UN Security Council Resolution 1325:
Convening to Purpose
Women Leaders Intercultural Forum >> UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Convening to Purpose
Background: UNSCR 1325 and 1820
UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are among the most effective yet under-utilized tools that leaders and citizens have to hold states and individuals accountable for ensuring women???s full participation in a) preventing and resolving conflict; b) promoting peace and security; and c) protecting women in times of conflict, post-conflict and peace.
UNSCR 1325 was passed unanimously on 31 October 2000. It is the first resolution ever passed by the UN Security Council that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and it stresses the importance of women's equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote sustainable peace and security. The resolution underscores the responsibility to protect women and girls from human rights abuses, including gender-based violence, and emphasizes the vital importance of mainstreaming gender perspectives in all aspects of conflict prevention, resolution, and reconstruction.
Machel and Robinson: Women refuse to be victims of conflict; they are actors for change
Graзa Machel and Mary Robinson state that women are brutalised in conflict. But they are not victims; they are actors for change.
During its June 2008 Security Council Presidency, the United States followed up on UNSCR1325 with an emphasis on sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. On June 19, UNSCR 1820 was adopted. Key provisions of this resolution recognize a direct relationship between the widespread and/or systematic use of sexual violence as an instrument of conflict and the maintenance of international peace and security; commit the Security Council to considering appropriate steps to end such atrocities and to punish their perpetrators; and???perhaps most importantly???commit nation states in which sexual violence is being widely or systematically employed against civilians to reporting in June each year to the Security Council.
Implementation: UNSCR 1325
Much remains to be done to implement the vision of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on women, peace and security to ensure that women are protected from the worst abuses in times of conflict and empowered to play their rightful and vital role in helping their countries prevent, end and recover from conflict.
Fulfilling the promise of UNSCR 1325 requires more effective monitoring, accountability, and enforcement mechanisms. Women continue to be raped and trafficked with impunity, both by rebel movements and by government security forces charged with protecting them. Courageous and talented women peace builders face discrimination in legal, cultural and traditional practices. Sexual violence and threats against women in power impose a stigma of victimization and a real danger that makes even the most impressive and courageous women think twice before stepping forward.
Robinson and Brahimi: Perpetrators of violence dominate peace talks at the expense of women
Mary Robinson and Lakhdar Brahimi state that perpetrators of violence dominate peace talks at the expense of the vital input of women.
Too many peace processes still exclude women or shunt them off to ante-rooms while ???real??? negotiations take place. This failure to involve the voices of a key element of civil society in negotiations often produces agreements that are disconnected from ground-truth, making it less likely they will be successful and enjoy popular support.
The absence of women???s participation also tends to limit discussion on issues such as trafficking in women and girls, sexual violence, abuses by security forces, and the rebuilding of maternal health care and girls??? education. Three fundamental challenges have to be met if UNSCR 1325 is to be translated into effective action worldwide.
- Review progress under UNSCR 1325, including through field-based research of what has and has not worked in key situations.
- Identify constraints within the United Nations in particular, but also within governments, civil society and regional organizations, to implementing UNSCR 1325 and identify mechanisms to ensure accountability and metrics for progress, including time-bound goals for specific UNSCR 1325 provisions, and encourage the development of national action plans by individual states.
- Strengthen partnerships among like-minded governments, UN departments, NGOs and others committed to implementing UNSCR 1325
WLIF has convened several strategic gatherings intending to increase the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820.
Increasing Momentum for UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans
On April 24, 2009, Mary Robinson and Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Chair of The Institute for Inclusive Security, convened a group of prominent government, United Nations, and civil society leaders in New York to discuss strategies for increasing the development and implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) National Action Plans (NAPs) and to encourage creative international cooperation on NAPs.
The key outcome of the meeting was that the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro welcomed the proposed initiative to create a UN High-Level Steering Committee on UNSCR 1325 to bring greater visibility and coherence to UNSCR 1325 within the UN system, which the DSG will chair, should the Committee be formally recommended and established. The proposed Committee would consist of UN agency heads and would report to the Security Council.
Making the Case for Security Council Resolution 1325: Catalyzing Support for Full Implementation through Research and Advocacy
On June 5th, 2008, WLIF partnered with the International Crisis Group to convene 50 prominent government, United Nations, and civil society participants. The rich discussion focused on three key areas:
- The need for enhanced protection for women in conflict environments, including practical measures by UN peacekeeping missions and humanitarian assistance programs, the integration of gender concerns into security sector reform, the protection of women in situations of displacement, and the elimination of impunity for perpetrators of sexual abuse;
- The importance of women???s participation in peace process and post-conflict governance and reconstruction, including the expansion of the number of women Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General, involvement of local women in the decisions affecting their lives, and inclusion of women as peacekeepers and civilian observers; and
- The importance of dedicating new resources, including financial support, for gender-related projects, including rapid reaction funding for protection of women, expansion of maternal-child health systems and girls??? education, funding for high-level gender advisors for every UN mission, and tracking of expenditures on these concerns within donors??? conferences, government budgets, and international assistance programs.
International Women Leaders Global Security Summit
From November 15-17 2007, The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, in partnership with the Council of Women World Leaders, The White House Project and WLIF, convened 75 women leaders, including current and former heads of state and government, ministers of defense and foreign affairs, and leaders of intergovernmental and civil society organizations to enhance the effectiveness of women???s leadership on global security, and to catalyze more collective action on both state and human security concerns.
The International Women Leaders Global Security Summit (IWLGSS) explored the interdependent nature of global security crises through substantive discussion of four thematic topics - the economics of insecurity, climate change, the responsibility to protect, and terrorism and counter-terrorism???and formulated a call to action to address them. The successful Summit has galvanized further actions, including bringing women leaders more squarely into conflict resolution and mediation efforts.
Security Consultations with Women Leaders in the Middle East and Africa (2006/ 2007)
WLIF partnered with UNIFEM to co-convene two regional consultations on security priorities in Africa and the Middle East. WLIF also partnered on other key events such as the Arab Strategy Forum 2006.
The first meeting, held on July 4th in Nairobi, gathered over 70 African women leaders to participate in a rich discussion on concrete steps women leaders could take to mitigate existing threats to individuals and to states. The women participated in a roundtable on regional security concerns, and the obstacles and opportunities women leaders face in achieving more secure and just communities at the local, regional and international levels.
Attendees articulated the need to amplify the voices of women directly affected by conflict, and for women leaders to play a central role in resolving conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In December 2007, WLIF partnered with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and UNIFEM???s Arab States Bureau to host a meeting of women leaders to identify pressing issues of peace and security in the Middle East region, and the steps required to address them. Discussion focused on tools women can use to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. In addition, Mary Robinson affirmed the concerns of women leaders from the region about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and emphasized the need for women leaders of international stature to support the work of the International Women???s Commission to ensure women have a voice in the peace process.
WLIF served as a Knowledge Partner with the Arab Strategy Forum 2006, held in December in the United Arab Emirates. In the past two years, WLIF has strengthened the network of women leaders through programs that deepened the relationships of leaders and broadened their agendas for protecting security.