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Why UN Security Council Resolution 1325 Critical
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What is Resolution 1325? When was it passed? A group of senior journalists were stunned last Tuesday November 25 at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre when they were asked about United Nation Security Council Resolution 1325.

As the world marks 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence from November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day, Ghanaians need to reflect on resolution 1325.

The KAIPTC in collaboration with the Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI), therefore organized a forum aimed at providing opportunity for the media to reflect on its role in raising awareness, and the monitoring of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related WPS resolutions.

Ghana News Agency information indicates that in 2000, the United Nations Security Council formally acknowledged through the creation of Resolution 1325 the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes.

Role women play in Conflict Management

UNSCR 1325 therefore seeks to addresses not only the inordinate impact of war on women, but also the pivotal role women should and do play in conflict management, conflict resolution, and sustainable peace.

The experiences of men and women in war are different. In these differences, women offer a vital perspective in the analysis of conflict as well as providing strategies toward peacebuilding that focus on creating ties across opposing factions and increasing the inclusiveness, transparency, and sustainability of peace processes.

Peacebuilding requires an awareness of how men and women together can better contribute to sustainable peace and security.

Ms C Pat Alsup, Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy stated at the forum that 14 years after the passage of Resolution 1325, more than 35 per cent out of approximately 125,000 peace-keepers are women, participating fully in peace-keeping operations.

“We recognize and salute Ghana for being one of the top five nations contributing female uniformed personnel in peace-keeping operations, with a total of 167 female Ghana Armed Forces soldiers and 85 police officers,” she said.

She said there is however much work to be done in achieving gender equality both domestically and internationally, and called for collaborative roles amongst all, especially the media, projecting international policy and law for women.

“As half of those who bear the brunt of war and conflict, women also play a vital role in creating and maintaining conditions for stability and peace,” she added.

The Four Pillars of Resolution 1325

Resolution 1325 has changed the way the international community thinks about peace and security. The main agenda is not to make war safe for women, but to structure peace in a way that there is no recurrence of war and conflict.

Resolution 1325 has four “pillars” that support the goals of the Resolution, which are: Participation, Protection, Prevention, and Relief and Recovery.

Resolution 1325 calls for increased participation of women at all levels of decision-making, including in national, regional, and international institutions; in mechanisms for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict; in peace negotiations; in peace operations, as soldiers, police, and civilians; and as Special Representatives of the U.N. Secretary-General.

It also calls specifically for the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, including in emergency and humanitarian situations, such as in refugee camps.

Resolution 1325 calls for improving intervention strategies in the prevention of violence against women, including by prosecuting those responsible for violations of international law; strengthening women’s rights under national law; and supporting local women’s peace initiatives and conflict resolution processes.

Resolution 1325 calls for advancement of relief and recovery measures to address international crises through a gendered lens, including by respecting the civilian and humanitarian nature of refugee camps, and taking into account the particular needs of women and girls in the design of refugee camps and settlements.

The Security Council has tasked U.N. Member States to continue to implement Resolution 1325 through the development of National Action Plans (NAP) or other national level strategies. This NAP process assists countries in identifying priorities and resources, determining their responsibilities, and committing to action.

There are four follow-up Resolutions that provide support for Resolution 1325 and concrete areas for implementation. These three Resolutions are: Resolution 1820 (2008), Resolution 1888 (2009), Resolution 1889 (2009), and Resolution 1960 (2010).

Passed in 2008, Resolution 1820 recognizes that conflict-related sexual violence is a tactic of warfare, and calls for the training of troops on preventing and responding to sexual violence, deployment of more women to peace operations, and enforcement of zero-tolerance policies for peacekeepers with regards to acts of sexual exploitation or abuse.

Passed in 2009, Resolution 1888 strengthens the implementation of Resolution 1820 by calling for leadership to address conflict-related sexual violence, deployment of teams (military and gender experts) to critical conflict areas, and improved monitoring and reporting on conflict trends and perpetrators.

Passed in 2009, Resolution 1889 addresses obstacles to women’s participation in peace processes and calls for development of global indicators to track the implementation of Resolution 1325, and improvement of international and national responses to the needs of women in conflict and post-conflict settings.

Passed in December 2010, Resolution 1960 calls for an end to sexual violence in armed conflict, particularly against women and girls, and provides measures aimed at ending impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence, including through sanctions and reporting measures.

Major General Obed Akwa, Commandant of KAIPTC, drew attention to the persistent gap between policy and action with regards to the role and contributions of women to peace processes and their representation in leadership.

He said although it could be said that women had made some significant gains since the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women and the platform for Action, the level of women’s participation in peace processes had remained low.

Dr Izeduwa Derex-Briggs, Country Representative, UNWOMEN, South Sudan, observed that women issues needed to be at the centre of all policy formulation, and called for concerted efforts amongst all stakeholders, to efficiently help promote women issues, as it was an essential commodity for a country’s development.

As we mark the 16 Days of activism let’s focus little more on women dimensions of issues.
Source: GNA

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