Margot Wallström har entledigats, utrikesminister

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Innehållet publicerades under perioden

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Utrikesministerns tal vid FN-evenemang om kvinnors deltagande i fredsprocessen i Mali: “Supporting Women’s Role in the Implementation of the Malian Peace Accords”

Publicerad

Sidoevenemang anordnat av UN Women och Sverige i Förenta Nationerna, New York, den 21 oktober 2015.

Det talade ordet gäller.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed extremely timely to meet here today to focus on women’s role in the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. The Agreement, finally signed by all parties on June 20th, provides a historic opportunity to address inequalities, the distribution of resources, democratic decision-making, the rule of law and bringing those responsible for human rights abuses to justice. It must also be an opportunity to ensure the active involvement of both women and men. The low level of female participation during the Algiers negotiations must not lead to low female participation in the implementation process and institutions.

I welcome the commitments made to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security through the adoption of Mali’s second National Action Plan. The peace accord and the new National Action Plan are important first steps that lay the foundation for the work to come. But now is the time to move from policy to action, from words to deeds. All parties must stand by their commitments to the peace agreement and the ceasefire if people are to experience a tangible peace dividend. Strong commitment to the political process is necessary to reach long-lasting reconciliation and prosperity.

The primary responsibility for delivering on the commitments made rests with the Malian parties. Nevertheless, the international community must remain firmly engaged and assist in making the implementation of the peace agreement and the National Action Plan transparent and effective. You can count on Sweden’s continued support in this regard.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Enhancing gender equality and the contribution of women to peace and security are top priorities for the Swedish Government. We believe that promoting gender equality not only means promoting the economic, political and social empowerment of women – it also means promoting development and conflict prevention. When I was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden a year ago, I was asked about my priorities, and my answer was clear: we will pursue a feminist foreign policy. The aim of this policy is to increase women’s representation, strengthen the human rights of women, and improve women’s access to resources – in times of war, and in times of peace. Let me elaborate on these three key areas of common interest.

The first aspect is representation. Women need to be represented in decision-making bodies at all levels. Only through women’s active participation can we transform agendas so that the needs and interests of women are truly reflected and addressed.

Peacebuilding needs to be inclusive. Indisputable evidence, as highlighted by the recently launched Global Study, has shown that women’s participation leads to more sustainable peace. This is no less true in Mali. We welcome the fact that the overall objective of Mali’s National Action Plan is to promote women’s participation in the implementation of the Malian Peace and Reconciliation Agreement. The engagement of women in this critical phase of the transition will support the process of cementing a fragile peace and also contribute to expanding the basis for a more inclusive and democratic post-conflict Mali. Women have a key role to play in building trust and reconciliation, guaranteeing the provision of basic state services in rural areas and informing the population about the content of the peace accord. They can play key roles in the disarmament and reintegration process. Let us step up efforts to ensure that this opportunity – to ensure an inclusive peace process – is not an opportunity missed.

The second key aspect is rights. It should be evident and go without question that women’s rights are human rights. Unfortunately, this is far from a reality today. Women’s rights are far too often seen as a separate and marginal optional extra. This has to change. We must continue our efforts to ensure equal social, economic and political rights. In Mali, increased access to education, to income-generating work and to sexual, reproductive and maternal health would not only bring a better socio-economic situation for women but also contribute to the economic growth of the country as a whole.

Gender-based and sexual violence remains a real obstacle to women’s empowerment. Last year’s report of the Secretary-General on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence reported allegations of conflict-related sexual violence against women and girls in Mali. Progress in the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence was reported to be limited due to threats against local monitors and the constrained capacity of national justice institutions. Displaced women have faced an elevated risk of sexual violence due to the lack of community-based protection mechanisms and the proximity of armed groups to population centres, making it particularly dangerous to access isolated water points and forests.

It is of the utmost importance that the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali addresses conflict-related sexual violence by bringing perpetrators to justice. This is necessary to reach reconciliation. The reconciliation process also has to be careful when releasing individuals in custody, so as not to release persons linked to human rights violations, including conflict-related sexual violence.

We need to ensure accountability and strengthen legal mechanisms to stop impunity for these crimes. Nothing short of zero tolerance can be accepted. We welcome the fact that Mali’s National Action Plan contains objectives and actions to build the capacity of institutional and community actors in preventing conflict-related gender-based violence.

The third aspect is resources. To achieve real change, political commitments need to be accompanied by sustainable financing. Women’s organisations need our moral, political and financial support. Sweden is committed to continue to support and fund women’s organisations in conflict and post-conflict countries. We have increased this support threefold over the last five years, but we will strive to do even more.

We foresee a commitment of 140 million USD in our development cooperation with Mali over the next five years to support peace, stability and sustainable development throughout Mali. Our continued support to development in Mali will be conflict and gender-sensitive and it will strive to support inclusive peace and state building.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to conclude by reaffirming my Government’s commitment to support the Malian peace process and women’s active participation long term. Sweden is present on the ground as a long-term cooperation partner to the Malian people, as well as contributing troops to MINUSMA. Around 250 Swedish men and women are present in Timbuktu, contributing to the implementation of the mission’s mandate of bringing stability and protecting civilian women and men, boys and girls.

Recently my Government also decided to engage the Folke Bernadotte Academy in supporting peace and stability in Mali. The Folke Bernadotte Academy is the Swedish government agency for peace, security and development, and it has an overall mission to support international peace and crisis management operations. Contributing to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Mali will be one of its main objectives.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now it is time to accelerate our efforts. Sustainable development, peace and security can never be achieved if half the population is excluded. Let us ensure that women’s voices are heard and promote women’s active and meaningful participation in building the future of Mali. 

Thank you.