July 17, 2018

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Mr. Menelaos Menelaou – Open debate – Women

United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

United Nations, 13 October 2015

Mr. President,

My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union and would like to make some remarks in its national capacity.

UN SC resolution 1325 and its follow-up resolutions have been instrumental in promoting the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Cyprus. It has set an important reference point and acted as reform lever. Our policies, coupled with societal change have resulted in progress in this area in the past decade. Today, there are more women involved in the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem than in the past, more women working in the Foreign Service and more women in senior decision making positions in the public and private sectors.

In Cyprus, we have witnessed that participation of women in the negotiations has contributed positively, as expected when a group that better reflects society participates in negotiations, also affirming the findings of the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSC resolution 1325 (2000).

Mr. President,

Following the forcible division of Cyprus in 1974, Cypriot women’s civil society organizations have been increasingly very active in the efforts for justice, reconciliation, peace and the reunification of Cyprus. The experience of Cyprus has given Cypriot women an unfortunate but real example of the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. They have experienced the disproportionate effect of war on them, they have realized how crucial it is to make their voice heard and the importance of including them in peace efforts. Their experience has made them also more interested and active in international activism on peace and humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Cyprus has consistently actively supported women’s organizations activities in promoting peace and reconciliation. Among others, it has helped create the Women’s Multicultural Centre back in 2008, with the aim of bringing together women from both communities in Cyprus for promoting gender equality, reconciliation and peace.

One of our biggest steps in implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda has been the setting up of a technical committee on gender equality, in the framework of the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem, in April 2015. The bi-communal committee will work toward making women’s voices heard and promoting gender equality in all stages of the peace-making process. The work of the Committee draws from the Women, Peace and Security agenda experience and recommendations.

Mr. President,

Fully conscious that sustainable peace cannot be achieved when we leave behind half of the world’s population, and that we, as well as the international community, have a long way ahead of us in terms of implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda:

-Today, we commit to continue, through our National Action Plan on Gender Equality for 2014-2017, to strive for eliminating deeply rooted stereotypes in the Cypriot society, one of the main obstacles to gender equality and to the active participation of women in peacemaking efforts.

-Today, we commit to continue to work for increasing women’s participation in public and political life, through our National Action Plan on Gender Equality for 2014-2017.

-Today, we commit to continue making all efforts for achieving success in the work of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality.

-Today, we commit to continue taking steps for including more women in the negotiations and peace-making process.

-Today, we commit to continue our consultation with civil society organizations, in order to ensure that women’s voices are heard, as we fully realize the importance of listening to local voices.

-Today, we renew our commitment to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and the efforts toward its informed modernization, following the Global Study on the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325 (2000) and we express our support to UNSC resolution 2242 (2015), adopted this morning, which Cyprus co-sponsored.

Thank you.