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We cannot win with only half the team

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Žvokelj, Permanent Representative of Slovenia, at the 926th Meeting of the Forum for Security Co-operation, on the occasion of the Security Dialogue on UNSCR 1325, Vienna, 2 October 2019

Mr. Chairperson,

I want to thank you for bringing to this Security Dialogue the topic of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, as its implementation is of utmost importance for the provision of sustainable development, peace and security in the region and throughout the world. New security challenges require new, open-minded solutions based on comprehensive understanding of different security-related situations.

Let me highlight, that the Republic of Slovenia is highly committed to the implementation of the Agenda 1325. In Slovenian security sector women and men have been employed since the very establishment of institutions, assuming positions based on gender equality principles and according to personal competencies regardless of gender. Women are represented throughout all levels of structures, including the decision-making positions in Slovenia and abroad. In the Slovenian Armed Forces, for example, the percentage of women in the active component currently amounts to 16.6 percent, which makes it one of the highest percentages in comparison to the armed forces around the world.

Women have also been deployed to international operations and missions since the deployment of the first Slovenian contingent to Albania, as a part of the humanitarian operation ALBA in 1997. Additionally, the implementation of Women, Peace and Security Agenda is being applied to different processes, such as education, pre-deployment training and operational planning, to mention just a few.

Slovenia achieved an important milestone in regard to ensuring representation  of women on the highest leadership positions by appointing new Chief of the General Staff of Slovenian Armed Forces and new Director General of the Police last year, both being women. In regard to the OSCE, Slovenia just recently contributed to the increase of the number of seconded female members to the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Furthermore, we demonstrated our commitment to integrating the gender perspective, including the empowerment of women, to areas related to peace and security by adopting the second Slovenian Action plan on Women, Peace and Security for the period 2018-2020.

Looking forward, we need to build on the progress achieved, identify challenges ahead and take joint actions in implementing our commitments. In the upcoming year we will mark the 40th Anniversary of the Convention on the elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 20th anniversary of the Resolution 1325 and the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration. This will therefore be the opportunity for us to re-confirm our commitment to reaching sustainable peace and ensuring a secure environment by integrating the principle of gender equality and promoting the empowerment of women.

Let me conclude by saying that we strongly believe that peace and security could be reached only through mutual cooperation and inclusion of the society as a whole in our efforts. We need all the help we can get and the fact is that "We cannot win with only half the team".

Thank you.