South Sudan Localizes UNSCR 1325 & 1820

South Sudan Localizes UNSCR 1325 & 1820

Juba, May 11, 2015 – In partnership with South Sudanese local authorities and civil society, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) is currently conducting localization workshops in Yei and Torit counties in South Sudan.

The Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program initiated by GNWP is a bottom up approach that convenes local government authorities, indigenous leaders, traditional leaders, civil society and other local leaders to raise awareness and formulate strategies for practical implementation of the of UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 on Women, Peace and Security and the National Action Plan (NAP) where they exist.

Localization complements the efforts of governments, civil society and other national actors and ensures that the Women and Peace and Security (WPS) resolutions-and NAPs-are owned and carried out at the local level. It guarantees the alignment and harmonization of local, national, regional and international policies and community-driven strategies to ensure local ownership and participation.

Currently, South Sudan has a draft NAP but with no corresponding budget and is yet to be presented to the Cabinet Council. South Sudanese civil society actors believe that it is now more than ever that the NAP is needed. They see it as an important instrument that could institutionalize women’s participation in peacebuilding and political processes including elections and constitution building. It can also systematize the information sharing on the peace process and other important decisions taken at the national government. Many local authorities and civil society have expressed concern that there is very limited information that reaches them even on issues that affect them directly such as peace and security in their communities. Since the NAP is in limbo at the national level, the Localization program appears to be the best catalyst to move the process forward.

The peace process that is being facilitated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has stalled since March 2015. The South Sudan government operates with limited capacity and reports indicate that salaries of civil servants are not being paid on a regular basis. There is a fuel shortage, food scarcity and growing inflation. Fighting also continues in some states including Unity and Upper Nile.

In Yei, South Sudan, members of civil society organizations (CSOs) and local government officials committed to formulate by-laws (local legislation) that support the NAP adoption and implementation.

During the Localization workshop in Yei County, all participants expressed personal commitments to move the implementation forward. Representatives from the Block Education Office promised to disseminate key information to their superiors and co-workers. Religious leaders from different faiths agreed to share the importance of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 with their congregations as well. Many of the male participants committed to inform their wives and children about their rights in accordance with the pillars of UNSCR 1325. Moreover, those with children agreed to divide household chores evenly instead of by traditional gender roles, teaching boys that it is normal for them to cook, clean and do the laundry.

GNWP’s work on the Localization program in South Sudan is supported by the  Austrian Development Cooperation. Additional support for the work of Eve Organization for Women Development is provided by Cordaid.

GNWP is also proud to announce that while in South Sudan, the adaptation and replication of the Girl Ambassadors for Peace Program will take place in Torit, South Sudan. The pilot program was implemented in South Kivu, DRC in June 2014. GNWP and its partner organizations Generation in Action and Eve Organization for Women Development will facilitate a leadership and peacebuilding training for young women and girls.

The objectives of the Girl Ambassador for Peace program focus on increasing literacy rates, developing leadership skills among young women and girls, and peacebuilding. Channel Foundation supports GNWP’S Girl Ambassador for Peace program in South Sudan.