Explanation of Vote on the Adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security

Ambassador Kelly Craft
Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 29, 2019


The United States joins other member states in support of the Women, Peace, and Security Resolution. We remain deeply committed to this issue.

I commend South Africa for the cooperative spirit in which it led this process. However, the resolution refers to previous documents that include references to ‘sexual and reproductive health.” I must note that we cannot accept references to “sexual and reproductive health,” nor any references to “safe termination of pregnancy” or language that would promote abortion or suggest a right to abortion.

The United States has stated clearly on many occasions, consistent with the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action and its report, that we do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support this in our women’s global assistance initiatives. The U.N. should not put itself in a position of promoting or suggesting a right to abortion, whether it is humanitarian or development work. A new resolution on Women, Peace, and Security offers an opportunity to highlight the great personal risks women face and emphasize efforts to support and protect women peacebuilders.

We are pleased that this resolution includes elements of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda related to peacekeeping because, as we all know, women improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions. However, the resolution falls short of putting the full weight and support of the Council behind the women who are putting their lives on the line every day to build peace.

This resolution also leaves out key aspects of the Action of Peacekeeping Declaration of Shared Commitments, which emphasizes that Member States need to collectively ensure that a gender perspective is integrated into all stages of peace processes. While we appreciate that the resolution notes the gender parity strategy, we are disappointed that it failed to highlight the aspects of the strategy that aim to increase the number of women in the military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations.

Individually, we should all be taking steps to address the persistent barriers women peacekeepers face, and to overcome these barriers in our systems. We continue to urge all troop- and police-contributing countries to adopt and promote policies to achieve these objectives.

Thank you.