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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace, and Security

2023-10-25 18:00

Mr. President,

China welcomes the convening of today's important meeting under the Brazilian Presidency. We thank Secretary-General António Guterres, Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous, and President Mirjana Spoljaric Egger for their briefings. I also listened attentively to the statements by Ambassador Glivânia Maria de Oliveira and the civil society representative.

There is a saying in China that women hold up half of the sky and that they are just as competent as men. Some 20 plus years ago, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325, making it clear that women's equal and full participation is essential to advancing peace and security. Against the current backdrop of multiple global conflicts, a review of the implementation of Resolution 1325 will help us keep in mind the important mission of protecting women's rights and interests and promoting women's participation, so as to ensure that women can play a greater role in the maintenance of international peace and security. I would like to share the following four observations.

First, we must commit ourselves to preventing and resolving conflicts in a comprehensive manner. The latest Secretary-General’s report notes that the deterioration of the global security situation is a major impediment to the realization of gender equality. In the Middle East, renewed fighting has led to the deaths of more than 7,000 people, many of whom are women and children. In Africa and Latin America, terrorism, conflict, and gun violence have victimized women and children in particular. We call on the international community to have a greater sense of urgency, expeditiously promotes the political settlement of hotspot issues, ensure that women are protected from violence, enhance their sense of security, and create a peaceful and tranquil environment for their development. In this connection, the Security Council in particular should perform its duty to take responsible and meaningful collective actions to address the current crisis in Palestine and Israel, promote a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities at an early date, so as to create conditions for the effective protection of safety of civilians, including women.

Second, we must commit ourselves to putting gender equality into practice. Secretary-General Guterres once said that women leaders are essential to peace and progress for all. We sincerely salute those women who have stepped forward in conflict areas, and we fully acknowledge their active participation in mediation in disregard of their personal safety. In recent years, the Secretariat has taken a number of positive initiatives to increase the percentage of female senior officials and female senior heads of missions, which China commends. We also call on the international community to further incorporate a gender perspective into the peace process, and give full play to the unique advantages of women, and remove unnecessary obstacles to women's equal participation in mediation, negotiation, and give them more rights to participate and more power in decision-making.

Third, we must commit ourselves to realizing women's economic empowerment and development. This is not only the sure way to achieve gender equality, but also an inherent requirement for reaching the SDGs. In Rwanda, Juncao technology from China has helped many women farmers become entrepreneurs. In the Solomon Islands, the provision of fishing boats and the construction of farmers markets, both parts of the aid program from China, have given local women new opportunities to generate income and create wealth. In Nepal, rural women have not only received poverty eradication loans from China, but also have diversified their income revenues and improved their social status with their skills. These examples fully illustrate that development is the golden key to resolving all problems, and development also represents a fundamental way to improve the status of women. The Security Council and the international community should put into practice the concept of development for peace, promote the empowerment of women on the basis of development, and create better conditions for women to enhance their own abilities.

Fourth, we must commit ourselves to strengthen global cooperation and partnership. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes. Delivering on the commitments of the WPS agenda cannot be done without strong input from the UN system and international and regional partners. We hope that UN Women, UNDP and other organizations will further enrich and improve the toolbox and roadmap for women’s development, so as to effectively address the challenges women face, including poverty, discrimination, violence, and digital divide, among others. We call on the international community to actively assist in the reconstruction of conflict areas, and increase investment in healthcare, education, and training with the view to improving the situation of women. We call on the strengthening of North-South. South-South, and trilateral cooperation and promote the greater flow of capital, human resources, and technology to developing countries, so as to bridge the differences in women's development across countries.

Mr. President,

China has always been an advocate for gender equality, a supporter of the women, peace and security agenda, and a contributor to the cause of women's development worldwide. We have sent more than 1,000 female peacekeeping officers and soldiers to the UN, co-established with UNESCO the prize for girls and women's education, provided medical and educational support for women and girls in developing countries, and incorporated exchanges and cooperation in the field of women into multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the Form of China-Africa Cooperation and the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. This week, the 13th National Women's Congress opened in Beijing with more than 1,800 delegates from all over China gathering in the capital to discuss the cause of women’s development in the new era. Going forward, China will strengthen partnership with various parties, through its own development and through international cooperation, to make further progress and achievements of the cause of women’s development globally.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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