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Japan develops its National Action Plan on Resolution 1325

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.