Pax Christi International co-signs Open Letter to Permanent Representatives to the UN with recommendations on the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS)


Pax Christi International has signed onto this open letter, available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic (click link below for links to all four languages). It was sent to all UN Member States on behalf of 391 civil society organisations across 98 countries in advance of the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in October 2017. The letter calls on Member States to prioritise gender equality and women’s rights, and to increase their support for women civil society organisations and women human rights defenders.

Dear Ambassador,

As we approach the 17th anniversary of the adoption of SCR 1325 (2000) and the annual Security Council open debate on women, peace and security (WPS), we take this opportunity to reiterate the fundamental principles enshrined in the WPS agenda and urge each Member State to more consistently promote and abide by them.

Gender equality, women’s empowerment and protection of women’s rights, are intrinsic to sustainable development and conflict prevention. Women’s meaningful participation in conflict resolution, humanitarian efforts, peace processes, peacebuilding, elections, security sector reform, and political processes are also fundamental to sustaining peace. These principles are integral to the WPS agenda and must be central to the broader discussions within the United Nations (UN) system on sustainable development, and peace and security. A robust and diverse civil society, encompassing women’s organizations, women human rights defenders, activists, and women leaders, is also essential. As is an enabling environment for women civil society leaders with inclusive and non-discriminatory national justice, political and security institutions, legislation and policies which are grounded on the rule of law, equality and human rights.

Despite the commitments contained in the eight WPS resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, the positive rhetoric espoused every October, and a wealth of evidence on the importance of ensuring gender equality and women’s participation in peace and security efforts, implementation of the agenda remains fragmented and regularly loses out to other political considerations. This ad-hoc approach can be seen even in the context of country situations which are the focus of significant attention by the UN Security Council and investment from the international community...

Click here to read the full letter.


WPS, Security Council, open letter, Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security