A photo exhibition called ‘Peace Begins with Her’ took place today (25 Oct) to mark the 23rd anniversary of the landmark Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS).
The exhibition was organized by the Department of Peace Operations, the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, UN Women and the Elsie Initiative Fund.
Speaking at the exhibition, UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous said, “Peace begins with women. We salute them. We salute the courage, their resilience, their resourcefulness and also we salute the outcomes of the work which eventually we will bring sustainable peace, development and sustainable, peaceful societies throughout the world.”
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix said, “Having more women in peacekeeping and having more empowerment of women in peacekeeping setting is critically important because you cannot build sustainable peace without women.”
He continued, “peacekeeping operations need to be reflecting the reality of the communities in which we serve,” reiterating that “we have an obligation to work towards gender parity in our mission.”
Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, whose country is holding the presidency of the Security Council this month, said, “Peace begins with her because women in whichever activity they take part, they give the best of themselves, and they help to implement all important decisions to help people in need.”
Brazilian peacekeeper Ivana Mara was also at the exhibition.
She said, “Peace begins with her. Peace begins with us. Peace begins with United Nations.”
Recalling her days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Brazilian peacekeeper said, “the United Nations is doing the best they can in order to provide these women with support, to provide these women a better life. So that's what we're doing.”
A mosaic of 50 giant-sized portraits are pasted on the pavement in front of the United Nations Headquarters as a reminder of the powerful but often ignored voices of women in peace efforts.
From Afghanistan to Colombia, Cyprus to South Sudan, the powerful portraits of UN peacekeepers, local peace activists and peacebuilders will welcome the public to the United Nations as Security Council members meet to