The international community has increasingly recognized the positive contributions women can make to preventing conflicts and consolidating peace. For example, the role of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building has been emphasized in the final document of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century." In October 2000, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. These efforts indicate a growing realization that in conflict situations women are more than victims requiring the protection of the international community: they are negotiators, peacemakers and advisors whose efforts are vital to sustainable peace.
Despite studies, conferences, and pledges to do so, the international community has failed to ensure women's full and equal participation in conflict prevention, peace operations and post-conflict peace-building. International efforts to address mounting political, economic and humanitarian crises can be substantially strengthened by involvement of women. Our comprehensive approach to conflict prevention is incomplete if we neglect to include women. Women bring alternative perspectives to conflict prevention at the grass-roots and community levels. We must encourage creative and innovative ways to better draw on the talents women bring to preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Furthermore, we should identify practical steps and strategies that we can support individually and collectively to advance the role of women in conflict prevention and post conflict peace building.
Building on the 1995 "Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women, the guidelines of the 1997 OECD/DAC statement on Conflict, Peace and Development Cooperation on the Threshold of the 21st Century, as well as its Supplement approved in April 2001; the 1998 Agreed conclusions on "Women and Armed Conflict" of the UN Commission on the Status of Women Agreed Conclusions on Women and Armed Conflict; the 8 March 2000 Security Council Presidential Statement on International Women's Day; the 2000 UNIFEM report "Women at the Peace Table: Making a Difference"; the final document of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century;" the study "Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Operations" by the Lessons Learned Unit of DPKO; the Report of UN Secretariat on the implementation of the Brahimi Report, G-8 partners will seize the opportunity to set an example for the international community.
On the basis of these premises, the G8:
Following the recognition contained in the conclusions of the July 2000 Miyazaki Foreign Ministers' Meeting regarding the role that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can play in conflict prevention, the G8 has identified this issue as a priority area for attention and initiative.
Although the political nature of violent conflict can hardly be doubted, economic factors frequently turn out to be highly relevant - both as objectives and instruments of conflict. With a greater number of companies selling to, investing in, and sourcing from a greater number of foreign markets, the private sector is more internationalized than ever. There is a growing awareness of the impact companies can have in conflict-prone regions.
They in turn have a direct interest shared by all in conflict prevention and peace building to ensure a stable environment for their operations.
A great deal of work is being done internationally to address CSR issues through the development of multilateral standards and norms. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1999, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the "Global Compact" - a call to world business leaders to adopt a set of nine principles based on existing UN instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Rio Declaration. OECD Ministers recently adopted revised Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. International efforts to stem the illicit trade in rough diamonds from conflict zones provide a good example of areas where the private sector can make an active contribution to conflict prevention.
Based on these premises, the G8:
Source: Ministero degli Affari Esteri
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