Enhancing Women's Participation in Security, Governance and Transitional Justice Mechanisms:
Civil Society Recommendations to UN Member States and the UN Security Council – From the 2013 Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security to the 13th anniversary of UNSCR 1325
On Friday October 18th, 2013, the UN Security Council will hold its annual Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, two weeks prior to the 13th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security. The theme for the debate is "Women, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Conflict Affected Situations".
We, the undersigned, believe that the theme of this year's Open Debate is an appropriate call to the UN and its Member States to re-focus on conflict prevention and transitional justice as an essential aspect of UNSCR 1325. The Resolution calls on Member States to "implement fully international humanitarian and human rights law that protects the rights of women and girls during and after conflicts", and to "respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls as civilians" including the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Based on these commitments we would like to offer the following recommendations to UN Member States and the Security Council as they finalize their statements and as we move from the Open Debate towards the 13th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on October 31st:
- Identify and implement strategies to close the gap between security and women's participation, starting at the local level and supporting community media
The UN Secretary-General's annual report on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 (S/2013/525) highlights that women are still underrepresented in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, protection and peacebuilding processes. Participation and leadership of women in designing strategies that respond to local and national security needs are preconditions for achieving lasting peace and security. Community media mechanisms such as community radio must be supported to ensure safe spaces for local women's engagement and to enable communities to communicate their priorities for development and political processes.
- Ensure that any peace support operation requires clear promotion and application of human rights standards
UNSCR 1325 highlights the need for Security Council and peacekeeping missions to ensure compliance with gender considerations and the rights of women, including through consultation with local and international women's groups. Ensuring accountability of all relevant stakeholders to the practice of these commitments means ensuring a more effective rule of law and transitional justice mechanisms.
- Support the key role of women's civil society and solicit their expertise throughout periods of transition, as part of a holistic gender perspective
UNSCR 1325 stresses the importance of a comprehensive approach to transitional justice. A comprehensive approach to transition periods needs to be inclusive of women civil society organisations and groups throughout the process, acknowledging their role and actively enabling their participation. Ensuring the active involvement of women is a key step in taking a holistic approach to gender in transition periods.
The active inclusion of women's civil society in designing security strategies and throughout transition periods means ensuring a more sustainable peace after transition. In this vein, we look forward to a Security Council Resolution that calls to enhance women's participation in all processes relevant to peace and security.
The following organisations and networks align themselves with this statement:
1325 Action Group, Nepal
African Women's Active Nonviolence Initiatives for Social Change (AWANICh)
Asian Circle 1325
Association of War Affected Women, Sri Lanka
ASR Resource Centre, Lahore, Pakistan
Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS), Serbia
Center for Peace Education, Philippines
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), South Sudan
Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (CRIES) - Latin America and the Caribbean
Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica (CIASE), Colombia
Danish United Nations Association, Denmark
Dutch Consortium Migrant Organization (Netherland)
Dutch Platform Women and Sustainable Peace (VDV)
Free Tunisia Association, Tunisia
Genocide Alert, Germany
Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNPW)
Institute of Women's Studies, Lahore, Pakistan
International Center on Conflict and Negotiation, Georgia
La Synergie des Femmes pour les Victimes des Violences Sexuelles (SFVS)
Nairobi Peace Initiative - Africa (NPI-Africa), Kenya, Regional Secretariat, Eastern & Central Africa for GPPAC
Permanent Peace Movement (PPM), Beruit, Lebanon
Sancharika Samuha, Nepal
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Sweden
The Association of Political Scientists (EONEPE), Greek NGO
United Nations Association of Sweden
United Nations Association – UK
United to End Genocide (USA)
Vision GRAM- International, Canada with office in DR Congo
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) based in Accra, Ghana
Women for Peace in the Netherlands
World Federalist Movement - Canada
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy, WFM-IGP, USA
Women's Information Center, Georgia
Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), WANEP Nigeria
This statement has been drafted by the Gender Liaison of the International Steering Group and the Gender Programme of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). It will be open for signatures until October 31st, which is the official anniversary of UNSCR 1325. To sign up to the statement please email the full name and country of your organisation to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
GPPAC will be holding a panel discussion "Taking UNSCR 1325 to the Next Level" on 30 October in New York, in cooperation with the Women Peacemakers Program and Conciliation Resources. Find out more about the event here.
For further information on the background of this statement and on GPPAC's work on gender please contact Ms. Gesa Bent, Coordinator Gender at GPPAC's Global Secretariat, at email@example.com.