|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, peace and security|
China commends Gabon for convening today's important meeting. I thank Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Executive Director Sima Bahous and Special Envoy Bineta Diop for their briefings. I also listened attentively to the remarks by Ms. Zahra Nader.
Security Council resolution 1325 ignited the international community's heightened attention to the special situation of women in conflict. It redefined the relationship of women and peace and security, and greatly enhanced the leadership and participation of women in the field of peace and security. It has a milestone significance. Strengthening the resilience of women in conflict is inherent in the agenda for women, peace and security. China commends Gabon for making this as the theme of today's meeting. I would like to share the following four points around this theme.
First, put fairness and justice into practice, so that women can have hope about their future. Behind strength and resilience is the expectation and hope for the future. Where there's hope, there's direction. Where there's hope, there's strength. Women in conflict are in destitute countries and families, they go through a multitude of hardships. Only by achieving fairness and justice can women believe that they can look forward to the future and that their future is a beautiful one. The Palestinian question has been dragging on for more than 70 years without a solution, and generations of Palestinian women have seen their hair going from black to white. In Gaza, a 12-year-old Palestinian girl went through five armed conflicts since her birth. Instead of waiting any longer, the international community must come up with concrete actions to uphold justice and deliver on its commitments to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question at an early date, so as to return Palestinian women a belated justice, let the girls in Gaza believe in peace and see hope.
Second, follow through on gender equality so that women can have more opportunities of participation. Women's participation in the peace process is not only an inevitable requirement for gender equality and women's empowerment, but also an important condition for achieving lasting peace in conflict areas. The international community owes too much to women in history. In the past 30 years, women were on average 13% of negotiators, 6% of mediators and 6% of signatories in major peace process worldwide. This situation should be improved as soon as possible. All countries should take action to eliminate all forms of discrimination, give women more opportunities to participate in the political process and ensure women's equal and effective participation in national governance. The international community should also actively support women's participation in UN peacekeeping operations and give full play to women's unique advantages in protecting vulnerable groups and community outreach. Many colleagues mentioned just now about the situation faced by Afghan women. China hopes that their rights and interests could be protected, and that they could integrate into the country's economic and social life and become an important force in the peace and rebuilding of their country.
Third, act thoroughly on protection of women so that they can enjoy peace and stability. The international community has made a lot of efforts to protect women in conflict, and it has made some progress, but there's still a long way to go. Intertwined with armed conflict, terrorism is rampant in places like the Sahel, women and children often suffer the most. The Security Council should put Africa at a more prominent position on its agenda and should not reduce its attention to Africa because of other issues. The Council should further invest its energy and resources to Africa in defusing conflicts and supporting constructions there, so that the dividend of peace benefits every woman in Africa. Today, Haiti is known as the most dangerous place in the Western Hemisphere. Gang violence continues to escalate, grave violations against women and children are all the more outrageous and appalling. The international community should impose targeted sanctions on Haitian gangs, crackdown on violent crimes and provide a safe living environment for women and girls.
Fourth, carry out development for peace so that women can gain the power of self-reliance. The lack of resilience is rooted in the lack of development. Poverty, school dropout and hunger, make women vulnerable and helpless. Work, education and training can help them change their lives. At present, the global food crisis is becoming more severe. The international community should speed up its response to the crisis and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable groups such as women in developing countries. We hope that all parties concerned to the Ukrainian issue will promote dialogue and consultation, fully implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative and ensure that more grain is shipped to developing countries. We should also take a long-term view in supporting women's economic empowerment and help more women earn their own living. Since last winter, China has imported more than 1,600 tons of Afghan pine nuts through the “Pine Nuts Air Corridor”, helping Afghan women who account for half of the labor force in this industry to generate income and lift themselves out of poverty. Unilateral sanctions seriously undermine the economic foundation of countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela. They're the heavy shackles impeding the survival and development of local women and they should be lifted immediately.
As the host country of the Fourth World Conference on Women, China has always been advocating gender equality, supporting the WPS agenda and contributing to the international cause of women's development. We have worked with UNESCO to establish the Prize for Girls' and Women's Education, which has up to now supported 14 organizations in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Jamaica and other countries. As we speak now, the Chinese female astronaut Liu Yang is on her mission in China’s space station, contributing the She Power to the noble cause of human exploration of the universe. China would like to make joint efforts with the international community to dispel the haze of turmoil in conflict areas, open up a future of peace and development, and help more women in conflict areas to reach for their stars and embrace their future, just like what the female astronaut is doing now.
I thank you, Mr. President.