The recent conflict between Georgia and Russia has brought to our attention the need for coherent preventive and focused actions by the international community with regard to unsolved conflicts, in particular in the Council of Europe area.
In its recent recommendation, the Assembly has called for the development of an Action Plan by the Committee of Ministers and concrete measures to respond to crises between member states of the Organisation. The United Nations, in its Recommendation 1325, has also called for the strengthening of the role of women in conflict situations, and encouraged member states to develop national action plans.
It is important that all parties to armed conflict fully respect international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls as civilians.
Women and young girls are often seen only as victims of conflict situations but their role as active participants in preventive actions as well as in the conflict solution process has not been put to sufficient use. Women can and should, however, play an active and constructive role and this unutilised resource should therefore be mobilised. The gender perspective needs to be taken more into consideration in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
The impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace building and the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution needs to be studied, in particular with reference to humanitarian law and the Council of Europe’s main principles.
We, the undersigned, propose that the Assembly examine and identify specific measures and tools by which the participation of women in the solution of unsolved conflicts in Europe can be enhanced.
Women should not only be seen as victims, but also as active participants and actors. Therefore, special attention should be given, inter alia, to the following aspects: