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‘More women needed in global peace discussions’

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Picture: Rafael Stedile – Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of South Africa. Speaking at the open debate of the UN Security Council on Women, Peace and Security (WSP) on Wednesday, Pandor said the current global security environment may contribute to the reversal of progress in the implementation of the WSP agenda, the writer says.

By IOL / The Mercury

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor said it was disappointing that the percentage of women in UN-led peace discussions had dropped since 2020, and that peace agreements were more sustainable when women were at the table.

Pandor, speaking at the open debate of the UN Security Council on Women, Peace and Security (WSP) on Wednesday, said the current global security environment may contribute to the reversal of progress in the implementation of the WSP agenda.

“We, therefore, re-emphasise our call for urgent action to secure peace in the Israel and Gaza War, conflicts on the African Continent and Russia and Ukraine conflict. In this context, it is alarming that the number of women and girls living in conflict-affected settings has increased by 50 percent in 2022 compared to 2017 owing to the increasing number of armed conflicts since then,” Pandor told the Security Council.

She said that in light of the Middle East conflict and the question of Palestine, she wanted to recognise the fundamental role played by civil society organisations in the search for sustainable peace.

“In this regard let me highlight the cross-community solidarity forged by Women of the Sun of Palestine and Women Wage Peace of Israel aimed at urging the parties to engage in dialogue and diplomacy to reach a just, comprehensive, and sustainable peace.

“This is an example of positive activism and inspirational leadership by women striving to find a solution in the context of the continued occupation of Palestine.”

Pandor said these women must be encouraged to continue with their solidarity amid adversity and the deepening political and security crisis. – iol.co.za/mercury/news