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.
- 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. ↩