The United Nations Security Council on October 30 defeated a Russian resolution to honour the 20th anniversary of a UN measure demanding equal participation for women in activities that promote global peace. According to the reports by AP, the draft by Russia was supported by Russia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and South Africa. The countries which were not in favour of the measure were the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tunisia. The vote stood at 5-0.
Countries who abstained from the draft said that it weakens the existing UN resolution adopted in 2000 and 9 follow-up resolutions. Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s US ambassador said that his calls for strong language on the human rights foundation of all the resolutions, and for “the adequate reflection of the critical role of civil society, women peacebuilders and human rights defenders” in implementing the measures were not reflected in the Russian draft. US amabassador Kelly Craft said, “the draft resolution “was designed to undermine and reverse the progress of the past 20 years,” and “it is evident that our Russian and Chinese colleagues … do not believe women should be fully empowered to prevent conflict, or sit at the table to pursue peace and reconciliation”.
The resolution which was presented would have honoured the 20th anniversary of the initial women, peace and security resolution. UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuk said that women continue to remain “systematically excluded” from talks to end conflicts and men continue to take most important decisions. She further said that the negotiations elevated and empowered “the actors that have fueled the violence,” instead of empowering women and others who are peace-builders — and women were either confined to “informal processes or relegated to the role of spectators”.
According to Britain, the draft proposed lacked “sufficient language on implementation”, said UN ambassador Jonathan Allen. Allen said, “The adoption of this text would have undermined the significant achievements made on this critical agenda and the enduring efforts of so many women’s rights activists”. Countries who abstained from the draft were accused by China of not being open to “new perspective and elements” and also for “clinging only to existing language and refusing improvement”.