Joint media release:

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Kevin Rudd MP
  • Minister for the Status of Women, The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Canberra

31 October 2010

United Nations Peacekeepers will be given additional training in how to protect women from sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations, following an additional $300,000 investment from the Australian Government.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the AusAID funding will enable the development of best practice scenario-based training materials to be used in pre-deployment and in-country trainings for military peace keepers.

“Today is the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, on Women, Peace and Security; a Resolution Australia has supported since its adoption,” Mr Rudd said.

“Women are frequently victims of appalling atrocities in conflict situations with international evidence showing that violence against women escalates during conflict and remains at high levels in post-conflict situations.”

“Sexual violence is now globally recognized as a tactic of war, and is also considered a war crime,” said Mr Rudd.

“Resolution 1325 was the first to link women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda, and today’s announcement forms part of broader work to improve the capacity of peacekeepers to protect civilians.”

Australia’s international support of the Resolution 1325 since 2000 has also included increasing women’s participation in peace building and rebuilding communities. For example, Australia has supported the Asia Foundation and the Asian Network for Free Elections to conduct observation missions to improve the processes for elections in Afghanistan in 2009.

All attempts to support free and fair elections in Afghanistan must include women if Afghanistan is to be successfully rebuilt.

In addition, the Government has committed to develop a national action plan to better implement the principles of Resolution 1325, including the full participation of women in peace processes, and the protection of women and girls.

Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis said the national action plan reinforces the Government’s commitment to reducing the impact of conflict on women.

“Women in war-affected countries often bear the highest costs of war – they can be destroyed physically, psychologically, economically and socially,” Ms Ellis said.

“But women also play a key role in resolving conflict, and are able to lay the foundation for peace and rebuilding their communities in the aftermath of war.

“With this national action plan, Australia will join with other progressive nations to implement a plan of this kind, that comprehensively draws together our efforts to support Resolution 1325.

“The plan will also build on the excellent work done by our defence personnel and Federal Police to make women and children safer in war-torn regions around the world.”

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