Statement by H.E. Mr. Timo Soini – 1325 National Focal Point Network Launch

1325 National Focal Point Network Launch

Statement by H.E. Mr. Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
UN General Assembly 71, New York, 23 September 2016.

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I would like to thank the Government of Spain and others for convening this meeting to launch the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network.

In deed a very timely initiative! The fact that participation of women in the efforts to strengthen peace and security must be increased has been stressed by many recent UN reports. The Global Study rightly called for stronger implementation.

Finland is currently implementing the second National Action Plan and drafting of the third NAP has started. While there is ample scope for more work there has also been some achievements:

  • In civilian crises management the share of women among Finnish personnel has exceeded 40%.

  • Gender training is given to 100% of personnel sent to international crises management missions.

Finland has continued efforts to strengthen mediation structures both of the UN and regionally. Women's full and meaningful participation plays a central role in that work.

We must ensure that among special representatives, mediators and leading positions in crises management there is a minimum share of 40% of women. Men must be involved on an equal footing with women in promoting equality between men and women. The commitment of senior leadership is central.

We should try to use the experiences of the 1325-community also in other sectors. For example, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals depends on progress in fragile contexts. Providing humanitarian assistance faces serious questions related to upholding status of women and girls and preventing conflict-related sexual violence. 1325 can contribute to counter terrorism and violent extremism. Let's have these important synergies benefit all involved.

This also applies to the Arms Trade Treaty, which is the first international agreement to acknowledge the link between arms trade and gender-based violence. Women often bear the brunt of armed conflict but they are also an important resource in curbing unregulated arms trade.

Finland, as the current President of the Arms Trade Treaty, emphasizes effective enforcement of the Treaty and will highlight the need to take into account the role of women.

We know the civil society is indispensable for Women, peace and security implementation. It also plays a significant monitoring role. To make real progress I would like to see more strategic partnerships between government and civil society.

At the national level there are many and very different 1325-stakeholders. I am convinced that the Network will prove useful and valuable in assisting Focal Points and UN Women pushing implementation forward.