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Abraham Accords partners issue joint UN human rights statement on women, peace

In first such initiative, Israel joins with Bahrain, UAE and Morocco for statement at meeting of international body’s Human Rights Council in Geneva

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel's Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva. (Israel's Mission to UN and International Organizations in Geneva)
Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel's Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva. (Israel's Mission to UN and International Organizations in Geneva)

Israel joined three of its new regional Arab partners in submitting a joint statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HCR) in Geneva on Wednesday, marking the first time the countries that signed the Abraham Accords have undertaken such an initiative.

The “Joint Statement on Women, Peace and Diplomacy,” offered at the 48th regular session of the HRC by Israel, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, emphasized the value of integrating women in peace processes, and called for the increase of women’s influence on issues of human rights, sustainable development, security, and peace, on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women and security.

The four nations collaborated with the UN’s University for Peace in Costa Rica on the statement.

Ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri of Bahrain introduced the statement on behalf of the countries.

“We call upon all Member States to strongly commit to ensure that women have a seat at every table, that they are heard and that they can contribute to find solutions and prevent conflict. Only then, can we have a peaceful and equal society,” he said.

“We are committed to taking into account the experiences of women and girls, both living in conflict zones but also in peace and stability, and to always include a gender perspective, recognizing the unique impact different situations may have on women and girls.”

The statement was supported by 52 member states, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, and Australia.

Meirav Eilon Shahar, the Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva, said that the joint statement “is testament to the new dynamic that we want to advance in our region and beyond.”

The joint statement was made as part of the general debate of “Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.”

Ambassador Yusuf Abdulkarim Bucheeri of Bahrain introduces a joint statement on women and security at the UN Human Rights Council General Debate in Geneva Switzerland, on September 22, 2021, (Screenshot)

“The initiative is in line with the will and the need to work communally and actively to build peace and security, based on relationships between people and opportunities, by putting women at the heart of the action for peace-building and conflict resolution,” said Moroccan envoy Omar Zniber. “Very pleased as a Moroccan Delegation to promote such action.”

David Fernandez Puyana, the university’s permanent representative to the UN and UNESCO, said that the statement shows that the organization is fulfilling its mandate with its support for the statement, “with a clear determination to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress.”

The Abraham Accords were signed on the White House lawn in September 2020 between Israel, Bahrain, and the UAE. Morocco and Sudan signed normalization agreements with Israel in the ensuing months.

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