Zamjenik stalnog predstavnika Republike Hrvatske pri Ujedinjenim narodima, g. Neven Mikec, održao je govor na otvorenoj raspravi Vijeca sigurnosti na temu "Žene, mir i sigurnost"
We thank the Indian UN Security Council Presidency for holding this debate on the specific role of women’s civil society organisations in conflict prevention, resolution and recovery, first one on this particular issue.
Croatia aligns itself with the statement as delivered by the Delegation of the European Union. Here, I would like to make additional remarks in my national capacity.
The issue of overall empowerment of women has a special place in both internal and external policy of the Government of Croatia.
We deem a role of the women’s civil society organisations as indispensable part of that process.
A perception of women as victims often obscures their significant role in conflict prevention, mediation and peacebuilding processes, as well as a significant role of women’s civil society organisations worldwide.
The implementation of the National Action Plan for Implementation of the UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security is therefore one of our priorities.
With regard to enhancing a specific role of women’s civil society organisations in situations of armed conflict and peacebuilding I would like to underline legislative, judicial and public awareness-raising measures as part of the synergy of this process.
In our experience, one of the best ways to bring into focus a specific role of women in the area of peace and security is certainly by strengthening relevant legislative measures and institutional frameworks, particularly in judiciary and education, joint by gender mainstreaming efforts and gender training programs within the state administration bodies.
However, the existence of laws does not guarantee its exercise in practice, in particular in traditionally conservative societies and cultures.
Therefore, a closer cooperation of state bodies with broad layers of society and more intensive involvement of men in all gender equality promotion activities remains essential.
Finally, all these efforts can lead to success only with full and honest cooperation of the government bodies with women’s civil society organisations as it is crucial for increasing and improving the public awareness.
Moreover, empowered women’s civil society organisations play an important external observer role of state measures, directing simultaneously state actions according to the real needs of women citizens.
It is therefore essential to encourage and support joint government and civil society organisations’ targeted campaigns, seminars, forums and workshops aimed at raising public awareness and knowledge of the importance of greater participation of women in all activities and decision-making processes related to peace and security.
In our view, an indispensable part of the whole process is the development of focused and concrete regional cooperation. An example from our own region of South East Europe is the Regional Women’s Lobby, established in 2006, which has grown into respectable internationally recognized strong lobby group for women.
The Lobby has offered real-life examples of women contributing to their own empowerment and inclusion in peace and security matters and decision-making processes. It has been greatly supported by the Croatian and other respective states’ highest officials.
An honest commitment of the government with the women’s civil society organisations is essential in particular in context of armed conflict and post-conflict situations within the transition period and UN mission withdrawal as regards of maintaining an attention to gender equality commitments with appropriate levels of security and protection as well as levels of funding.
All these measures which include coordinated efforts of the state bodies and women’s civil society organisations should also contribute to a safer environment for women’s human rights defenders and activists.
Our common efforts in enabling women and women’s civil society organisations to participate in all activities of conflict prevention, peace processes and rebuilding of their societies is of utmost importance as their role is vital in fostering sustainable peace and stability.
Croatia has been standing ready to engage actively with relevant women’s civil society organisations as well as their respective governments to pass over to them its conflict, post-conflict and transition positive experiences and practices in support to our joint efforts.