Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

2nd Session, 37th Parliament,
Volume 140, Issue 92

Thursday, October 30, 2003
The Honourable Dan Hays, Speaker

United Nations

Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, when I was a little girl, I clearly remember my mother reading poems to me about young men travelling to the battlefields to fight in the war. I remember listening to how they would travel through the trenches and how their bodies lay dead in the muddy fields. Now, when I read poems to my children about war, there is a stark difference. War has come into our communities and into our homes, literally and figuratively. For those lucky enough, war has come to their homes only by television. Others are not so fortunate. The Rwandan genocide, the war in Sierra Leone — these are no longer wars fought on a battlefield; rather, they have come to our streets and backyards, directly affecting our men, women, boys and girls.

It is for this reason that Security Council Resolution 1325 holds such great importance. It is a landmark document that clearly recognizes the distinct impact of war and conflict on our men, women and children. In acknowledging how war affects men, women and children in different ways, Resolution 1325 calls for women’s full and equal participation in the peace processes and, of course, specific protection for the rights of women and girls. Resolution 1325 is the first of its kind to deal exclusively with issues of women’s peace and security, and results from many years of intense work. As Kofi Annan stated, “Just as your work can promote gender equality, so can gender equality make your work more likely to succeed.”

In Canada, both government and civil society have a clear desire to see Resolution 1325 implemented to the fullest possible extent. Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1325 by the United Nations Security Council. Honourable senators, I implore each of you to support and understand this landmark document. The changing face of war has brought us new challenges, and we must recognize the importance of 1325 in meeting these challenges and the role of women in contributing to the critical task of building sustainable peace for all.

Honourable senators, we must work to make Resolution 1325 a living reality. We cannot afford to keep losing our men, women and children in the name of war.