giovedì 2 Marzo 2017

XXV Congresso dell’Internazionale Socialista


Cartagena, Colombia, 2-3-4 March 2017


speech by Pia Locatelli

Honorary President, Socialist International Women

Socialist International Vice President


Yesterday when I went through the Secretary General’s report, I saw the picture of Boutros Boutros Ghali, who died last year. I think we have to pay a tribute to him for many reason but I want to stress one which is linked to the topic we are addressing in this session: as Secretary General of United Nations he was first to expressly formulating that “To ensure sustainable peace, peacebuilding cannot be narrowed into the scope of post-conflict situations, nor to prevent the mere relapse into conflict.”

He lead UN to define the concept that “assisting in peace-building means “rebuilding the institutions and infrastructures of nations torn by civil war and strife; and building bonds of peaceful mutual benefit among nations formerly at war; and in the largest sense, to address the deepest causes of conflict.”

So Peacebuilding in this wider meaning became a familiar concept within the UN thanks to Boutros-Ghali and expanded with the aim of going beyond the actions to prevent war relapse.

After 25 years   “Preventing and ending conflicts and building peace are recognized in the United Nations Charter as the Organization’s first and foremost responsibility to humanity” .


We must remember and be proud that at the origin of all this is the intuition and the work of Boutros Boutros Ghali, one from our family.


Also the new UN Secretary General belongs to our family and we are happy, and proud, of having our former President of Socialist International as UN Secretary general.


All of us have great expectations from his job. He started his work with a commitment which we, Socialist International Women , and in general all women, appreciated a lot:

He said: By the end of my mandate, we should reach full gender parity at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary- General levels, including special representatives and special envoys.




Going back to the topic of building a more peaceful world, over the last twenty/twenty five years, we have started differentiating between contemporary and classical/traditional conflicts: the contemporary conflicts are more violent, protracted and more destructive of social, political, and economic infrastructure; they impact on far more civilians than combatants and the consequences are of many types, including hunger, disease, forced migration, and natural disasters – to paraphrase the most recent resolution adopted within the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

The changing face of the war, after the end of the COLD WAR, brought as a consequence that most victims are civilians, mainly women and children.

United Nations took some years to take this problem on board and in 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed, the first document which explicitly addresses the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and stresses the role women can play in conflict solving and to build a durable peace.

Since then six new resolutions were adopted.

Collectively the resolutions provide UN Peacekeeping with a framework for implementing and monitoring the Women Peace and Security agenda.

Let me explicity refer to two of them:

Eesolution 1325 stresses the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace-building and peacekeeping. It calls on member states to ensure women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and incorporate gender perspective in all areas of peace building.


Security Council Resolution 1820  explicitly links sexual violence as a tactic of war with women peace and security issues and recognises the impact that sexual violence in conflict has on the maintenance of peace and security. This Resolution1820 reinforces Resolution 1325 and highlights that sexual violence in conflict constitutes a war crime and demands parties to armed conflict to immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians from sexual violence, including training troops and enforcing disciplinary measures.

All this does not mean that women are “natural peacebuilders”, but let me recall what Lisa Schirch and Manjrika Sewak wrote some year ago in a paper “The Role of Women and Peacebuilding”, a sort of explanatory road-map:

  • Because women are half of every community and the tasks of peacebuilding are so great, women and men must be partners in the process of peacebuilding.
  • Because women are the central caretakers of families in many cultures, everyone suffers when women are oppressed, victimized, and excluded from peacebuilding. Their centrality to communal life makes their inclusion in peacebuilding essential.
  • Because women have the capacity for both violence and peace, women must be encouraged to use their gifts in building peace.
  • Because women are excluded from public decision-making, leadership, and educational opportunities in many communities around the world, it is important to create special programmes to empower women to use their gifts in the tasks of building peace.
  • Because women and men have different experiences of violence and peace, women must be allowed and encouraged to bring their unique insights and gifts to the process of peacebuilding.
  • Because sexism, racism, classism, ethnic and religious discrimination originate from the same set of beliefs that some people are inherently “better” than others, women’s empowerment should be seen as inherent to the process of building peace .…. When women engage in peacebuilding, they often challenge these sexist beliefs along with other structures that discriminate against people.
  • Because the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1325 created a mandate to include women in peacebuilding, women now have the opportunity to use this policy to open doors to new opportunities for women in peacebuilding.
  • Because women have already proven themselves to be successful peacebuilders, basing their strategies on the principles of inclusivity and collaboration, and producing peacebuilding outcomes that are broad-based and sustainable, their efforts should be acknowledged and expanded”.

I have nothing more to add but I want to tell of a good practise, making reference to this country and the process of peace held here in COLOMBIA:

In his last report on Women, Peace and Security 2016 (S/2016/822) , UNSG reported:


“The steps taken by Colombia to facilitate the peace agreement signed between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) on 26 September 2016 illustrate how inclusion can broaden the constituency committed to peace and can help to ensure that agreement is reached. Women were directly represented and actively engaged both at the peace table in Havana, including through a sub-commission on gender formed by the negotiating parties, and in national and regional consultations throughout Colombia. They constituted up to one third of peace table participants, approximately half of the participants in the consultations and over 60 per cent of the victims and experts visiting the peace table”.

I am happy to underline that Colombia implemented resolution 1325 and the outcome is PEACE.

Thank you.