Remarks by Foreign MinisterTimo Soini at the High Level Side Event Preparing for the 20th anniversary of 1325: Pledge of commitments on Women, Peace and Security. New York , 23 April, 2019
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The 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 is a good opportunity to reflect on the progress made so far, and to re-commit ourselves to Women, Peace and Security agenda.
Finland is a firm supporter of this agenda and we take our commitments seriously. Our third National Action Plan was launched one year ago.
A key priority for us is strengthening the role of women and youth in mediation and in peace processes.
As I see it, we need to ensure women’s meaningful participation in all sectors, be it peace processes, crisis management, security sector, or migration. Many of our commitments – which I will soon go through –also reflect the importance of partnerships with all actors, especially with the civil society.
Firstly, Finland continues to support countries in preparing and implementing their National Action Plans. In the Middle East and Northern Africa, we support the UN Women’s regional project on Women, Peace and Security by contributing 3.9 million euros in the next three years.
Secondly, we will continue our efforts to increase the number of women in crisis management operations. Our aim is to deepen the understanding of all our peacekeeping personnel on Women, Peace and Security agenda and to provide training opportunities for female military officers. Finland supports UN Women's female military officer’s course in 2019. We are also preparing to pledge 1 million euro to “Elsie Initiative Fund for Women in Peace Operations”.
Thirdly, Finland is committed to increase women’s participation in mediation and in peace processes. As I said in the beginning, this issue is very dear to me and has been one of my foreign policy priorities as a foreign minister.
We will continue, together with Norway, to support training through the High-Level Seminar on Gender and Inclusive Mediation Processes. This year it will be hosted in Helsinki and co-organised by the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.
We are also investing in a study that identifies obstacles to women’s participation in peace processes. The aim is to strengthen the link between practical work in the field and research-based analysis.
Fourthly, preventing and responding to sexual violence is a priority for Finland. Finland has consistently supported the International Criminal Court and its Trust Fund for Victims. Our latest multi-year contribution to the Fund is ear-marked for victims of sexual violence.
Further, Finland, together with Norway, has deployed a Specialized Police Team to the UNMISS operation in South Sudan. This team aims to strengthen the capacity of local police in prevention, response, investigation and prosecution of conflict-related sexual violence.
For Finland, it is important that we pay attention to women and women’s participation when we discuss issues such as arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. To this end, we support the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, which has a pioneering role also on the prevention of sexual violence. Finland also financially supports the UN Trust Facility on Arms Regulation with a special focus on women.