Statement by H.E. Mr. Toshiro Ozawa
Security Council Open Debate
on Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security
28 October 2004
Thank you very much for providing us with an opportunity to make a few comments on a subject matter to which we attach great importance, "strengthening the UN response to gender-based violence in conflict/post-conflict situations."
The manner in which women are often obliged to live during armed conflict is indeed a moral outrage. They are usually neither the initiators of conflict nor the wagers of war, and yet their gender is often specifically targeted. This situation should in no way be tolerated. But we also need to be sober enough to recognize that the international community can do much more to address this problem in post-conflict situations rather than during the conflict.
The post-conflict situation opens up real opportunities to remove threats to women's dignity. Moreover, Japan is convinced that empowering women is one of the most effective means for peace-building in post-conflict situations. Successful peace building will lead to the prevention of the recurrence of conflict, thus reducing the risk of gender-based violence spreading again. As resolution 1325 reaffirmed, women themselves have an important role to play in this prevention of conflict as they are known to play critical roles in building the capacity of communities to prevent new or recurrent violence.
The recognition that women play important roles in peace-building is now widely shared. What we must do is to follow up this recognition with action on the ground to empower women in post-conflict situations. Women need assistance in order for them to play larger roles in their communities and to be integrated into the mainstream peace-building and reconstruction processes.
In this regard, my delegation wishes again to refer to the concept of human security, which we believe is, in essence, the protection and empowerment of ordinary individuals. The promotion of human security is now one of the major pillars of Japan 's foreign policy. In order to ensure that more actions are taken in the field to enhance human security, Japan took the initiative to establish the UN Trust Fund for Human Security. Allow me to cite a few examples where UN funds and programs and agencies are utilizing this Trust Fund for the purpose of empowering women in post-conflict situations. UNFPA is conducting a project (USD988,098) called "Emergency Reproductive Health Service" in Eritrea . UNIFEM is conducting a project (USD1,030,000) called "Promoting Reintegration of IDP and Refugees Women in Community Building " in Afghanistan . In Rwanda , UNIFEM is also conducting a project (USD 1,323,336) called "Enhancing Human Security Through Gender Equality in the Context of HIV/AIDS".
In the four years since the adoption of resolution 1325, there has been a positive shift in international understanding of the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, as well as of the importance of their participation in all areas related to peace and security. Owing to the resolution, the importance of partnership between men and women in the peace-building and reconstruction process now enjoys wider recognition, and the international community has made significant strides in implementing the resolution. As the Secretary-General's report notes, however, the real test of the adequacy of these efforts is measured by their impact on the ground. Japan is committed to working actively in this area, and building on the lessons learned, so that we are more effective in bringing about real changes on the ground.
I thank you, Mr. President.