Helen Clark: UNDP SCR 1325 side event: The price of peace

27 Oct 2010

Remarks by Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
UNDP SCR 1325 Side Event: “The Price of Peace: Financing for Gender Equality in Post-Conflict Recovery and Reconstruction.”

UN Millennium Plaza Hotel; Riverview Room
25 October 10-12am

Good morning and welcome.

It is a pleasure to be here today as we mark the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325 - the first resolution ever passed by the UN Security Council which specifically addressed the impact of war on women and the crucial role they must play in peace building, peace keeping and reconciliation.

Our dynamic panellists this morning will speak from experience about what can be accomplished when women in countries in crisis not only have their needs addressed but also are able to play an active role in the post-conflict recovery and reconstruction. 

Our panelists are:

H.E. Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Norway; Ms. Betty Achan Ogwaro, Southern Sudan, a Parliamentarian in the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and the chairperson of the Southern Sudanese Women’s Parliamentarian Caucus; Edita Tahiri, Chair of the Regional Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe, based in Pristina; Ivete Fatima Sarmento de Oliveira, President, Rede Feto, National Women’s Network, Timor-Leste; Judy Cheng Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office; and Valnora Edwin, National Coordinator at Campaign for Good Governance of Sierra Leone.

Today UNDP is launching a new report on “The Price of peace: financing for post-conflict recovery and reconstruction” and recommendations are put forward to support the full implementation of SCR1325.

The report examines how resources for recovery and reconstruction are mobilised, allocated, and spent; how they could be better used to achieve gender equality; and how to hold decision-makers accountable for women’s right to resources.

Until now, this has been an area of limited research. This report contains case-based evidence to guide policy and operational decisions.

The question of who participates in and who has influence over setting priorities, making decisions, and allocating the resources which flow into post-conflict countries is critical for gender equality, and for peace and security more broadly.

It is important from an economic perspective, because the macro-economic framework set in the post-conflict period are likely to endure for many years. It will determine how the economy grows, which sectors are prioritised for investments, and what kinds of jobs and opportunities for employment will be created and for whom. 

It is also important well beyond the economic sphere. While budgets and financing frameworks are economic tools, the resources they govern extend into all areas of public activity.

We need to know, therefore, how resources target men and women respectively and whether the allocation takes into account the different roles they play in post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

The initial resources which flow into a post-conflict country are usually directed to relief and rehabilitation. Women play a big role resettling families, reconstructing communities, and building livelihoods. It is therefore important to ensure that funding flows to them too.

Down the track, more resources come for reconstruction. The way in which they are directed will set the tone for the future development path of the country. If women are excluded at that stage, a critical transformative opportunity is lost, and with that the prospects for peace, security, and development are not optimised.

Prior to this report, there wasn’t a clear picture of the extent to which post-conflict recovery and reconstruction initiatives currently allocate resources to promote gender equality, address women’s needs, and involve women in decision-making around resource allocation.

Our next speaker is Winnie Byanyima, Director of the UNDP Gender Team, who will provide an overview of the findings and recommendations of the new report.

Following Winnie’s presentation, we will hear from each of our distinguished panellists.  I will briefly introduce each in turn and ask them a question about their own experiences and how they relate those to the findings and recommendations of the report. We will then take questions from the floor.