Category: GNWP Blog

Category: GNWP Blog

Highlights from Meetings During the 14th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325 in New York, NY

Women Redefining the Terms of Peace Negotiations: shared experiences and next steps towards just and sustainable peace in Colombia and South Sudan; Negotiating a Better Peace Meeting

 

November 28, 2014, New York, USA –MrGeir O. Pedersen, Ambassador of Norway, moderated the Women Redefining the Terms of Peace Negotiations meeting at the United Nations on Friday, October 31. Panelists included Ambassador Maria Emma Mejia of Columbia; Elizabeth Rehm; GNWP members, Gloria Tobón Olarte from Columbia; Rosa Emilia Salamanca from Colombia; Priscilla Nyanyang from South Sudan; and Rita Martin from South Sudan.

Ms. Tobón Olarte spoke about the impact of conflict on the lives of Colombian women. She explained that women have played a significant role in the peace process, and noted that complex political dynamics exist in Colombia. She talked about high levels of violence and human rights abuses that continue to plague the country, detailing that women and girls feel less secure in their daily lives because of gangs and trafficking of drugs in urban areas.

Ms. Salamanca explained that women have made great advancements regarding the pursuit of best political practices in Colombia. She noted that the women’s movement established the negotiating party, facilitated a summit with the international community and pushed for greater participation on panels. Though women continue to be marginalized. She concluded by emphasizing the need to engage in dialogue and focus on issues from a multilevel perspective, beyond grass roots organizations.

Priscilla Nyanyang of South Sudan discussed current struggles regarding power-sharing issues post-independence. She focused on the conflict that has continued for almost a year, explaining that the Genesis SPLM party disagrees with succession. Moreover, the country does not have one cohesive army. Instead, it has a combination of militias. Though the peace process started immediately, Ms. Nyanyang explained that the situation has been complicated by Kenyan and Sudanese interest in building a pipeline that would run through Kenya or Djibouti. Additionally, the large immigrant population that resides in South Sudan has proven problematic. She believes that South Sudan lacks a national agenda, power-sharing is unclear and citizens have not bought in to the system. Ms. Nyanyang concluded by discussing the disruption of planning the highly anticipated 2015 Elections because of persistent issues surrounding governance, presidential powers, security, and demobilization.

Rita Martin of South Sudan discussed the Addis Ababa peace process, specifically the negotiating process. Numerous international mediators and three special envoys participated, but the process was not South Sudan led, which created problems. Those involved did not agree on issues such as creating a federalism system, or the mandate for the transitional government and length of the process. She expressed that a lack of trust exists among the parties involved. The move from Addis Ababa to Arusha complicated the process because it shifted the focus from stakeholders to interparty issues; it is no longer an SPLM issue. Many people have been killed and displaced; there is a need for accountability, distribution of power, justice and impunity. But those goals are disappearing now that the parties are focused on power-sharing and terms of office.

 

Negotiating a Better Peace Meeting

GNWP members also met on Friday, October 31, to discuss the ICAN Tool “Negotiating a Better Peace,” which is currently in a draft version. The goal of this document is to offer concepts and strategies that will make the peace process more inclusive. The first section includes a due diligence checklist that will help organizations in assessing where, how, and if they should participate in the process. The second section focuses on how to take a stance, provide technical assistance for acquiring visas, permission, and also enable participation and practical application. The ICAN Tool focuses on post-violence issues and offers a roadmap to organizations interested in peacebuilding.

Members had the opportunity to share ideas and give input regarding content and language of the document. Additionally, emphasis was placed on ensuring that when translating the final document into different languages, the authors take into account that concepts or phrases in English might not be interpreted in the same manner in another language. Concluding that tailoring the document for each country will be necessary.

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This blog does not necessarily represent the views of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. Please contact the writer for questions and comments. lori.gnwp@gmail.com

By Lori Perkovich, Research and Advocacy Intern, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders

WPS FDG Book Launch and Reception October 29, 2014 at UN Women

November 21, 2014, New York, USA –GNWP members attended the WPS FDG Book Launch and Reception on October 29, 2014 at UN Women headquarters. The GNWP and Cordaid publication –
Financing for the Implementation of National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325: Critical for Advancing Women’s Human Rights, Peace and Security, addresses lack of funding. It examines financing for 42 NAPs and offers case studies from Burundi, Chile, Nepal, the Netherlands, Philippines and Sierra Leone.

Sarah Douglas of UN Women introduced Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy; Ms. Akinyi Walender, Director of Women Leadership at Cordaid; and Mr. Christian Ngendahimana of Fontaine-ISOKO, who all addressed the crowd before the festivities began.

All Speakers acknowledged the lack of funding and the need to increase women’s participation in the peace process. Ms. Puri said that she “is alarmed at the lack of funding for NAPs” and noted that women should not be an afterthought post conflict. Christian Ngendahimana discussed placing more of an emphasis on WPS. He further explained that problems exist with strategies for implementation, and that countries require outside support.

Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, lead author of the 2015 Women Peace and Security Global Study, discussed financing. She said that the independent women’s movement was once well funded but it is different today. She believes that dedicated funding is necessary for successful implementation.

After short addresses, the reception began…

The GNWP Speakers Workshop on Sunday, October 26th kicked off a week of events focusing on the 14th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325

November 20, 2014, New York, USA -GNWP members, staff and partners spent Sunday, October 26, 2014 at the GNWP, New York office preparing for a week of events associated with the 14th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325. Members had an opportunity to reconnect with each other and also meet members for the first time.

Panelists included Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, Monique Stummers (Cordaid) and facilitator Tuomas Hiltunen. Mavic presented information regarding UNSCR 1325 and described what members could expect in the week ahead. Mr. Hiltunen illustrated to the group the components necessary for a persuasive presentation, and Ms. Stummers presented tips on social media.

The social media discussion on advocacy for women, peace and security spurred a great exchange that illuminated some of the challenges involved in rolling out programs country to country. One of the lessons learned — even in the case of social media, each situation is unique. For instance, some groups might struggle with limited Internet access, while others might not be able to use apps because tablets or iPhones are not available in their area. This highlighted the importance of being mindful that what might work in Colombia, might not be a good solution for Democratic Republic of Congo.

The main objective of the workshop was to enhance the skills of the civil society actors present, in order to deliver and disseminate their advocacy messages in the most effective manner. Members learned practical tips and had an opportunity to fine-tune speeches by practicing in small groups and receiving feedback. This gave the group time to prepare their public presentations for the global policy community, including panel discussions, bilateral meetings with policy makers, UN entities, international civil society groups and donors.

Tips for Persuasive Presentations:

  • Preparation for your voice: drink water and have enough sleep
  • Use the full range of your voice when speaking
  • Preparation is important for giving a speech or performing advocacy and lobbying work
  • Write your speech, speak it, and highlight key words
  • Make the beginning and end of your speech strong; that is what people will remember
  • Know the audience: check linkedin profiles, you may have contacts in common
  • Communication is key
  • First 30 seconds are crucial in order to make an impression
  • Show appreciation: always thank donors, partners and hosts
  • Believe in yourself: be proud and confident

 

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By Lori Perkovich, Research and Advocacy Intern, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.

This blog does not necessarily represent the views of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. Please contact the writer for questions and comments. lori.gnwp@gmail.com

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.