Women’s equality makes our planet safe and secure – IDN-InDepthNews

By Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury is the founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace (GMCoP), the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN (1996-2001) and the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations ( 2002-2007). ).

The following is based on her inaugural speech at the first “Outstanding Women of Peace” Awards Ceremony hosted by Pathways To Peace (PTP) September 13, 2022 (virtual)

NEW YORK (IDN) — Happy 23rd anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s consensual action on its founding documents on the culture of peace!

Twenty-three years ago, on September 13, 1999, the United Nations adopted the Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace, a monumental document that transcends borders, cultures, societies and nations. It was an honor for me to preside over the nine-month negotiations that led to the adoption of this historic normative document by the United Nations General Assembly. This document affirms that inherent in the culture of peace is a set of values, modes of behavior and ways of life.

A statement from the Fourth World Conference on Women, in Beijing in 1995, stated that “the dynamic movement towards a culture of peace draws its inspiration and hope from the visions and actions of women”. She further underlined that full respect for the human rights of women; unleashing the creative potential of women in all aspects of life; women’s equal participation in decision-making are all prerequisites for realizing the culture of peace.

The central message of that 1995 declaration remains just as relevant today.

I am deeply moved by the honor conferred on me to be the keynote speaker at the ‘Outstanding Women for Peace’ awards ceremony today, and also on this very special day of the 13 september.

Pathways To Peace, PTP, has worked for more than 40 years locally and globally, across generations and across cultures, to support peacebuilding and peacemakers, and initiatives to co-create the global culture of peace. peace.

Encouraged by the spirit of its co-founder, Avon Mattison, a dear and respected friend, PTP recognizes the exceptional leadership of women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. To commemorate Avon’s inspiring legacy, this year on March 8, International Women’s Day, PTP launched an awards campaign, to honor “Outstanding Women of Peace”. As PTP says, “This award honors the inspiring work of women peacebuilders whose courage, leadership and commitment to peace stand out as beacons of strength and hope.”

My life’s experience has taught me to value peace and equality as essential components of our existence. They release the positive forces of good that are so necessary for human progress. My initiatives at the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 on the culture of peace, at the Security Council in 2000 on the equal participation of women, and in leading the United Nations system’s prioritization of the needs of most vulnerable countries in the world as a champion for six years – all show that when head and heart come together to do something meaningful and worthwhile for humanity, no obstacle is insurmountable.

My work has taken me all over the world. I have seen time and time again the centrality of the culture of peace and women’s equality in our lives. This awareness has now become more relevant in the midst of the ever-increasing militarism, militarization and militarization that is destroying both our planet and our people.

A moving inspiration I have felt in my work for peace, development and human rights is that we must never forget that when women – half of the world’s seven billion plus population – are marginalized , there is no chance that our world will become lasting peace in the true sense. I strongly believe that unless women are committed to advancing the culture of peace on an equal level at all times with men, lasting peace will continue to elude us.

Women bring new breadth, quality and balance of vision to a common effort to move away from the cult of war towards the culture of peace. I wholeheartedly believe that women’s equality makes our planet safe and secure.

You are all familiar with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. It is very close to my intellectual existence and my very small contribution to a better world for each of us. Going back more than 22 years ago, on International Women’s Day in 2000, as President of the Security Council, I issued a joint statement that formally drew the world’s attention to the role positive and the contribution of women.

The Security Council recognized in this declaration that peace is inextricably linked to equality between women and men and affirmed the value of the full and equal participation of women at all levels of decision-making. This conceptual and political breakthrough ultimately led to the adoption of resolution 1325.

The passage of 1325 opened a long-awaited door of opportunity for women who have shown time and time again to bring qualitative improvement in peace structuring and post-conflict architecture. When women are involved in peace negotiations and the shaping of a peace agreement, they have the broader, long-term interests of society in mind.

We recall that in choosing the three women winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, the citation referred to 1325 by saying that “it underlines the need for women to participate on an equal footing with men in the processes of peace and peace work in general”.

UNSC Resolution 1325 is the only UN resolution so specifically mentioned in any Nobel Prize citation.

However, much remains to be done.

Empowering women in political leadership will have ripple effects at all levels of society. When politically empowered, women bring important and different skills and perspectives to the policy-making table than their male counterparts. I often point out that when women enter politics, they want to DO something, when men enter politics, they want to BE something.

Patriarchy and misogyny are the two scourges of humanity that lead humanity away from our yearning for a better world to live in freedom, equality and justice. Gender inequality is an established, proven and undisputed reality – it is pervasive. This is a real threat to human progress!

On a somber note, let me warn that we are witnessing around the world an organized and determined rollback of the gains made as well as new attacks on women’s equality and empowerment – yes, in all regions of the world and in all countries without exception.

This global reality is dramatically highlighted in the fact that the United Nations itself, despite being the greatest champion of women’s equality, failed to elect a female Secretary General, but has yet to reverse the historical injustice of having the position held by men for its seven decades of existence. his existence.

Before concluding, let me state that feminism is a component of a modern vision of world politics. It is a smart policy that includes entire populations, uses all potential and leaves no one behind.

Let me repeat that I am proud to be a feminist. We all have to be. This is how we make our planet a better place for everyone.

Congratulations to the first winners of the Exceptional Women of Peace Prize in 2022.

We must always remember that without peace, development is impossible, and without development, peace is not achievable, but without women, neither peace nor development is conceivable. [IDN-InDepthNews – 23 September 2022]

Pictured: The late Ms. Avon Mattison (left) with Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury during the first High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace at the United Nations convened by the 66th President of the United Nations General Assembly on September 14, 2012.

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