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The time for impact is now! GAI and WPS

The time for impact is now! Global Acceleration Instrument for Women, Peace and Security (GAI WPS) holds promise for dedicated, scaled up financing for the urgent implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

 

November 17, 2014, New York, USA -Armed conflicts rage devastatingly across the world, with women and girls continuing to bear the brunt of their impacts.  As the United Nations prepares for the 15-year anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, a groundbreaking international law that recognizes the gendered impact of conflict and women’s critical roles as peacebuilders and agents of change, demands for improved implementation resound, with calls for predictable and sustained financing at the forefront.

 

In this light, UN Member States, such as Japan and Sierra Leone, civil society representatives, UN Women, and the UN Peacebuilding Support Office met in New York on October 29, 2014 to discuss the establishment of the Global Acceleration Instrument on Women and Peace and Security, a time-bound (5-year), multi-stakeholder financing mechanism dedicated to accelerating the implementation of UNSCR 1325.

 

A concrete contribution to global efforts to ensure full implementation of the WPS agenda, the Global Acceleration Instrument will aim to address shortfalls in predictable funding. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development recently reported that “despite the call for a strengthened focus on women in fragile and conflict situations, the amounts of gender equality focused aid to peace and security over time have remained low…[with a] very small proportion [having] gender equality as a principal objective.”[1]

 

Expanding on the traditional architecture of multi-donor trust funds, the Global Acceleration Instrument will feature a democratic and multi-stakeholder governance and decision-making structure, with civil society organizations, conflict affected and donor Member States, the UN and, potentially, the private sector represented on equal footing. Funding will be flexible, responsive, and robust and will be made available to governments and CSOs, with a focus on ensuring accessibility to women’s rights groups at the forefront of advancing the WPS agenda.

 

Drawing on the varied expertise of the Women, Peace, and Security Financing Discussion Group (the WPS FDG) – a recently formed group comprised of conflict affected and donor Member States, civil society, and UN entities with expertise in financing – the Global Acceleration Instrument will also offer technical and programmatic support to existing funds, donors, and partners in tracking financing for implementation of the WPS agenda to improve reporting, and support coordination efforts among funding sources.  Moreover, the Global Acceleration Instrument will act as a collective platform for knowledge and experience exchange and generation of innovative ideas to address financing challenges and ensure transparent resource generation, usage, and management. Capitalizing on the momentum of the 15th anniversary of UNSCR 1325, the WPSF FDG aims to launch the Global Acceleration Instrument in October 2015, recognizing the importance of the 15 -year review, while underscoring the need for action.

 

For questions or more information, please contact Dewi Suralaga Dewi.Suralaga@cordaid.nl or Mavic Cabrera-Balleza mavic.gnwp@gmail.com

Women Speak Out for Peace Global Media Campaign Starts Today!

Women Speak Out for Peace Global Media Campaign Starts Today!

We are happy to announce the 2nd Annual Global Media Campaign “Women Speak Out for Peace” that the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) is organizing to commemorate the International Day of Peace.The campaign begins today, Monday, 15th September 2014, and will last until Sunday, 21st September 2014. The campaign aims to change the dominant image of women in media’s coverage of war and conflict from that of victims, into agents of change, peacebuilders and decision-makers.

The campaign will bring together women and men, girls and boys from around the world, who will raise their voice and speak out for peace. Peace and human rights activists from more than 30 countries will send out messages about women’s role in peacebuilding, reconstruction and nation building on radio and television, newspapers, as well as the social media and mobile technology. They will share their stories of everyday peacebuilding and raise awareness about the UN Security Council Resolutions1325 and 1820 on Women, Peace and Security.

GNWP will complement the Global Media Campaign by sharing the various media messages during the International Day of Peace Symposium on Friday, 19th September at the UN Church Center in New York. In addition, the media messages will be integrated in the discussions during the Symposium and influence the ongoing global policy processes, such as the Post-2015 development agenda, the Beijing +20 Review, the Security Council High Level Review, and the preceding Global Study of 1325 implementation.

Please follow GNWP on Facebook and Twitter to receive campaign updates, re-post and re-tweet messages. Please use the hashtags #WomPeaceMedia, #Makes4Peace, #JustPeaceJustDevelopment, #PeaceDay when you tweet.

Please contact Agnieszka Fal <agnieszka.gnwp@gmail.com> for more information.

Localizing UNSCR 1325 in Liberia

January 2014

by Cerue Konah Garlo and Helena Gronberg

With financial support from the Folke Bernadotte Academy of Sweden through The Global Network for Women Peacebuilder (GNWP) a team of ten women set out to test the power of UNSCR 1325 in two counties/provinces (Bong and Grand Bassa) in Liberia. Using a model referred to as the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820, developed by the Global Network for Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) the training targeted sixty (60) local leaders from seven districts.

The localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 includes a capacity building training, which in Liberia was done over a period of six (6) days, three (3) days in each location. It included 60 Customary Chiefs, Religious Leaders, Police Officers, civil society leaders, youth and community radio station managers. 26 of the 60 participants were women. The intent of the localization program was to expose local communities’ authorities to UNSCR1325 and the Liberia National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 (LNAP) and encourage them to reflect on the possibilities of including some of the key areas of the LNAP into their own local development plans.

As Liberia is highly a patriarchic society the most difficult task the team thought they would face was discussing with traditional authorities issues that generally are seen as “women’s issues” .  The training included topics such as conflict analysis, the status of peace and security for women in Liberia, introduction of UNSCRs 1325 and 1820 and the link between them, the role of Government, including local authorities and civil society in implementing the Resolution, Decentralization Policy -Linking to UNSCR 1325 and Decentralization and local Governance.

As the sessions advanced, the resolution became clearer to most of the participants, but what was astonishing was that the entire group identified sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexual and gender-based violence, lack of women’s participation in decision making at the community level, denial of women’s property rights, teen pregnancy, election violence (which leads to low number of women’ participation) as paramount concerns in their communities. The participants in †he trainings were comprised of two sets of communities –local government actors and non-state actors, such as civil society organizations, traditional leaders, and independent media. All agreed that used as an advocacy instrument UNSCR 1325 is the best tool to address the current problems in their communities.

In order to concretize their work, each local community developed a Local Action Plan to address their specific issues related to women peace and security.  In addition to the action plans, participants made individual and group commitments; some of the commitments were as simple as informing their communities about UNSCR 1325 and its content. For example, one of the communities implemented their group’s commitment by holding an evening talk show on one of the community radio stations during which they highlighted the training and talked about the roles of state actors and non state actors in the implementation of UNSCR 1325. They stressed the need for ownership of the action plans and to make sure the plans are implemented.

All of the participants were people with authority at the community and local government level. However, due to the fact that all decisions concerning development (e.g. budget allocations, county development plans, health etc.) emulate from Monrovia – the seat of the government – the decision making power of the local authorities is limited.  The trainings were timely however,  as Liberia, in an effort to decentralize the government, has drafted a Local Government Act (LGA). According to the Act, the local government will have a diverse structure comprised of the Local County Council (12 elected persons) and County Administration (Superintendent, County Administrative Officer, Finance Officer, Development Officer and Department Heads). This structure – if implemented – will provide the opportunity for local government workers and community members to jointly manage their own affairs and implement the plans of the county.

At the close of the training in Grand Bassa, the Superintendent of the country, Hon. Etweda Cooper ensured her administration’s backing: “I will monitor each one of you and make sure that these plans are implemented to the fullest. I am one of the brains behind the development of the Liberia National Action Plan and we must make sure it is owned by the communities and local officials of government,” she said.

As part of her commitment, the Superintendent promised to place on the agenda of the monthly County Meeting (comprise of UN Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, INGO and local authorities) the issues of the development of the action plans of UNSCR1325 and 1820 at the local government level, and to lobby for funding for the implementation of the plans. She encouraged the local authorities to take ownership of the process. Similarly, a meeting with the Superintendents of the fifteen (15) sub political divisions in the country will serve as a supportive and driving force for the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820.

The bottom-up approach of the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program has proved to bring communities together. Stakeholders that normally would not sit at the same table come together to discuss challenges in their communities and strategize to bring about change.

GNWP and its members in Liberia thank the Folke Bernadotte Academy of Sweden and Cordaid for supporting  this program in Liberia.

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

 

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.

 


Notes:

  1. 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. 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.

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