Ambassador Elisabeth Millard
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 31, 2024,
Ambassador Šimonović, thank you for convening this discussion, and thanks also to the briefers for your presentations. We appreciate this opportunity for the Peacebuilding Commission to focus on investment and financing in Women, Peace, and Security.
We know that women’s experiences in conflict, their roles in community leadership and peacebuilding, as well as their technical expertise make them vital partners at all stages of the peace continuum.
When women are at the table and able to participate fully, equally, meaningfully, and safely, nations are much more likely to achieve lasting and inclusive peace agreements and better outcomes for all of society.
As we approach the quarter century anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325, the United States reiterates the need for more investment in WPS financing to advance sustainable peace.
As Secretary-General Guterres said in October, “If you want to stand with women driving change, if you want to support women enduring conflict, if you want to remove barriers to participation, and if you want women’s organizations to deliver, we need to pay for it.”
We have seen progress here and must commend the Peacebuilding Fund for approving nearly $110 million in 2022 for peacebuilding initiatives focused on supporting gender equality.
We must also acknowledge that there are persistent gaps in implementing the global WPS agenda, and there has been a global backsliding on gender equality in recent years.
Regrettably, we’ve experienced this here in the Commission. In October, we were unable to come to consensus on providing advice to the Security Council on increased financing for WPS. We should not and will not accept walking back agreed language on this, which the Commission previously sent to the Security Council.
As we and others urged at that time, “it is critical that women and youth peacebuilders and their organizations are sufficiently financed, and that women entrepreneurs are empowered to be the agents of change in conflict-affected settings.”
Underfinancing WPS undermines all of our peace initiatives, and until we start closing these gaps, we have much more work to do.
In closing, I note the upcoming Summit of the Future presents a distinct opportunity to ensure investment and political will are directed towards women’s participation on the peace continuum.
I hope we can count on all Commission members’ constructive engagement in addressing this urgent matter.