New York, NY - Charo Mina-Rojas, women's human rights activist, Afro-Colombian leader and partner of MADRE, made a powerful statement at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security last month. Held on October 27, 2017, the event called on regional organizations and civil society to increase women's participation in peacebuilding efforts.
Charo's statement highlighted the essential role of Afro-descendant and Indigenous women in the Colombian peace implementation process. She proposed three urgent priority areas: participation of Afro-descendant and Indigenous women; ensuring the security of human rights defenders and Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities; and inclusive monitoring and implementation of peace implementation. Human rights advocates from Colombia and around the globe recently issued an open letter to the Colombian government, also calling for meaningful inclusion of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Peoples, particularly women, in peace implementation.
"Peace in Colombia and elsewhere, is not simply a matter of ending war and violence but addressing collectively the root causes of conflict including social, gender and racial injustice and promoting the well-being of all people of all races and religions. It is about supporting the efforts of local women activists to demilitarize and disarm our whole societies, and curbing the flow of small arms as prescribed in the Arms Trade Treaty and other legal instruments. It is the responsibility of all actors, including the Security Council, the UN system, regional and sub-regional organizations, and importantly, Member States, to fulfill their obligations. The women, peace and security agenda, if implemented and financially resourced, can be the pathway to peace in my country and around the world, where gender equality, women’s empowerment and protection of women’s rights are central to conflict prevention and sustainable peace."
View the full text of Charo Mina-Rojas' statement here, available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. You can also see the video of her speech, delivered in Spanish, on the UN website in Spanish and in English (beginning at 29:26).