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Understanding United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325

On October 31, 2000 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution on Women, Peace and Security.

 

The Resolution calls for:

  • participation of women in peace processes
  • gender training in peacekeeping operations
  • protection of women and girls and respect for their rights
  • gender mainstreaming in the reporting and implementation
  • systems of the United Nations relating to conflict, peace and security

A Security Council resolution is a commitment made by the United Nations and Members states to take action on specific issues. States are expected to comply and work towards implementation.

 

Women's organizations and peace groups around the world are working to hold governments accountable for the commitments they made in Resolution 1325.

 

To address these four areas of action, the resolution identifies 18 steps to be taken by the United Nations Secretary General, the Security Council, Member States and all parties to armed conflict.

  •  increase women's participation at decision-making levels in conflict resolution and peace processes
  • appoint more women at senior levels & involve more women in UN field missions as military observers, civilian police, human rights and humanitarian officers
  • provide gender training guidelines and materials on the protection, rights and needs of women and girls
  • carry out a UN study on the impact of armed conflict on women and girls, the role of women in peace-building, the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution ensure that all civilian personnel of peacekeeping operations receive gender sensitive training
  • increase women's representation at all decision-making levels

Resolution 1325 calls on UN Member States, to:

  • fund and provide support for gender sensitive training end impunity and prosecute those responsible for genocide crimes and gender-based violence
  • make HIV/AIDS awareness training programmes available to military and civilian police
  • respect international law on the rights and protection of women and girls
  • take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence
  • pay attention to the needs of women and girls in conflict, peace and security
  • adopt measures to support local women's peace initiatives involve women in all stages of peace processes

http://www.peacewomen.org/un/UN1325/CombinedRecommendations.html

 

This fact sheet was produced from information made available by the Gender and Peacebuilding Working group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee.

 

Through the unanimous adoption of the UNSC Resolution 1325, titled Women, Peace and Security the UN Security Council has recognised the relevance of women's experiences of conflict to its peace and security mandate, and it engages the Security Council in advancing women's rights in conflict resolution and peace processes and ensuring that the gender dimensions of peace processes and conflict resolution are incorporated at all times.

 

It should be noted that in June 2006, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat hosted the 2006 Gender, Conflict Peace and Security Regional Workshop1 immediately preceding the annual Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Committee meeting (FSRC) organized by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in collaboration with AusAID, UNDP Pacific Sub-Regional Centre, (PSRC), UNIFEM Pacific, the International Women's Development Agency (IWDA), and femLINKpacific, which provided an important opportunity to finally place UNSCR1325 onto the inter-government regional security agenda.

 

The workshop culminated with high-level endorsement by participants from all 16 Pacific Island Forum Countries, including Australia and New Zealand, in recognition of the responsibility of Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) member governments, regional organisations and multilateral bodies to uphold women's rights and support their participation in all aspects of conflict prevention, peace negotiations, and post conflict reconstruction.

 

The regional outcome statement and recommendations emphasized the need to strengthen partnerships between National Women's Machineries, government portfolios which deal with issues of security (e.g. Foreign Affairs, Law Enforcement, Military) women's peace activists, the broader civil society, regional and international organisations and the donor community, to build political will through the development of national action plans to accelerate full implementation of Resolution 1325 and concretize all relevant gender equality and human rights commitments for sustainable peace and security in the region through the development of practical and time bound action plans to assist all stakeholders contribute to the implementation of Resolution 1325.

 

The regional workshop also provided an important platform for the reformulation of a UNSCR 1325 action plan for Fiji by participating stakeholders including - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Women, femLINKpacific, Soqosoqo Vakamarama I Taukei, ECREA, Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Fiji Police Force. All stakeholders agreed that there was an important need for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to assist in further advancing the implementation to date, of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Fiji, which primarily has been through women's NGO initiatives, as it is the key government agency responsible for ensuring compliance of UN Security Council Resolutions.

 

Furthermore, in October 2006, in the Pacific Forum Statement during the UN Security Council Open Debate on UNSCR 1325, H.E. MR ROBERT G. AISI AMBASSADOR /PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE PERMANENT MISSION OF PAPUA   NEW GUINEA TO THE UNITED NATIONS, not only acknowledged the  contributions of the women's peace movement in our region, but also noted:  "...that efforts to implement UNSCR 1325 in the Pacific are part of a long-term commitment of Pacific Governments in particular through the Biketawa Declaration which mandates the Pacific Islands Forum to respond to issues of security at a regional level and reiterates the belief in the liberty of the individual under the law; in the equality of rights for all citizens regardless of gender, race, color, creed or political belief; and in the individual's inalienable right to participate by means of a free and democratic political process in framing the society in which he or she lives. Moreover, the landmark Pacific Plan, adopted by Pacific Island Leaders in October 2005, adopted a broad definition of security to include human security as one of four priority goals for the region, and included a crosscutting strategic objective to improve gender equality"

 

Introduction to CEDAW:

 

Often described as the international bill of rights for women, it is the human rights treaty devoted exclusively to gender equality, establishing legal standards for the achievement of gender equality through the elimination of discrimination against women and ensuring equality for women in all aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

 

Subsequently, SC Resolution 1325 and CEDAW share a common gender equality agenda. They both demand women's full participation in decision-making at national, regional and international levels as a critical component in the achievement of gender equality. With these commonalities, SC resolution 1325 and CEDAW together fortify demands that commitments to gender equality and women's human rights in conflict and post conflict environments require the comprehensive participation and integration of women's experiences, expertise and social and economic realities must be taken into account in any process to return Fiji to parliamentary democracy, as well as ensure a process by which women can contribute to any inquiries and putting an end to our culture of conflicts.

 

Other gender equality commitments worth noting include:

 

1) Beijing Platform for Action (1995): Highlights 12 global commitments including  addressing issues of women in (Section E) Women in Armed Conflict, (Section G) Women in Power and Decision Making and (Section J) Women and the Media

 

2) Revised Pacific Platform for Action (2004) - highlights 8 critical emerging issues for the Pacific region: Poverty Eradication, Globalization and Trade Liberalisation, HIV/AIDS, Labour Migration, Peace and Security, Tradition and Religion, Media, Information, Communication and Technology and the Millennium Development Goals

 

3) The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Gender Equality (2005 - 2015) has four priority areas - Democracy, Peace and Conflict; Human Rights and the Law; Poverty Eradication and Economic Empowerment and Gender and HIV/AIDS

 

4) Millennium Development Goals

 

A Global Perspective:

 

Women's organizations and peace groups around the world are working to hold governments accountable for the commitments they made in Resolution 1325.

 

The transition from violent conflict to peace is a pivotal moment.

 

It opens a unique window of opportunity in which institutions, structures and relationships within society can be transformed and the root causes of violent conflict can be analyzed and addressed.

 

Women's active involvement and the articulation of gender equality at this critical stage of transitional governance are vital. Yet women remain largely excluded from participation in formal peace processes, and are thus denied their basic human right and need to take part in the decisions that will set the course for their country's future.

 

Although a few women have been able to participate in the various peace talks in different capacities over the past decade, it is not yet common practice for women to be full and equal participants alongside men at every stage of the process, including implementation. Nor can the integration of a gender perspective in the negotiation and implementation of the peace accords be taken for granted.

 

Why involve women?

 

Experience has shown that when women are not present to raise the concerns and issues that most affect them, which are often issues central to society as a whole, these tend to be overlooked in formal discussions and agreements.

 

It is women's right as citizens - and as human beings - to participate alongside men, to contribute to national solutions and to shape the destiny of their country. Furthermore, there is an international mandate that recognizes that right and requires it to be respected.

 

Women also bring a wealth of practical knowledge and experience. Around Fiji, women have laboured to build and maintain peace at the community level.

 

Through their understanding of the challenges faced by civilian populations and the most effective ways to address them, women can improve the prospects for sustainable peace.

 

Women's involvement is necessary to ensure the legitimacy of the decision-making process, to encourage a broad base of participation and to make sustainable peace and development possible.

Thinking Globally and Acting Locally - UNSC Resolution 1325 in the Fiji Context:

 

What Kind of Peace do we mean?

 

Our Vision for Sustainable Peace is one that brings an end to the coup cycles by:

a) Informing and Defining a shared and more humane, more inclusive human security and human development agenda

b) Encouraging implementation of the findings of the Peace, Stability, Development Analysis

c) The implementation of the proposed Commission of Inquiry for Truth, Justice and Resolution

d) Ensuring, in all formal processes, the equal participation of knowledgeable and skilled women from the different fields of the broader peace and security sector

 

What the United Nation Security Council Resolution 1325 mean to us:

* Encouraging

* Recognizing

* Appreciating

* Acknowledging

* Unique

 

* The unique contribution of women to peace building in this time of transition

* Women provide trauma healing and peace building skills and ensuring gender dimensions to consider the impact of their behaviour on women including their families.

* Addressing the different needs of women, young women, children in the building of safe and peaceful communities.

* To consider the impact of policy formation and implementation on men, women, boys and girls

 

What Are Women Doing?

 

femLINKpacific is pleased to introduce the following participants and share their innovations for peace and security in Fiji:

 

Catholic Women's League: Since 2000, as one of the largest grassroots networks in Fiji, and a member of the National Council of Women Fiji, we have initiated as well as assisted in the delivery of programmes addressing peace and security in Fiji. These programmes have included peace vigils, training of members at local and national level, capacity building and governance training including voter education, especially for rural women. We are proud to note that one of our members, Susana Evening is a member of our World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations International Board and this is an important link for our membership to further advance a number of international commitments, including UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Our financial membership across 36 parishes adds up to more than 3000 women, including young women and single mothers.

 

The Peace Programme of the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) has been a leading organization in developing and delivering a range of peacebuilding training programmes with a range of participants including young people, the military and police and local communities in Fiji. Our National Peace Workshop in 2001 paved the way for many of these innovative programmes and we have been pleased to be able to serve alongside the National Council of Women Fiji, femLINKpacific on the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee. In 2005/2006 we worked with the Ministry of Reconciliation and UNDP in conducting the Peace, Stability, Development Analysis process in 8 sites around Fiji. We continue to contribute to academic conferences, such as the 3rd Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (July 2006) in conjunction with the USP's-PIAS DG.

Our innovations in trauma healing programmes were also featured in an informative session at the 2006 Gender, Conflict, Peace and Security workshop.

 

FRIEND - the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises N Development is an organization which links social and economic empowerment with peace and security in the 25 communities in the western division. For us, the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, represents an opportunity to enable women, despite their economic status to participate in decision making forums. Our work in peacebuilding and restorative justice, in particular, also contributes to building a more safe and secure society for men and women. Our key annual events include International Women' Day, the International Day of Peace and Poverty Alleviation Week, are just some of the ways we link global commitments and policies with our local communities.

 

National Council of Women Fiji: As the largest multiracial network of women in Fiji, with over 45 affiliate organizations, we recognize the important potential our organization offers to policy level decision makers to be more inclusive of the women of Fiji in your decision making forums. This is a critical focus of our organization - to ensure greater gender equality in all aspects of Fiji society. Since 2000, in conjunction with a number of our affiliate organizations, including the Catholic Women's League we have staged and supported a number of peace initiatives and programmes for women and children. We have also served alongside ECREA, femLINKpacific and the Catholic Women's League on the Fiji Women, Peace and Security coordinating committee and our membership fully endorsed our submission to the National Security Defence Review in 2003 which incorporated UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

 

WEAVERS is a programme of the South Pacific Association of Theological Schools. We work with 6 regional theological schools based in Fiji as well as an additional 21 theological institutions in the greater Pacific region. Our linkage with the Fiji Council of Churches, the Pacific Conference of Churches and the World Council of Churches enables us to bring forward an important and informed theological perspective on current issues challenging our region, including the status of women, and peace and security. Our publications, continue to be an important channel of information for the Pacific churches, and last year, on November 7th our new curriculum on Eliminating Violence against Women, harmonizes the issue of women's human rights and theology, as we also work to advance women in decision making positions within the Pacific church community.

 

femLINKpacific, ECREA Peace programme and the National Council of Women including several affiliates, such as the Catholic Women's League, were also members of the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee established through the UNIFEM Pacific Women, Peace and Security project for Melanesia in 2003:

 

While the WPS Fiji project enabled the Ministry of Women and women's NGOs to collaborate on the initial implementation of the project objectives, it was recognized that there was a need to engage with the Ministries of Home Affairs (responsible for the security sector), as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to strategically incorporate 1325 and gender equality into the national development priorities for peace and security, as well as reconciliation programmes, especially to address the need to overcome the perpetuation of the "victim" mentality or regarding women as subjects of only "social welfare" and micro-enterprise programmes.

 

This is not only an experience in the Fiji Islands. Recent reviews of regional and national women's plans of action have highlighted that Pacific Governments must be assisted to elevate women from the micro-level development level to the macro level, we must be invested in through equitable and gender-inclusive national budgets and more effective institutionalization of gender mainstreaming.

 

So while the establishment of the Fiji WPS project highlighted potential of working in partnership with the Ministry of Women, as a way to influence policy for women through our peacebuilding efforts, we were challenged to continue the work of the WPS Fiji CC when the Ministry of Women's internal changes resulted in the termination of the task forces of the National Women's Plan of Action, including the WPS CC.

 

This clearly highlights one of the limitations of government and NGO collaborations, especially as the Department of Women remains HIGHLY UNDER-RESOURCED - which is very typical of many national women's machineries in most Pacific governments.

 

The lack of available resources for NGO efforts remains an challenge, as many governments and even UN agencies in our region have been slow in incorporating SCR1325 into their own policy frameworks and therefore in recognising the opportunity to support women and peace initiatives - from conflict prevention to post conflict reconstruction/transformation, including reconciliation initiatives.

 

Furthermore, despite the availability of information and data through the project, the challenge of changing the patriarchal paradigm of the peace and security sector within our government frameworks, is an ongoing challenge.

 

It should be noted that in 2003, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was also incorporated in the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee and the National Council of Women Fiji submissions to the National Security and Defence Review. The submissions reiterated the valuable contribution our women's networks from the village and community clubs to the national level can contribute, to early warning interventions, while identifying key entry points for women at local and national decision making levels 

 

The submission also included:

 

-  The Minister for Women be included as a member of the National Security Council

- The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women is a permanent member of a/the National Security Advisory Committee

- That there is effective and equitable representation of the diversities of women of Fiji on Provincial/Divisional, District/Local level Security Committees; The selection of such representation be made in consultation with the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee, which is inclusive of Government and women's NGOs, including the National Council of Women Fiji and the Soqosoqo Vakamarama I Taukei

- That women are represented in the Analyst Section of the Police Special Branch and National Security Assessment Unit; women NGOs are also considered as advisers to such units; The selection of such representation be made in consultation with the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee, which is inclusive of Government and women's NGOs, including the National Council of Women Fiji and the Soqosoqo Vakamarama I Taukei

- To ensure there is a gender balance in the decision making levels of the Security Forces, all efforts are made towards "affirmative action" in the recruitment of women to the Fiji Police Force as well as the Republic of Fiji Military Forces

 

Yet despite the advancements of global women's equality agenda - including the unanimous adoption of SCR 1325, at national level, in practice, women remain sidelined from the decision making processes especially from our own national development frameworks as well as at local or community level.

 

Much of this marginalization is exacerbated by the patriarchy of "traditional" decision making structures - and the resurgence of a social and political conservatism in post conflict environment - as well as the challenges of addressing the resurgence of conflict or violence.

 

Policy Encounter Recommendations:

 

  •  We urge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to assist in further advancing the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Fiji, as the key government agency responsible for ensuring compliance of UN Security Council Resolutions:
    • We request MOFA  to assist in the reconvening, review and strengthening of the Fiji Women, Peace and Security Coordinating Committee (Fiji WPS CC) including relocating the WPS Fiji CC to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • We urge collaboration to ensure the incorporation of SC Resolution 1325, as well as other gender equality commitments into all areas of human security, including trade, the environment, as well as the health sector
    • To strengthen partnerships with "1325" advocates to enhance Fiji's role to date as a Troop Contributing Country. While Fiji has been an important Troop Contributing Country for more than 25 years, we are yet to develop and implement a national policy on peacekeeping operations which would not only ensure minimum standards are adhered to in accordance with the various UN Security Council Resolutions and other international law / obligations, including Resolution 1325 and CEDAW, but also provide an opportunity for the Fiji Government to lead by example. Such a policy would also ensure that deployment and management of peacekeepers and security personnel, as well as civilians involved in peace-support operations including the delivery of humanitarian services (as well as disaster relief). We note, that while there are efforts to implement SC Resolution 1308 (HIV/AIDS), it is also critical to develop and implement a gender policy for the military and law enforcement sector to assist in the recruitment and appointment of women in these sectors, as well as ensuring a sexual harassment policy. The national policy would also consider and act on the links between political instability, violence towards women and children and the role of peacekeepers/security personnel and would assist in addressing the impact of unrecognized and untreated trauma and deployment/post deployment issues that impact on returning peacekeepers/security personnel.
  • We urge and invite participation of Government representatives in the annual anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, on October 31st
  • We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with MOFA and Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations to provide information for the presentation by Fiji and the Pacific to the UN Security Council Open Debate on UN Security Council Resolution 1325
  • We ask for a resumption of dialogue and discussion on the impact of the Arms and Ammunition Bill
  •  We look forward to collaboration on media education on UN SC Resolution 1325

Download UNSCR 1325 Translations

» UN Security Council resolution 1325 Bislama Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 Fijian Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 Hindi Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 PNG Pidgin Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 Rotuman Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 SI Pidgin Version
» UN Security Council resolution 1325 Tongan Version
 
 
Total: 7 topics
 
Subject Updated  
Promoting UNSCR1325 in the Pacific region   19 Feb 2010  
What is UN SCR 1325   24 Jun 2009  
Regional Links   11 Nov 2008  
NGO Working Group Releases Report on SCR 1325 and the Peaceb...   9 May 2007  
Speech   20 Apr 2007  
A Time Line of Non-Violence   20 Apr 2007  
About: The Use Non Violence to Make a Peaceful Change   20 Apr 2007  
 
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