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R. Salah: Address to World Summit 2015

Address to World Summit 2015, Seoul, Korea, August 27 to 31, 2015

It gives me great pleasure and honor to be with you this morning.

I want to seize the occasion to thank the Women’s Federation for World Peace and, in particular, Ms. Alexa Ward for inviting me to participate in this very important panel.

I feel privileged to talk to you on women, the family and peace based on the intensive consultations and numerous meetings with member states, regional partners, civil society and women’s groups that the UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations has held on four continents.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations in October 2014 to review the current state of UN peace operations in order to make them more effective and respond better to peace and security needs in a changing and challenging world. The panel, consisting of 16 members and chaired by the former president of Timor Leste, the Nobel Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, worked through consultations in many capitals of the world.

From the outset of our work, we have consciously and intentionally included issues relating to the agenda of Women, Peace and Security. Throughout our broad consultations we integrated discussions on the role, responsibility and capacities of women to contribute to peace. Consequently, we mainstreamed Women, Peace and Security throughout the report with applicable recommendations.

What motivated our panel?

In one of our regional consultations a woman stood up and said, “You, the United Nations, are a failure, because when you come to our country, you do not talk to us, you do not talk to women, although we could be part of the solution.”

In another consultation a young woman said: “The United Nations peace operations mission in my country did not make any difference in my life or the life of my family. We did not even feel their presence, although we see their big, white cars.”

Yes, what we heard in our consultations was quite sobering. UN peace operations seem to be far from the people and primarily concerned with their protection, not communicating effectively with them and not sufficiently focused on ensuring efforts to sustain peace and to reaching to the level of women, their families and communities.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.