UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez at launch of BARMM Action Plan on Women

Mr. Gonzalez congratulates the Bangsamoro Women Commission and its partners for launching the Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

[Watch the video message here]

Asalamalekhum, good afternoon dear partners, colleagues and friends,

I would like to first extend my greeting to Honourable Ahod Ebrahim, Chief Minister of BARMM and to Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. Presidential Adviser and Chair of the National Steering Committee on Women, Peace and Security.

As you know, this year we celebrate two anniversaries: the 75 years of the United Nations and the 20 years of the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

This Resolution is the first one in history that highlights the gender impact of armed conflicts and acknowledges women’s voices in international peace and security.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the Bangsamoro Women Commission and its partners for launching today the Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security. This is also a historic step.

As we have seen in the COVID-19 crisis, women have been sustaining the trust of divided communities and they have played a critical role in keeping communities together and in promoting peace education.

We know, however, that women continue to be sidelined once peacebuilding processes move from the grassroots to the national and international levels. Gender equality is not just a technical formula, it’s essentially a question of power.

Data from 2018 show that, globally, women represents only 13 % of negotiators, 3 % of mediators and just 4 % of signatories of peace agreements.

Women lead only seven % of countries.

Three-quarters of the members of COVID-19 task forces and committees are men.

We have to admit that there is still a long way to go.

Yesterday, the UN Secretary General presented his report on Women, Peace and Security at the Security Council and highlighted 5 goals.

Five goals that can be considered in the implementation of the Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security:

Number One: We need a radical shift in women’s meaningful participation in peace-making, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding.

In the BARMM, this could be realized by greater representation of women in the Normalization process and by ensuring women’s political participation via the new Electoral Code.

Number Two: We must turn the unconditional defence of women’s rights into one of the most visible markers of the UN’s work on peace and security.

What the Secretary General is saying here is that we need to translate our principles into concrete and visible results.

Number Three: We must reverse the upward trajectory in global military spending and encourage greater investment in the social infrastructure and services that buttress human security.

We learned from COVID-19 that human security is the foundation of all aspects of security. This implies concrete investment in health, education and social protection. Given their role and advocacy in these sectors, women should also be better represented on COVID-19 taskforces.

Number Four: We must galvanize the donor community for universal compliance with a minimum of 15 % of Official Development Assistance to conflict-affected countries dedicated to advancing gender equality.

There is compelling evidence in the Bangsamoro to invest in community-based women’s networks as equal partners. And I am happy that the UN Peace Building Fund is planning to support the empowerment of women peacebuilders in Bangasamoro.

Number Five: We must bring about a gender data revolution on Women, Peace and Security for evidence-based decision-making that reaches the general public.

The gender data revolution should start from the local level upwards and the UN is ready to support capacity building.

Certainly, we cannot wait another 20 years to implement the women, peace and security agenda.

Let’s start that work together, today.

I am reassured that the new Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security will guide us in these efforts. The UN is eager to support this process.

Dear partners and colleagues, I congratulate you on the launch of this very timely Plan and wish you great success in the implementation

Thank you very much!

Speech by
Gustavo González
Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Gustavo Gonzalez
UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Population Fund