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Slovenia on women’s comprehensive contribution to peace processes

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Žvokelj, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the meeting of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for  Co-operation Group "Connecting the Tracks. Beyond the official negotiation table: women’s comprehensive contribution to peace processes", Vienna, 13 July 2020

Dear Chairperson, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The OSCE, which was one of the first to recognize the interdependence between European and Mediterranean security, offers a suitable platform to discuss the evolving nexus between peace processes and security.

UNSC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and the resolutions that followed, provide a solid framework for promoting the active and effective participation of women in establishing and building peace. In addition, a number of UN General Assembly resolutions have highlighted the need to include an agenda on women, peace and security in mediation. In doing so, the UN and Member States have committed ourselves to promoting women's rights and their involvement in peace processes, gender mainstreaming in peace negotiations by ensuring that gender equality is addressed at all stages of the peace process, including during the implementation of peace agreements.

We cannot guarantee the success of multilateral efforts for promotion women's role in peace processes without doing our homework at the national level. That is why the Government of the Republic of Slovenia is currently implementing the second National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security. Its focus is on the current challenges and trends in the international community such as extremism, radicalism, terrorism, migration, environment, humanitarian crises, and consequences of climate change.

We also remain active in supporting the promotion of women's activities and participation in the field of peace and security:
• We promote seconding women to the international operations and civilian missions, including to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Currently almost 10% of Slovenian Armed Forces members in missions abroad are female.
• The Gender advisers network in Slovenian Armed Forces is expanding, which contributes to raising the awareness of its members about the gender aspect.
• We also sent a gender expert to an international operation KFOR.

Despite the increasing national efforts in the implementation of the WPS Agenda, we note that progress is slow, political will is not strong enough.

It is imperative to address and eliminate the barriers that impede women from engaging in peace-related activities. There is a need for awareness-raising, education and training of women, and men, on the added value of women's participation in peace-related activities. Women's meaningful participation and integration of gender perspective in all stages of peace process is intended for the benefit of all members of society. When women participate in decision-making processes on an equal footing with men, societies become more resilient, integrated and successful and the peace achieved, lasts longer.

We strongly believe that international contact groups and friends of mediation are the key actors in the promotion of meaningful participation of women in peace processes. One of good examples from the Mediterranean region is the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network, which aims at fulfilling the need to increase the number of women involved in peacemaking efforts and at facilitating the appointment of high-level women mediators at local and international level. Slovenia has been supporting and participating in this initiative, launched by Italy in 2017, from the beginning.

At the end I want to emphasize, that today's topic should not be part of discussions on gender equality only but must become a part of all discussions on peace and security, in particular conflict prevention and resolution. I think these discussions are part of the links between different tracks mentioned today.

In conclusion, let me commend the Swedish Chairpersonship of Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation Group for honoring the 20th anniversary of adoption of UNSCR 1325 on Women, peace and security (WPS) by placing it on today’s agenda.

Slovenia as a Mediterranean country welcomes also the fact that the cooperation with OSCE partners will be strengthened by dedicating a meeting of the Permanent Council to our cooperation. We are therefore looking forward to the Permanent Council with our Mediterranean partners for Cooperation in November.

Thank you.