Switzerland puts strengthening women's rights on UN Security Council agenda

Press release, 05.12.2016

At a meeting in New York today, the UN Security Council will discuss how cooperation between the Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the UN Security Council in New York can be improved in the area of women, peace and security. The initiative for this discussion came from Switzerland, which has made strengthening women's rights a priority and is also committed to forging closer cooperation between the international institutions based in Geneva and those in New York.

Yazidi women sit in a room in unfinished building being shared with a total of over 100 refugees near Duhok, Iraqi Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
Switzerland shows particular concern for the protection, promotion and realisation of the rights of women. © Keystone

Strengthening cooperation in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is on the agenda at today's informal meeting of the Security Council, known as an Arria-formula meeting. Resolution 1325 is the first Security Council resolution to explicitly address the impact of armed conflict on women and girls and calls for greater participation by women in peacebuilding and conflict management.

Today's discussion in the Security Council was initiated by Switzerland, which seeks to foster closer cooperation between the Geneva-based Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Security Council in New York.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has 189 states parties and requires countries to submit periodic reports on their implementation of the convention. CEDAW, the committee responsible for monitoring and implementation of the convention, adopted a recommendation on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, which also addresses the issue of improving states parties' implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. The recommendations focus on greater involvement of women in mediation processes, in preventing violent extremism and in the control of small arms. Today's meeting between Security Council members and representatives of CEDAW and civil society will discuss the options for improving cooperation on the implementation of Resolution 1325.

Switzerland's commitment to peace and security

Commitment to peace and security is one of the priorities of Switzerland’s Foreign Policy Strategy 2016–19. In line with the FDFA’s Human Rights Strategy, Switzerland shows particular concern for the protection, promotion and realisation of the rights of women. 

Switzerland is working at both national and international levels to further the implementation of Resolution 1325. Within Switzerland, this is being done with the help of a National Action Plan. Internationally, Switzerland promotes the implementation of this important instrument via the UN Human Rights Council and in development cooperation, for example. Since 2012, Switzerland has already created multiple opportunities to strengthen cooperation in this area between members of the Security Council and CEDAW. For Switzerland, the opportunity to hold an Arria-formula meeting marks a high point in this long-term commitment to women's rights and underscores the importance of Geneva as the headquarters of important UN treaty bodies.


Further information:

Women and armed conflicts
FDFA Human Rights Strategy 2016-19
Gender equality – gender and women's rights
Foreign Policy Strategy 2016-2019


Statement of Switzerland(pdf, 36kb)


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs