Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Presentation by the Secretary General of the Annual Evaluation Report on the Implementation of the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality at the 974th Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 28.11.2013
Mr. Chairperson,

Like previous speakers, I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to Secretary General Zannier for the presentation of the Annual Evaluation Report on the Implementation of the 2004 OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality.

The report gives us a very good overview regarding the gender mainstreaming of the OSCE activities, policies, programmes and projects, including those fall under the responsibility of the OSCE institutions. The recommendations and strategic priorities to improve the implementation of the Gender Plan contained in the report are praiseworthy. The proposed initiatives deserve the due attention of all of us with a view to continuing to integrate a gender perspective into all of our activities, which should essentially be an integral part of our understanding of comprehensive security.

We also appreciate the integration of the section related to promoting women’s participation in conflict prevention in the report. The work of the Forum for Security Cooperation in relation to Women, Peace and Security commitments and the increasing number of voluntary responses of participating States to the Questionnaire on the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security provides us with a good understanding on the growing tendency to include gender aspects in the politico-military dimension of our organization.

We share your assessment, Mr. Secretary General that the evaluation of the OSCE gender-related activities clearly shows that our organization has increased its footprint regarding gender equality issues, not least with 34 percent of the senior management positions held by women, which corresponds to the highest percentage in the history of the OSCE.

It is indeed true that the comprehensive approach to security applied to gender equality puts the OSCE at the forefront of international efforts to ensure the equal participation of women in a holistic way. In this respect, the 2004 Action Plan remains a strategic document, which outlines the importance of gender equality for comprehensive security and calls upon OSCE structures and participating States to implement their gender equality commitments across all three dimensions of security. However, in light of the evolving United Nations Security Council framework, particularly with the adoption of the UNSCR 2122, which emphasizes the role of regional organizations in the field of women, peace and security, we need to acknowledge that there is certainly scope to do more. The 10th anniversary of the 2004 Gender Action Plan next year provides us with an excellent opportunity to have a Review Conference to reflect on strengthening further our toolbox and improving the implementation of relevant UNSC Resolutions in the OSCE area. The draft OSCE-wide Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security co-sponsored by Austria, Finland, Kazakhstan and Turkey aims at serving exactly this purpose and I am hopeful that the continued support of a large number of participating States will eventually result in its adoption at the earliest possible time.

Needless to say, the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and the process of revitalizing the work of our organization through the Helsinki+40 process also presents ample opportunities not only to reaffirm the importance of gender equality in our work but also to strengthen the achievements of our organization in this field.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Secretary General Zannier and the Gender Section once again for this excellent report and wish them our best in their future endeavours.

Thank you.