“This is especially needed to create an enabling environment for the upcoming national elections, which are vital for the development of Iraq’s democratic institutions,” Mr. Buzstin said.
The DSRSG also told the audience that the United Nations has closely followed the Social Peace Initiative and the National Honor Code with much interest because they contain important principles to which all political parties must adhere. “I am pleased to see that the Initiative has focused on the role of women. Promoting and protecting the role of women in peace-building is central to the mission of the United Nations and to the future of us all,” Mr. Busztin insisted, stressing that if women are to have an equal role in peace-building, they must be empowered politically and economically. “They should also be adequately represented at all levels of decision-making as well as supported by all segments of society.” Referring to newly adopted Resolution 2122 which places emphasis on women’s leadership and participation in conflict resolution and peace-building, Mr. Busztin noted that “this implies appointing women to positions of influence and decision-making where they can make meaningful and substantive contribution, not simply representation, and much less token participation.”
In his remarks, the DSRSG also commended the efforts of the State Ministry of Women’s Affairs as well those of civil society organizations and members of the Women for Lasting Peace Initiative in working towards the development of a National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. “More needs to be done in terms of securing support from religious leaders and heads of political blocs to nominate and support women to decision-making positions,” Mr. Busztin stressed, assuring that UNAMI will continue advocating for women’s full and active participation as candidates and voters in the upcoming national legislative elections.