Foreign Affairs | Highlighting outrages against women and children
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the degree to which he continues to use Ireland’s position at EU/UN level to highlight outrages against women and children in the various conflict zones across the world; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Gender equality is at the heart of Ireland’s foreign and domestic policy, and ending gender-based violence is essential to achieving a gender-equal future. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations globally.
Ireland has been a longstanding champion of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda at the UN. It was a key priority for Ireland’s membership of the Security Council and continues to be. Ireland co-chaired the Informal Expert Group – a working group of the Security Council – on WPS, which ensures close engagement with the senior leadership of UN missions in monitoring actions to implement the WPS Agenda on the ground, as well as facilitating the enhanced flow of information and analysis to the Security Council. Ireland worked to ensure that prevention of sexual violence is embedded into the operational provisions of all peace operations mandates agreed by the Council.
At Ireland’s initiative, Ireland, Mexico and Kenya formed a WPS Presidency Trio, committing to using our respective Council Presidencies to integrate WPS fully into all discussions of the Council, and to mainstream WPS across all thematic and country files. The WPS Presidency Trio’s signed commitment to prioritise WPS was commended in the UN Secretary General’s Annual Report, described as a significant development which contributed to positive trends.
Ireland continues to raise the WPS Agenda with other countries, to ensure that the progress made during our time on the Security Council is maintained.
Ireland also actively promotes gender equality and the rights of the child in other UN fora, such as at the Commission on the Status of Women, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council.
Ireland consistently emphasises the importance of gender equality and of the protection of women and girls in conflict situations. At EU level, Ireland is an active participant and contributor to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, which works globally to support the preservation of peace, the prevention of conflicts and the strengthening of international security. Human Rights issues are frequently discussed at the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
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