General Assembly Security Council

United Nations Security Council Open Debate on

Women, Peace and Security

29 October 2020




We thank Russian Federation for convening the Open Debate on this important issue. We also thank the Secretary General for his report and all briefers for sharing their insights.


Mr. President


Five years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, the UN Security Council adopted a pathbreaking decision on 31 October 2000:  Resolution 1325 for the first time links gender equality and the maintenance of international peace and security and recognizes women’s participation as key to resolving conflict and securing peace. 


Conflict and humanitarian crises already hold women and girls back from progress. The further burdening of the health care and the economic fall-out of COVID-19 threatens to put women and girls in war-torn, fragile and humanitarian contexts at even higher risk. 


Mr. President


The WPS Agenda has a transformative potential. It is now recognised internationally, but there are still challenges. Patriarchy, inequalities and discriminatory power structures inhibit effective conflict prevention, inclusive peace, women’s rights and participation.


To realise a transformative potential of the WPS Agenda, it is time to move from verbal commitments to action: Governments, the UN, civil society and other actors must implement relevant commitments across all thematic areas.


States must identify and address barriers to women’s meaningful participation in the prevention and resolution of conflict, and in post-conflict peace-building efforts and programs.


Mr. President


Violence against women and girls perpetrated by terrorists deserve our strong condemnation. Such women-targeted violence distorts the very basis on which civilised societies rest.  


Advancing democratic structures and rule of law in post-conflict situations is instrumental to address the inequalities faced by women and to ensure their full and meaningful participation for peaceful and inclusive development.


It is also important that the Council strives to effectively integrate WPS considerations into sanctions regimes, including by listing terrorist entities involved in violence against women in armed conflicts.


Mr. President


The positive impacts of increased participation of women in UN peacekeeping is well recognized. You will recall that in 2007, India provided UNMIL’s first all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU). The FPU provided critical policing support deterring sexual and gender-based violence and helped rebuild safety and confidence among the population. The FPU proved to be strong and visible role model to the Liberian women, gaining world-wide attention. 


India attaches utmost importance to representation of women in decision making positions. In India, more than 1.3 million elected women representatives lead in formulation and implementation of public policies at grassroots level. India has been using new and innovative people-centric schemes and technologies to advance women empowerment.


Mr. President


Through the Action for Peacekeeping initiative the Member States are committed to implement the WPS agenda by increasing the number of civilian and uniformed women in peacekeeping. Despite U.N. efforts, women form only 5.4% of the military and 15.1% of police in peacekeeping operations. 

India is committed to work for meaningful participation of women in peace and security issues. India’s experience of mainstreaming women’s leadership and political participation will continue to inspire our actions.


I thank you.