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CTBT: Science and Technology 2021 -konferenssin puheenvuoro 28.6.

Presidentti Halonen osallistui CTBT:n Science and Technology 2021 -konferenssiin, jossa piti avajaispäivänä 28.6. puheenvuoron liittyen ydinaseriisunnan sukupuolikysymyksiin.

Excellencies, dear participants,

This year, the 25th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, provides a an opportunity for international community to re-commit to the goal of nuclear test free world and work towards elimination of nuclear weapons.

I am a Member of the CTBT Group of Eminent Persons, and our goal as a group is to advocate for the end of nuclear test explosions and to promote the CTBT’s entry into force.

Much progress has been achieved over the decades, both in reinforcing the Treaty and the non-test norm, and building up and maintaining the verification regime. But, as we all know, the Treaty has not entered into force yet.

Multilateral institutions and the whole rules-based international order have been battling against strong headwind recently. This is a worrying trend as multilateral cooperation is the only way to solve the complex challenges of today. Multilateralism is as important for the international community as democracy is for a nation state

I have, for a long time, championed more comprehensive approach to security. Our collective security is affected by a wide range of issues from environmental degradation to human rights violations, health security, lack of democracy and weakening of global norms and institutions.

The threat of nuclear weapons also persists and is renewed. Rearmament poses a serious threat to global security.

Strengthening the international arms control architecture requires strong multilateral institutions and building trust and confidence among states.

To create more effective multilateral cooperation we must pay attention to women’s equal role and participation in multilateral decision-making, including in peace, security and disarmament.

There is a robust normative framework around women, peace and security that emphasizes women’s agency and equal participation and empowerment.

Last year, the UN Security Council Resolution on women, peace and security 1325 celebrated its 20th birthday. The resolution represented a culmination of years of work by women’s rights organizations. For the first time, the Security Council concluded that gender equality, women’s role, perspective, participation and protection are relevant to all Security Council issues.

The resolution 1325 continues to be relevant today. A lot of work has been done in the past 20 years; a series of important follow-up resolutions have been adopted by the Security Council; more and more countries have developed their National Action Plans to implement the resolution. Also, more data exists on how women’s participation in peace processes results in more durable and stable peace. Indeed, studies show that gender equality is the number one predictor of peace.

Disarmament has been less discussed issue in the women, peace and security agenda. However, strong links exist between disarmament, non-proliferation and gender.

Through the decades, women have played an important role in the nuclear disarmament movements and have been strong advocates for change.

While women’s representation in international discussions on disarmament and arms control diplomacy has grown in past decades, gender balance is still far from being realized. UN study shows that women comprise just 32 percent of participants in disarmament-related meetings.

The underutilized role of women is painstakingly true for nuclear disarmament, too. The radiation released from the use and testing of nuclear weapons tends to lead to more severe health problems among women, yet nuclear disarmament negotiations are predominantly conducted by men.

In recent years, there has been better understanding of the gendered impacts of arms proliferation as well as the important role of women. The Arms Trade Treaty formally recognizes the link between arms trade and gender-based violence and requires risk assessment in this regard.

Of course, we should not forget about the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals. As we know, the 2030 Agenda is built on a premise that “there is no peace without development and no development without peace”. The sustainable development goals 5 on gender equality and 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions are closely linked.

To conclude, it is necessary to ensure full and meaningful participation of women in all policy-making, planning and implementation regarding peace, security and disarmament. We should encourage women to partake in these processes from early on and ensure that they have role models to look up to, starting form today.

All actors, including Governments, multilateral organizations, treaty bodies and civil society have to pay attention to diverse and equal participation of women. Not just numbers but meaningful participation. This is the only way to ensure that decisions taken are gender-sensitive, inclusive and effective for everyone.