Mali and Niger. Those programmes are being
implemented by UN-Women in close coordination with
civil society organizations. Since 2011, we have also
worked with UN-Women to improve women’s access to
justice in Afghanistan.
Members can therefore rest assured of the
commitment and resolve of France to promote and to
defend women’s rights and to work tirelessly for the
implementation of the resolutions on women, peace and
Learn more on Protection of women.