31 October 2010
Today EULEX marks the tenth anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The marking of the passing of UNSCR 1325, a historic event, should serve to remind everyone of the effect of war on women. UNSCR 1325 includes three pillars of action: prevention of violence, notably sexual violence against women in situations of armed conflict, participation of women in peace negotiations and peace-building, and the prosecution of offenders and perpetrators who have committed crimes against women.
EULEX strongly supports and highlights the importance of the participation of women in peace-building as foreseen in UNSCR 1325 and on this occasion the EULEX Head of Mission, Xavier Bout de Marnhac, made the following statement:
“EULEX takes gender mainstreaming seriously and I consider that each member of EULEX should be a gender watchdog in his/her own capacity. I can assure you that EULEX, and especially the Human Rights and Gender Office, will keep cooperating closely with the Kosovo Agency for Gender Equality and provide the best possible support and advice.
“I wish to reiterate that domestic violence and sexual crimes are crimes that need to be prosecuted. I would like to recall that EULEX judges, as a part of their executive mandate, have already sentenced two men because of serious domestic violence. I strongly encourage the Kosovo judiciary to use these cases as an example for proper implementation of the rule of law when it comes to domestic violence, violence against women or any kind of gender-based discrimination. I personally consider that it is the primary responsibility of the Kosovo institutions to fully implement all laws, and especially to ensure that women become equal actors in all aspects of life.
“Let me assure you that, as far as EULEX is concerned, I will pursue a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment and the purchase of sexual services. Equally, I will not tolerate any discrimination based on sexual grounds.”