Statement delivered by 

HE Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed, Permanent Representative  

at UNSC Open Debate on Promoting the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and sustaining peace through women’s political and economic empowerment 

25 October 2018 

Thank you Madam President,  

I wish to thank the Government of Bolivia, for convening this important and timely Open Debate on Promoting the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda and sustaining peace through women’s political and economic empowerment.  

Investing in women to participate in development and political processes is crucial for any national process to be credible and successful. Women’s participation and economic empowerment has proven to lead to gender equality, poverty eradication, political stability and for a more robust economic growth. Inclusivity and equality are the key to good governance and the opportunity for democracy.  

While we are pleased to note that progress has been made in a number of countries and as set out in the concept note for this debate, the eight resolutions adopted by the Security Council in the last sixteen years sets a strong foundation for operationalization of the women, peace and security agenda by the UN system. The Security Council Resolution 2242 placed a high emphasis on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. While there is a high emphasis on gender equality, there still remains various challenges that need to be addressed.  

The Maldives recommends to the Council to prioritize gender equality in its broader efforts to maintain international peace and security. The Security Council must consider meaningful participation and empowerment of women across all agenda items, including in all mandate renewals. In addition to the gender-specific language, the Council must provide necessary leadership and follow-up on the implementation of the Resolutions and produce analytical evidence-based progress reports. Most importantly, the Maldives calls upon the Council to take concrete steps to advance the women, peace and security agenda in the daily work of the Council. The Maldives has always prioritised promotion of values of gender equality and the creation of opportunities for women and through an integral approach, the Maldives maintains a universal adult suffrage as well as equal employment opportunities. Despite the achievements, the number of women in executive positions in both Government and private sector is still very few.  

Through various policies, the Maldives has implemented measures to address existing challenges to invest in the future of Maldivian women and girls. The Employment Act, ensures that women are guaranteed equal access to employment and equal pay for equal work as men. The Government has also implemented a policy under which at least thirty-percent of seats in the Boards of States-owned companies would be filled by women. The Gender Equality Act outlines the role that the Government, business entities, non-governmental organizations and other employers should take to ensure equality and non-discrimination towards women and girls. 

As an international community, we have made several commitments to support women’s economic empowerment, including Beijing Platform of Action. In the most recent report on the implementation of Beijing Declaration, it was highlighted that the most significant advances towards gender equality in the past two decades has been the increase in educational enrolment of women and girls. The Maldives strongly believes that in addition to improvements in national policies, States must take appropriate measures to allow access to quality education for women and girls and must be fulfilled as a basic human right. Education will have direct impact on the involvement of women in all spheres of the society, including national peace processes.   

Women are the gatekeepers of any community’s cultural and spiritual values. We must accept that women’s role has changed at a rapid pace and is making its greatest impact today in all aspects of society. From caregivers at home, women are transforming nations not just as community leaders but as great leaders of nations.