Jamal Jama AI Musharakh, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, has highlighted the UAE's commitment to building a strong framework for action to counter violations of women's rights and sexual violence against women.
Speaking at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, held yesterday, Al Musharakh said that UN-led investigations have uncovered the use of sexual and gender-based crimes committed by Daesh and Boko Haram as deliberate tactics. "In conflict zones, we have all seen the widespread targeting of women and girls, which represents a fundamental pushback against women's rights. The scale and protracted nature of the forced displacement crisis is growing, with 12.4 million new cases of displacement driven by conflict and persecution in 2015 alone."
The debate was being held on the 16th anniversary of the UN's adoption of Resolution 1325 which reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
During the 15th anniversary debate of the resolution last year, the Council adopted Resolution 2241, which decided to integrate women, peace and security concerns across all country-specific situations on its agenda.
Al Musharakh went on to say, "As a co-sponsor of this resolution and strong advocate of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, the UAE is committed to building a strong framework for action to realise the full implementation of this agenda. In follow up to last year's commitments, the task at hand is a challenging one in view of the global threats to peace and security.
"Terrorism and extremism are real threats, and violations of women's rights as well as sexual violence against women are intrinsically linked with the strategic objectives and ideologies of extremist groups. In conflict zones, we have all seen the widespread targeting of women and girls, which represents a fundamental pushback against women's rights. The scale and protracted nature of the forced displacement crisis is growing, with 12.4 million new cases of displacement driven by conflict and persecution in 2015 alone. This brings the total number of people in dire need of protection and assistance as a consequence of forced displacement to 65.2 million, 50% of which are women and girls."
The Deputy Permanent Representative said that the global landscape is challenging, but the international community has made tangible gains in the past year in partnership with United Nations.
He said that one of the founding principles of the UAE is the full, meaningful, and continually improving participation of women in every aspect of our society. In recognition of this core belief, the UAE's foreign policy strategy now includes women's empowerment and protection as priority themes.
"In recognition of the key role that UN Women plays in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment, the UAE and UN Women launched a UN Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi just last week. The office will enhance and strengthen collaboration to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls - a core part of any WPS agenda in its region.
"As a co-sponsor of Resolution 2242, the UAE recognises the need to integrate a gender analysis into the drivers of radicalisation for women, while also considering the impacts of counter-terrorism strategies on women's human rights and women's organisations. This requires a strong research base, so that our policies are data-driven and effective," he added.
The UAE is also committed to combating extremism through the Sawab Centre, an online messaging and engagement programme developed in partnership with the United States in support of the Global Coalition Against Daesh. Sawab uses direct online engagement to counter terrorist propaganda rapidly and effectively, including messages used to recruit foreign fighters, fundraise for illicit activities, and intimidate and terrorise local populations.
In November 2015, Sawab launched a campaign entitled, '"Daesh Denies Her Dignity" to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Al Musharakh continued, "The UAE is doing our part to address the global humanitarian crisis, where women, children and adolescents are often hit first, hardest, and helped last, and where over 50% of preventable maternal, under-five, and newborn deaths occur in humanitarian settings. The UAE continues to be a steadfast advocate of the Every Woman Every Child Everywhere global platform. This platform recognises the disproportionate impact that humanitarian and fragile settings have on women, children, and adolescents, and the role that women and young people play as front-line responders. They are not only key for the survival and wellbeing of children, families, and communities, but also to build resilience and facilitate the transition from crises to development."
At the UN in New York, the UAE launched the 'Every Woman Every Child Everywhere' panel series in partnership with the Government of Norway. Through this series, the partners will identify reforms, commitments, and resource mobilisation options to ensure that the disproportionate impact of humanitarian settings on women, children, and adolescents is addressed in the next five years.
Mr. Al Musharakh concluded by saying that the UAE is committed to prioritising gender equality and women's empowerment in peace and security settings. "We will continue to advocate for the full, effective, and meaningful participation of women in all aspects of leadership and decision-making, and working towards the full realisation of the women, peace and security agenda."