Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC Open Arria Formula Meeting on prvetning terrorism and violent extremism through tackling gender stereotypes

Statement by the Delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC Open Arria Formula Meeting on prvetning terrorism and violent extremism through tackling gender stereotypes

Ukraine welcomes the work conducted by the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) focused on integrating gender in counter-terrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) agendas, including on the concept of “masculinity”. At the same time more should be done to move from research on this important issue to policy and practical implementation.

During the past decades a number of important achievements were made with a view to advance new counter-terrorism standards as well as to further amplify international response to both existing and emerging terrorist threats. At the same time, there is a need to further mainstream gender perspectives when preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the gender risks. We have often witnessed that women and girls do not have the same access to resources, digital technologies, education, job and business opportunities as men. Moreover, certain terrorist groups have systematically targeted women and girls and their rights, including in conflict situations, displacement contexts and other circumstances in which women and girls are particularly vulnerable to the effects of extremist violence.

For more than 7 years Ukraine is suffering from an armed aggression of the Russian Federation, with devastating humanitarian and gender-related consequences. Due to the Russia’s armed aggression Ukraine has ranked 9th in the world for the number of IDPs, which currently stands at 1.5 million. 60% of them are women. Unprotected population in the temporarily occupied territories faces intimidation, detention and ill-treatment, physical and sexual violence. The occupied territories have become home to discriminative practices, gender inequality and gender stereotyping that limits women’s capacity to develop their personal abilities and professional careers as well as to make choices about their lives. The COVID-19 here has only worsened an already appalling situation.

Still, Ukraine is doing its best to “build back better”. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the SC resolution 1325 "Women, Peace, Security", we adopted the second National Action Plan for implementing this historic document. This plan aims, in particular, at combating gender-based and conflict-related sexual violence. It focuses on achieving greater participation of women in decision-making, in particular in national security, defense and peacemaking.

Recently the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a Law on Enforcement of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law. It will enable Ukraine to achieve accountability for international crimes committed in temporarily occupied parts of Donbas and Crimea as a result of the ongoing international armed conflict, offering an efficient domestic recourse to justice to victims of atrocities, including gender-based violence. From now on the Ukrainian criminal legislation will cover a full list of war crimes and crimes against humanity, such as sexual violence.

Since gender equality has several dimensions, it is equally important to focus on reducing needs, risks and vulnerabilities for people through closer humanitarian, educational and development collaboration. Ukraine is committed to enhance international cooperation in the development of gender-sensitive rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, in accordance with international law. It is our primary responsibility to ensure that victims and survivors have all the assistance and support they need to fully recover, and are able to reintegrate in their societies.