33333333 11111111111 August 2018 – GNWP
Month: August 2018

Month: August 2018

CEDAW Committee and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Sign Cooperation Framework

CEDAW Committee and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Sign Cooperation Framework

July 31, 2018 by Mavic Cabrera Balleza, Kelly Yzique Zea and Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos

Women’s rights cannot be fully attained in the conditions of conflict and violence. And no society can call itself truly peaceful unless it has achieved gender equality, and ensured women’s meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels, including on peace and security. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) are two sets of groundbreaking laws that recognize the importance of women’s rights and women’s participation; and provide a set of standards for gender equality; women’s rights; and women’s meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels. There are strong synergies between these two sets of instruments, which – however – often remain underutilized.

The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) welcomes the signing of the Framework of Cooperation between the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW Committee) and the Office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC), which is an important step towards the strengthening of the synergies between CEDAW and WPS. Special Representative Pramila Patten and CEDAW Committee Chair Dalia Leinarte signed the Framework of Cooperation on July 20, 2018.

The Cooperation Agreement aims to advance the rights of women and girls by combating conflict-related sexual violence, supporting the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security/sexual violence in conflict (SCRs 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2331 (2016)) as a strategy to protect women and girls from the gendered scourge of conflict. The areas of collaboration under this agreement include:

1. Exchange of information regarding country situations under consideration by the Committee and those subject to visits and reports by the Committee and the SRSG-SVC.
2. Use of exceptional reports and visits to address concerns about violations of women’s human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations;
3. Effective use of opportunities for the advancement of the women, peace and security agenda including the use of various UN platforms such as the Arria Formula;
4. Holding panel discussions panels to take stock of the status of implementation of the various frameworks governing women, peace and security to improve synergies between the Committee and the SRSG-SVC’s mandates; and
5. Undertaking joint outreach activities to promote the work of both mandates including under CEDAW General Recommendation No. 30 (2013) on women in conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations and the Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security and sexual violence in conflict.

“This is a win-win cooperation between the CEDAW Committee and the SRSG-SVC and the women of the world,” says GNWP CEO Mavic Cabrera-Balleza. “The Cooperation Framework is an instrument that will foster coordination, coherence and concerted effort to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, particularly those affected by conflict-related sexual violence. It is a key contribution towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and the sustaining peace agenda as it is in line with the three pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights and development. Equally important, civil society will be able to use the Cooperation Framework as a tool to maximize overall accountability for women and girls’ rights in conflict,” Ms. Cabrera-Balleza explained further.

Since 2012, GNWP and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN with support from Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Directorate for International Law has actively promoted the use of CEDAW as a complementary accountability mechanism to the WPS resolutions. They have organized panel discussions on the synergies between the two sets of international instruments. In December 2016, GNWP worked closely with the Permanent Mission of Uruguay to support the convening of an Arria Formula meeting which brought together the CEDAW Committee and the Security Council to discuss the linkages between human rights and the women and peace and security agenda. At the meeting, the CEDAW Committee was urged to recommend concrete actions to Member States for the implementation of women’s human rights in conflict prevention and in conflict and post-conflict situations, including recommendations to non-conflict countries regarding extraterritorial obligations under CEDAW.

GNWP’s other initiatives in promoting the synergies between CEDAW and the WPS resolutions include a briefing to the Group of Friends of WPS; regional as well as country-specific trainings on the use of CEDAW for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the WPS resolutions; case studies, and a forthcoming policy brief.

The full statement from the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence is available here.

GNWP conducted a training on CEDAW GR 30 with Palestinian women’s rights activists and government representatives in Amman, Jordan in March 2018. Similar training workshops with women CSOs and government officials from Nepal and Yemen are also being planned.

From Building Awareness to Building Peace – Local Actors in Gagauzia, Moldova, Commit to Implement Women, Peace and Security Resolutions in their Communities

From Building Awareness to Building Peace – Local Actors in Gagauzia, Moldova, Commit to Implement Women, Peace and Security Resolutions in their Communities

August 15, 2018 by Shalini Medepalli

Editor: Agnieszka Fal Dutra-Santos

“Ordinary people and grassroots organizations need to better understand the position of the government, so that they can be part of Moldova’s overall objectives and implementation of the National Action Plan  Women, Peace and Security.” – said Oxana Allistratova, a former teacher who now runs ‘NGO Interaction’ based in Tiraspol, the capital of the separatist Transnistrian region.

Oxana’s organization promotes human rights, women’s participation, and protection for victims of domestic violence in the Transnistrian region. During the Localization of the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) 1325 workshop in Gagauzia, an autonomous region of Moldova bordering the Transnistrian region, she shared the challenges women and human rights defenders face across the administrative line, and the hope that the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda may contribute to addressing them. The workshop was organized by GNWP in partnership with Gender-Centru, Foreign Policy Association (APE) Moldova and the Moldovan State Bureau for Reintegration, and with support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

Oxana was one of several representatives of the Transnistrian civil society who attended the workshop. For two days – August 14 and 15, 2018 – they worked alongside civil society organizations from Gagauzia; local Gagauzian authorities; representatives of the Moldovan government; security sector and the media, to increase their understanding of UNSCR 1325, the supporting WPS resolutions, and the recently adopted Moldovan National Action Plan to implement them; and identify concrete actions to implement these policies in their local communities.

The importance of knowledge, awareness and education was one of the key issues consistently brought up by participants. For example, the need for government transparency; and for Romanian language to be taught throughout the country to facilitate communication, and provide equal opportunities to all, were some of the ideas that emerged from the discussions on the impact of conflict in Gagauzia and Tiraspol.

During the two-day workshop, national and international experts explained the history and content of the UNSCR 1325 and supporting resolutions; related regional policies, such as the EU Comprehensive Approach and EU Gender Action Plan; and the existing national policies and government commitments on women, peace and security—among other topics.  The participants also discussed the concept of gender, the impact of gender norms on the lives of women and men in Gagauzia, and the linkages between peace and security, development and good governance. The participants applied the knowledge they acquired to analyze the conflict in the Transnistrian region; its impacts, the needs of women and men; and identify concrete actions to address these needs, and implement the WPS resolutions. Civil society representatives from Georgia and Ukraine came to the workshop as part of GNWP’s Peace Exchange Program and shared their work in implementing the resolutions in their countries. This enabled the participants to analyze the similarities and differences between these countries’ contexts, and understand potential  obstacles and next steps forward.

The workshop allowed the participants to identify the gaps and challenges that still remain for gender equality and gender-sensitive security in Gagauzia and Transnistria. It also resulted in some concrete plans and commitments, and inspired hope. As Mavic Cabrera-Balleza put it in an interview following the workshop, “it is crucial for the local actors, not just those in the room, but in all of Gagauzia, to understand how local development plans are implemented; and how they can contribute. Only then that we can expect effective implementation.”

Cooperation for better security – national stakeholders in Moldova discuss next steps for UNSCR 1325 implementation

Cooperation for better security – national stakeholders in Moldova discuss next steps for UNSCR 1325 implementation

August 13, 2018 by Agnieszka Fal-Dutra Santos

“Security means different things to different people. Especially today, human security is crucial. The National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 is important because it brought together different actors and governmental institutions to ensure comprehensive, inclusive and sustainable peace in Moldova” – said Ms. Elena Marzac, the civil society coordinator for the NAP process in Moldova. Moldova adopted its first NAP on 27 April 2018 – an important achievement, especially in the context, in which the effects of the separatist armed conflict in 1990s are still felt, both in the complex political situation and in everyday lives of the citizens.

On August 13, 2018, GNWP in partnership with Gender-Centru, Foreign Policy Association (APE) Moldova and the Moldovan State Bureau for Reintegration, and with support from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), held a workshop aimed at identifying the next steps and strategies for the implementation of the NAP. The workshop brought together government officials from the key Ministries responsible for NAP implementation; civil society representatives, including from the separatist region of Transnistria; media representatives; and international partners, including UN Women and the Austrian Embassy.

The workshop included expert presentations on the latest global developments on the Women, Peace and Security agenda; the Localization as a strategy for NAP implementation; and the process, content and challenges related to the Moldovan NAP. The participants also listened to Localization accounts and experiences from the representatives of civil society in Georgia and Ukraine, who participated in the workshop as part of GNWP’s Peace Exchange program.

The knowledge gained through the presentations allowed the participants to identify key gaps and next steps needed to effectively implement the Moldovan NAP. These included using media and social media to promote positive images of women in the security sector; and establishing or strengthening reporting and accountability mechanisms for sexual harassment in security institutions. Moreover, by bringing together representatives of different sectors, the workshop reinforced the cooperation and coordination on the NAP implementation. As Ms.Valentina Bodrug, President of the Gender Centru concluded, “Everyone has to be involved in NAP implementation – government, civil society, international organizations and the media all have a role to play”.  The workshop brought Moldova one step closer to an effective, intersectoral implementation of UNSCR 1325.

 

Happy International Youth Day from the Girl Ambassadors for Peace!

 


 
 

On behalf of our Girl Ambassadors for Peace (GA4P) in Indonesia, Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we wish you a happy International Youth Day! GNWP and its partners are proud to support young women in peacebuilding!

 
For more info on the GA4P, please see: gnwp.org/program/girl-ambassadors-for-peace/
 

De la part de nos Filles ambassadrices pour la paix en Indonésie, Philippines et la République démocratique du Congo, on vous souhaite une belle Journée internationale de la jeunesse! GNWP et ses partenaires sont fiers(ères) d’appuyer les jeunes femmes dans le maintien de la paix!
 
Pour plus d’info concernant le programme, veuillez communiquer avec Katrina Leclerc à katrina@gnwp.org
 
Last updated: August 12, 2018