Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Release of the Executive Order & U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
December 19, 2011


Today, the United States added critical force to the idea that the world is safer and more just when women are equal partners in the pursuit of peace and security. By issuing an Executive Order and developing the first-ever U.S. National Action Plan on women, peace, and security, President Obama has built a foundation for powerful change in the way the world prevents war, makes peace, seeks accountability for violence, and protects innocent lives.

Women possess half the world’s talent, half the world’s creativity and initiative, and half the world’s wisdom. The United States has long understood that excluding women from national security policymaking is neither a credible nor a responsible way to lead in an increasingly integrated, complicated world. In 2000, when the United States supported the UN Security Council’s landmark Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security, Madeleine Albright was our sitting Secretary of State and Secretary Clinton was well on her way to the U.S. Senate. Secretary Condoleezza Rice was instrumental in the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1820, which built on Resolution 1325 and strengthened the world’s capacity to combat sexual violence. U.S. women, including many here at the U.S. Mission to the UN, were critical deliberators on subsequent resolutions on women, peace, and security.

But there is more to do. The fact that women have represented fewer than three percent of mediators and eight percent of negotiators to major peace processes since 1992 demonstrates that world leaders wage peace far too often with hands tied behind their backs. Today’s Executive Order and National Action Plan are designed to change that. I look forward to carrying out President Obama’s recommendations and working closely with the UN Secretary-General and other officials, including Michelle Bachelet and Margot Wallstrom, to advance the role of women in the cause of peace and security around the world.


The full U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace, & Security is accessible here.

PRN: 2011/319