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Women still being excluded from peace talks: UN

New York, Oct 26 (IANS) The UN has denounced that women were still being excluded from peace negotiations, despite the fact that their participation has proven to be key in conflict resolution around the world.

“Women cannot be excluded from the peace process simply because they do not engage in battle,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Thursday.

Mlambo-Ngcuka presented a report on women, peace and security to the UN Security Council, which celebrated its annual open debate on the matter, reports Efe news.

The Director said that the report is a “loud alarm bell” on systemic failures to bring women into peacemaking in a meaningful manner.

Between 1990 and 2017, women constituted only two per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of negotiators, and five per cent of witnesses and signatories in major peace processes, according to UN figures.

“Only three out of 11 agreements signed in 2017 contained provisions on gender equality, continuing last year’s worrisome downward trend,” she said, expressing her concern for the absence of women in the current negotiations in Yemen, as well as their limited presence in Mali, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile highlighted various studies that show the link between women’s participation and peace, urging the international community to continue their efforts toward achieving full gender equality.

Guterres added that approximately 41 percent of chiefs and joint chiefs in peace operations are now women, adding that such proportion had never been reached before.

–IANS
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