GNWP’s statement to all stakeholders of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – available in English and French

GNWP prepared a Post Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) statement regarding the issue of CSO participation. The statement is based on extensive discussions with GNWP members, other women’s groups, CSO partners, and CSW participants who expressed concern about lack of adequate space for CSOs, lack of an effective monitoring system relating to the outcome document of the CSW (i.e. the Agreed Conclusions), as well as the overall process of the CSW.

GNWP Post-CSW statement – June, 2013

GNWP Post-CSW statement – June, 2013 FRENCH

GNWP and its members and partners launch the UNSCR 1325 and 1820 NAP Localization Guidelines in Nepal

By Helena Gronberg

On May 7, 2013 at a ceremony in Kathmandu, the Global Network of Peacebuilders and its Nepali members 1 and partners launched the UNSCR 1325 and 1820 Nepal NAP Localization Guideline. The ceremony, which gathered some 100 participants from six districts, as well as government partners, the donor community and UN agencies, was a much anticipated culmination of GNWP’s initiative Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820, a program that has been operational in Nepal since 2011. In partnership with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MOPR) and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MOFALD), and with financial support from the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, the Localization Guidelines were drafted in 2012 and on Tuesday officially adopted and launched. Joint Secretary Saduram Sapkota of MOPR, who has played a key role since the inception of the program, in his remarks stressed that the presence at the launch of seven government bodies and two UN agencies underscored the importance of the document and would without doubt warrant its implementation.

The Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program is a people-based, bottom-up approach to policy-making and policy implementation, aimed specifically at the implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs) on UNSCRs 1325 and 1820. By bringing together local and national stakeholders, civil society and government actors the program ensures broad-based ownership of the policies on women and peace and security at country level. 2

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The Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program was launched in Nepal through a series of awareness raising trainings in the districts of Banke and Kaski, organized by GNWP and GNWP member Saathi, in collaboration with MOPR, in June 2011. The trainings gathered, district and village development officers, chief district officers, members of the local peace committees, representatives from conflict affected communities, army officials and members of the armed police, teachers, leaders of women’s groups and other local actors. The objective of the trainings was to come up with strategies for integrating the Nepal NAP into already existing district and village development planning processes. The Nepal NAP that was adopted in early 2011 has been celebrated as one of the most consultative NAP processes to date, boasting consultations with stakeholders at all levels in 51 out of Nepal’s 75 districts. The Localization program was to ensure that local ownership and outreach to communities most affected by conflict is sustained.. “We wanted to ensure that the NAP was not shelved but taken to the districts and villages to the people most affected by the conflict,” said Bandana Rana, Executive Chair of Saathi.

During the months following the localization trainings further consultations were held with various stakeholders, including MOFALD, the government agency ultimately responsible for coordination, cooperation, and monitoring and evaluation of activities undertaken at district and village level, as well as any initiatives initiated by development partners. With the support of MOFALD as well as MOPR, the guidelines were subsequently drafted and field-tested at village and district level in 2012. The launch on Tuesday marked the final stage of making the document official. Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha, Minister of Peace and Reconstruction in his inaugural speech remarked that the Guidelines would guarantee women’s meaningful participation in prevention of future conflicts, and congratulated the different partners on the development of the document. In her speech, GNWP International Coordinator Mavic Cabrera-Balleza said “we are celebrating how the Nepali people are implementing locally and inspiring globally. “You are showing the world “the how“ of implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in ways that will make a difference in the lives of women and men, girls and boys in local communities directly affected by the conflicts and its aftermath,” she added.

The Localization program in Nepal is made possible with the support of the Government of Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, and we were very pleased that both governments were represented at the launch. H.E. Mr. Stewart Beck, Ambassador of Canada reaffirmed Canada’s support to Nepal’s commitment to the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and complemented GNWP and its partners on its many achievements in implementing UNSCR 1325, “the Localization program being no exception”, he said. Camilla Rossaak, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Norway, on her part expressed hope that “the Guidelines for how local authorities can integrate the National Action Plan and recommendations in their work plans and budgets will be actively used by the local actors to promote real change in women’s lives at the local level.” She further reiterated the important role of MOFALD who will play a key role in ensuring that the guidelines are followed through at the district and village level. Gitanjali Singh, UN Women Deputy Representative for Nepal also expressed her agency’s commitment to support the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program particularly the use of the Guidelines: “UN Women is committed to taking these guidelines forward and to integrating them in all our work. The Peace Support Working Group commits to sharing these guidelines with all its partners,” she stated.

The official program was followed by an orientation session on the Guidelines with the representatives from the districts and villages who ultimately will be the ones using the Guidelines. While participants expressed enthusiasm and strong commitment to apply the document in their daily work, some questions were raised regarding budget allocation and responsibilities of various officials. GNWP and its members and partners are committed to addressing these and other issues that may arise, during the roll-out and implementation of the guidelines in the coming year.

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Notes:

  1. GNWP members: Saathi-Nepal; Institute of Human Rights Communication (IHRICON), National Women Security watch (NWSW);Sancharika Samuha; SAMANATA-Institute for Social & Gender Equality.
  2. GNWP’s Localization program was cited in the UN Secretary General’s 2012 report on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) as an important strategy that promotes implementation at sub-national and regional levels as well as an effort to integrate women and peace and security commitments in legislation, policy-making and planning processes.

Japan develops its National Action Plan on Resolution 1325

By Mavic Cabrera Balleza

Around 80 representatives from Japanese government agencies, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, civil society organizations and academe took part in a seminar on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security held at Josai International University in Tokyo on April 20, 2013.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced at the G8 meeting in London on April 11, 2013 that the government has started its national action planning process on UNSCR 1325. In addition, Japan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Kazuyoshi Umemoto, also announced at the Security Council Open Debate on April 17, 2013 that, “Japan has started developing a National Action Plan (NAP) based on Security Council Resolution 1325. We are vigorously working on the plan, which includes our commitments to further strengthen our efforts for the protection of women’s rights in humanitarian settings. We hope to complete the plan, in close consultation with UN organizations such as UN Women as well as civil society, as soon as possible.”

The April 20th seminar in Tokyo aimed to enhance the level of awareness and knowledge of UNSCR 1325, 1820 among Japanese civil society and other stakeholders in order for them to meaningfully participate in the ongoing UNSCR 1325 national action planning process in the country. “It is critical that we have a thorough understanding of UNSCR 1325, 1820 and the supporting resolutions on Women, Peace and Security. The space these resolutions opened may be a contradictory one for many women’s groups and civil society organizations in Japan. We can learn many lessons from the National Action Plans of other countries, making Japan’s lateness in participating into an advantage. It is, therefore, very important that we actively participate in developing and implementing Japan’s national action plan on UNSCR 1325” Professor Fumika Sato of Hitotsubashi University commented.

The seminar included discussions on the history of UNSCR 1325, its key provisions and commitments; strengths and weaknesses; models and level of implementation; and the supporting resolutions on WPS – UNSCR 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960. In addition, the seminar also covered experiences in national action planning processes from different countries. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, the International Coordinator of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, a coalition of women’s organizations and civil society groups advocating for the full and effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 with headquarters in New York served as resource person for the seminar.

The organizers of the seminar were the Japan Women’s Watch (JAWW) and the Institute of Gender and Women’s Studies at Josai International University.

Congolese women meet with Ms. Robinson – the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region

On April 29, 2013, women groups and organizations, including GNWP’s member Cadre Permanent de Concertation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO), met with Ms. Mary Robinson in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to discuss the attainment of genuine and sustainable peace throughout the DRC and the Great Lakes Region.

Ms. Robinson was appointed as the new Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa in March 2013 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. She has served as the President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 and has more than four decades of political and diplomatic experience, including as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002. She is expected to play a key role in supporting the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) for the DRC and the Great Lakes region, signed by Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic (CAR), the DRC, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia in February 2013 with the aim to stabilize the situation in the DRC.

During her first visit to the DRC as the Special Envoy, Ms. Robinson met with President Kabila, Minister of Foreign Affairs, civil society organizations and religious groups. The meeting with civil society organizations was opened by Mr. Roger A. Meece, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Civil society organizations presented their demands and concerns regarding the implementation of the PSCF, which included five components: sensitization on the population on the framework; mainstreaming of gender issues in the implementation with a special emphasis on the protection of civilians; security sector reform; setting up of DDR programs for ex-combatants; and the promotion and development of gender sensitive benchmarks in the monitoring and evaluation of progress in the implementation of the PSCF. They were also able to brief Ms. Robinson on the outcomes of the Women’s Peace Dialogue organized by GNWP and CAFCO in April 2013 and present the outcome document of this initiative.

Ms. Robinson began by thanking women’s rights organizations for their work despite the situation of instability and insecurity within the DRC. She stated that the PSCF is a glimmer of hope for achieving stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes region. She stressed the need for the signatories to do what they have committed to do within the agreement and noted that civil societies should play an important role in holding the signatories accountable. She also pointed out that based on her discussion with the President of the Republic, there will soon be a national monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the framework and she encouraged women’s participation in the implementation processes of the framework. She promised to create platforms for women to come together and discuss their concerns. She also encouraged women to participate in the upcoming meeting on June 24 in Bujumbura, Burundi planned for the discussion of the UNSCR 1325 regional plan for the Great Lakes region. She concluded by urging women to work together for a sustainable solution in the Great Lakes region.

Ms. Robinson will be continuing on to Rwanda and Burundi.

Congolese Women Demand Discussions on the “Intervention Brigade” in the DRC

By Mavic Cabrera-Balleza

Congolese women and women from Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda who took part in the Women’s Peace Dialogue held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo from April 5-6, 2012 demanded discussions on the formation of the first Intervention Brigade that will operate in the eastern part of the DRC. Authorized [...]

Women’s Peace Dialogue and Women’s Peace Delegation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Meeting with insurgent groups is the best option to resolve conflict in eastern DRC, says Women’s Peace Delegation

By Eleonore Veillet Chowdhury

Based on the Women’s Peace Dialogue and the Women’s Peace Delegation advocacy efforts in Kinshasa, members of the Women’s Peace Delegation have concluded that it is imperative to speak directly with [...]

Harmonizing the Burundi NAP on UNSCR 1325 & 1820 with Communal Development Planning Processes

By Helena Gronberg

On January 14, 2013, we set out for Cankuzo Province to hold a three-day training as part of our Localizing UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program. Bordering Tanzania, Cankuzo is one of the most remotely situated provinces of Burundi’s 17 provinces. With a population of less than 250,000 (latest estimate from 2008 census) [...]

GNWP and its members take the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 Program to the Democratic Republic of Congo

By Selamawit Tesfaye

From March 28 to April 3, 2013, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, a program of the International Civil society Action Network (GNWP-ICAN) and its members, lead by Cadre Permanent de Consultation de la Femme Congolaise (CAFCO), will hold Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 workshops in Lubumbashi [...]

GNWP welcomes the Agreed Conclusions of CSW57

Conversation Circle on Peace and Security / Violence against Women

By Afifa Faisal

After months of relentless lobbying efforts and two weeks of intense deliberations, the Agreed Conclusions, the outcome document of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57), was adopted with consensus on 15 March 2013. The adoption of the Agreed Conclusions was celebrated by women’s rights [...]

South Sudan CSOs demand greater representation in 1325 national action planning

By Mavic Cabrera Balleza

“The voices of rural women need to be heard in this 1325 National Action Planning process. We need to make sure that their voices are heard because they are the ones who suffer in the conflict. They will also be the implementors of the NAP.’” Veronica Anni Michael from Self [...]