is the text of the remarks made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan
to the Security Council meeting on women and peace and security:
"Let me thank and congratulate the presidency of the Security
Council for its initiative in holding this meeting on women and
you have chosen is crucial, for it brings together two vital parts
of the United Nations mission. The Charter tells us that the Organization
was created to save succeeding generations from the scourge of
It also proclaims
the equal rights of men and women. We must live up to both challenges,
or we shall not succeed fully in either. As this Council knows
better than anyone, the nature of conflict has changed a great
deal in the decades since our Charter was written.
The age of
Inter-State wars has been replaced by the age of ethnic conflict.
Militias have multiplied and small arms have proliferated.
law has been flouted. Civilians not only make up the majority
of victims; they are increasingly the targets of conflict. From
rape and displacement to the denial of the right to food and health
care, women bear more than their fair share of the suffering.
But women, who know the price of conflict so well, are also often
better equipped than men to prevent or resolve it.
October 2000 SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR COUNCIL ACTION TO ENSURE
WOMEN ARE INVOLVED IN PEACE AND SECURITY DECISIONS 2000
generations, women have served as peace educators, both in their
families and in their societies. They have proved instrumental
in building bridges rather than walls. They have been crucial
in preserving social order when communities have collapsed."
in the United Nations know, at first hand, the invaluable support
women provide to our peacekeepers -- by organizing committees,
non-governmental organizations and church groups that help ease
tensions, and by persuading their menfolk to accept peace.
for that reason, we are making special efforts to recruit more
women for our own peacekeeping and peace-making missions, and
make all our operations more aware of gender issues.
United Nations has learnt the hard way that peace and security
depends on rapid response to early indications of conflict. We
know that conflict prevention requires imaginative strategies.
We know that conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building
call for creative and flexible approaches.
all these areas, we have seen examples of women playing an important
role -- not least on my own continent, Africa. And yet the potential
contribution of women to peace and security remains severely under-valued.
here today because we are determined to change that, and because
we know that changing it is the responsibility of all of us --
men and women alike.
in its statement on International Women's Day this year, acknowledged
that women and girls are particularly effected by the consequences
of armed conflict. You recognized that peace is inextricably linked
to equality between women and men. And you declared that maintaining
and promoting peace and security requires women's equal participation
in decision-making. I am here today to ask you to do everything
in your power to translate that statement into action: To help
ensure that women and girls in conflict situations are protected;
that perpetrators of violence against women in conflict are brought
to justice; and that women are able to take their rightful and
equal place at the decision-making table in questions of peace
I am confident
that Ms. King, Ms. Heyzer and others who will speak here today
will help show you the way. Thank you very much."