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Towards More Effective Women in Decision making Training on UNSCR 1325 Advocacy and Implementation in South Sudan

June 27 – 29, 2012; South Sudan Hotel, Juba

By Selamawit Tesfaye

Operation 1325 of Sweden and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders in partnership with the Eve Foundation co-facilitated the workshop on 1325 National Action planning in South Sudan among civil society organizations and some government representatives from June 27-29, 2012. The training workshop was opened by her Excellency Hon. Dr Betty Achan Ogwaro, National Minister for Agriculture and Forestry. She welcomed all the participants and acknowledged that the training workshop is a timely endeavor in light of the situation of women in South Sudan. Participants comprised of mainly CSO representatives but there were also some from the government and other sectors such as the Juba University.

The training started with the basic introduction on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 which was warmly received by almost all participants because even if most of them were already involved in work related on the issue of women peace and security they didn’t have any knowledge of the existence and content of the women peace and security resolutions. In fact, most of them were surprised at the existence of such a detailed legal framework for the inclusion of women’s issues in the area of peace and security.

In the discussions that ensued, participants were given the topic The role of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan and asked to do a mock Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on the issue. Most of them reflected their dissatisfaction and how they are there to create jobs rather than creating peace. They also pointed out that the Mission does not engage with the Civil Society within the country and cited an incident where women mobilized and went to talk to the peacekeepers but were not allowed to even enter the compound to have the necessary discussion with the relevant authorities. “Peacekeeping? What peace are they keeping?”, was a common sentiment expressed among most of the participants in the FGDs.

Another important development that came out of this training workshop was the proposal to form a CSO Steering Committee that will undertake the necessary steps for the South Sudan 1325 NAP process which will be coordinated by EVE Foundation. On the other hand, there will also be a NAP 1325 Steering Committee or Consortium composed of the Peace Commission; the Ministry of Gender; CSOs; donors; and UN agencies. The Hon. Minister of Agriculture Betty Ogwaro was requested to serve as Convener of the Steering Committee/Consortium. The Ministry of Gender will be requested to serve as the Secretariat. Then, a Training of Trainers (TOT) will be conducted to increase the level of awareness on the resolutions in South Sudan as well as to close the capacity gap on the issue. Consultations are also planned at a national level to get the required information for the drafting of the NAP and then have it validated and approved.

For now all the parties have identified the steps and are willing to work together on having a NAP adopted for South Sudan. Their dedication and willingness to get engaged on the issue was very touching and inspiring. Let’s hope that a NAP for South Sudan becomes a reality very soon as it will be a groundbreaking initiative in the current peace and reconstruction processes in the country.

Localization of SCR 1325 and 1820 in the Philippines

By Kristine Lim Ang

The successful implementation of localization and capacity building workshops on United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 in the Philippines in 2011 led the Global Network on Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) to conduct follow-up workshops, and introduce a new series of workshops in the country, between March 2012 and October 2012. In partnership with Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) and a number of other civil society groups and relevant government agencies, GNWP conducted follow-up workshops with municipal and barangay (village) officials and community-based organizations in the province of Real, Quezon from March 20 to 21, 2012, and with the aleemat and local government officials in Mindanao in collaboration with the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) and Noorus Salam on October 5, 2012. With the goal of reaching out to more local government officials and community-based organizations to advance the implementation of the Philippine NAP on UNSCR 1325 and 1820, a new series of workshops was conducted by GNWP and its partner organizations in the following cities / municipalities: Calbiga, Samar – March 23 – 24, 2012; Marawi City, Lanao del Sur – April 2 – 3, 2012; Tabuk, Kalinga – April 12 – 13, 2012; and Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija – May 3, 2012.

The workshops featured discussions on UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions, the Philippine National Action Plan (P-NAP) on 1325, the Philippine peace and security situation, the development in the peace talks, women’s participation, as well as sessions on integrating provisions of the Philippine NAP on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 into barangay / municipal / provincial development plans. GNWP International Coordinator Ms. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza and WeAct 1325 Coordinator / Associate Director of Miriam College’s Center for Peace Education Ms. Jasmin Nario-Galace served as the main facilitators in the workshops, while representatives from different government agencies were invited to discuss the local peace and security situation, peace agenda and the local development planning process of their respective municipalities. As this local legislation and 1325 project is also being implemented in other countries such as Burundi, Colombia, Nepal and Sierra Leone, the participation of three members of Nepali Peace Support Working Group, namely Saathi President Ms. Bandana Rana, Secretary of the Nepali Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction Mr. Dhruba Prasad Sharma, and Joint Secretary of the Nepali Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction Mr. Sadhu Ram Sapkota in the local legislation and 1325 training workshop in Tabuk, Kalinga was part of the multi-country strategy of a South-South exchange which aims to foster a cross-learning component.

While “forging partnerships” with local government units, local women’s organizations and CSOs and other local leaders to ensure that all local actors are fully involved in the implementation of the National Action Plan on 1325 was the main focus of the workshop series, its desired outcome is the integration of the proposed legislations (Sangguniang Bayan / Panlalawigan Resolutions) crafted by the participants themselves during the workshops in the development plans of their respective communities to ensure the sustained implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 at the local level.

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