By Farai Matiashe
MDC Alliance Member of Parliament Dorcas Sibanda has said female parliamentarians can contribute to peace and security in the region by ensuring that their governments are adhering to United Nations (UN) resolutions on nuclear disarmament.
Addressing a regional workshop to promote the role of women parliamentarians in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Banjul, Gambia, yesterday, Sibanda said women parliamentarians should dissuade their governments from building and stock piling weapons of mass destruction.
“As part of their oversight functions women parliamentarians should ensure that their governments abide by the UN resolutions concerning disarmament and prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” she said.
“These resolutions include the 2000 UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which urged member States ‘to ensure increased representation of women at all decision making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict.”’
Sibanda said diplomacy between and among States had been undermined by the under-representation of women.
The MP urged women legislators to ensure that both women and men had equal access to political decision-making in negotiations between and among States in matters to do with control and destruction of weapons of mass destruction.
“It is fundamental that expertise on national and regional security studies among women is promoted, since this sector has been long dominated by males. More women could be encouraged to develop professional expertise in the technical areas related to nuclear weapons and the political skills involved in arms negotiations,” she said.
Sibanda said Zimbabwe was committed to the international goals of arms control and disarmament, to contribute to international and regional efforts to contain and prevent the proliferation of small arms, mines, conventional armaments and weapons of mass destruction.
She said the country was also committed to banning all production and use of biological and chemical weapons and the destruction of all such weapons and their production facilities.
Zimbabwe, a state party to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty since 1991, is recognised as a Non-Nuclear weapon State.