At the outset, I should like to thank you, Mr. President, for having organized this meeting of the Council on women and peace and security. France welcomes the appointment of Ms. Margot Wallström as Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and we thank her for her frank appraisal of how to improve the effectiveness of the United Nations system in this area. We commend the very promising first steps she has taken in her mission.
We support her recommendations.
— It is necessary for the Council, in complement to actions being carried out by other organs, agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations to advance women, to continue to take into account the situation of women in conflicts, in the light of its effects on the maintenance of international peace and security.
— In parallel, the United Nations system should strengthen the coherence of its action, and, in this regard, we welcome the cooperation that has already been established with the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy.
— Focus needs to be placed on the prevention of sexual violence, in particular to ensure that such violence does not become a systematic tactic of warfare. In this regard, the Council should continue its efforts to systematically integrate the approach recommended in its resolutions on women and peace and security into operational mandates and to persuade the parties to conflicts to incorporate this perspective into their peace processes.
We thank the Special Representative for what she has told us about her recent visit to the Congo. This information will help us in preparing for the Council’s upcoming visit to that country, in mid-May. And we will, of course, continue to advocate with the Congolese authorities for the five perpetrators of sexual violence in the situation that was brought to their attention to be brought to justice. Some trials have begun, but are proceeding too slowly. The fight against sexual violence and impunity remains a priority in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There is a long list of other tragic situations, and unfortunately it is far from exhaustive. We are reminded of that by the violence against women from ethnic minorities in Nepal and Burma, and by the sexual violence prevalent in former conflicts zones in Côte d’Ivoire and in Guinea and Kenya. In addressing these situations, the specific measures for the implementation of resolution 1888 (2009) — including the rapid deployment of experts to the field and advisers for the protection of women in peacekeeping operations — should have a positive impact. However, Ms. Wallström has a huge task ahead of her. She can count on France to help her to fulfil it and to continue to firmly support her work.
I should also like to thank Ms. Mayanja for her statement and to commend the outstanding work of her Department in providing the Council with indicators in monitoring implementation of resolution 1325 (2000).
The presidential statement to be adopted at the end of this meeting is a technical one and will launch a phase of consultation between the Secretariat and the Council that should lead to the adoption in October of a coherent set of indicators proposed by the Secretary- General in accordance with the targets set in resolution 1889 (2009). I shall not list every indicator, since we are all familiar with them.
I should simply like to welcome the fact that women and girls are being taken into account in demobilization and reintegration programmes. France attaches particular importance to this issue because women and girls are often left out of demobilization and reintegration programmes, which are aimed exclusively at armed combatants. One of the key contributions of the principles and commitments agreed in Paris in 2007, in partnership with UNICEF, is precisely that they allow us better to take that dimension into account.
In conclusion, I recall that France supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation that a ministerial meeting be convened at United Nations Headquarters on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000) in October in order to assess progress made in the past decade and to open new prospects.