IWTC Women's GlobalNet #333
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide

Security Council Resolution 1325 at CSW 52

March 28, 2008

Claudia Caryevschi

 

  1. 1325 in the Parallel Events
  2. Significant statements on 1325
  3. Report on the thematic caucus on Women in Peace building and Conflict Resolution
  4. Looking back
  5. Looking forward

 

1. 1325 in the Parallel Events

Held at the United Nations in New York from 25 February to 7 March 2008, this year’s Commission on the Status of Women considered the theme: “Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women.”  The review theme was "Women's participation in conflict prevention, management, conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building.”  More than 60 parallel events addressed this issue, in particular those organized by NGOs. Notable was the one day event on 1325, organized by the International Women’s Tribune Centre and Isis-WICCE, which brought together 11 women from conflict countries in Africa to speak on issues in working on peace and security. Noteworthy also was the Townhall Meeting, organized by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security where women exchanged problem solving strategies on obstacles preventing the implementation of SCR 1325. The Working Group also hosted a 1325 Briefing with presentations by UN and country missions personnel representing key agencies---DPKO, the Peace Building Commission and the Security Council.

 

2. Significant statements on 1325
Significant statements on Women in Peace building and Conflict Resolution were made at the Interactive Dialogue on Friday, February 29. Gina Torry, coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, remarked that “peacemaking is still largely in the hands of men in suits, puffing on cigars”. She said that real progress would be to have women in positions of authority at the negotiating table. Anne Marie Goetz, UNIFEM’s chief adviser on Governance, Peace and Security, however noted that this is still realm of political fantasy. Goetz called for a gender-sensitive perspective on conflict resolution, peacemaking and rehabilitation. Assistant Secretary-General Carolyn McAskie, head of the U.N. Peacebuilding Support Office, pointed out that despite much rhetoric about women’s roles in peace building, women’s contributions have rarely been fully recognized. McAskie also said that SCR 1325 should be used as political leverage to ensure the presence of gender advisers in the planning stages of U.N. peacekeeping missions.

 

3. Report on the thematic caucus on Women in Peace building and Conflict Resolution

The thematic caucus on Women in Peace building and Conflict Resolution was formed at the NGO Consultation Day on February 24, at the break-out session “Resolution 1325: Building Permanent Peace”. Disheartened by a lack of reference to Resolution 1325 and women in peace building in the draft Agreed Conclusions, the caucus, existing of more than 30 organizations from over 14 different countries, drafted additional language and lobbied to get their language included in the final Agreed Conclusions. The statement of the caucus, signed by more than 35 organizations, was presented at the Interactive Dialogue on February 29. Despite support from the EU and Canada, a reference to SCR 1325 was not included in the final Agreed Conclusions. A reference to women in peace building is however made in paragraph 21 (gg), which ensures “adequate financing for women’s full, equal and effective participation at all levels in conflict prevention, management, conflict resolution, peace negotiations and peacebuilding, including adequate national and international funding to ensure proper access to disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and other relevant programmes.” The statement of the thematic caucus as well as the proposed language for the Agreed Conclusions can be downloaded from the IWTC website, iwtc.org.

 

4. Looking back

Among civil society there was overall disappointment in the seemingly weak processes of the CSW, particularly around the review theme on peace building and conflict resolution.  First, there are no separate Agreed Conclusions on the review theme. Second, the review theme was discussed in the Formal Sessions for half a day only. Third, the Agreed Conclusions that related to the main theme of financing for gender equality contained only one reference to the review theme and none to SCR 1325 despite intense lobbying efforts.  Fourth, the Agreed Conclusions are all recommendatory and it is therefore not certain whether governments will put the recommendations of the Agreed Conclusions into practice. This signals a weak process and many were left disappointed.

 

5. Looking forward

In a CSW de-briefing with Ambassador Olivier Belle, Chairperson for CSW, and Carolyn Hannan, Director of the Division on the Advancement of Women, held in New York on March 20, civil society representatives raised the issue of the weakness of the CSW process in terms of influencing global policy decisions. NGO representatives expressed concern about the uncertainty on the inclusion of the Agreed Conclusions in the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, which will be held in Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December 2008. Civil society participants at CSW called the fact that there is no separate output document on the review theme “unacceptable”. Carolyn Hannan responded to these concerns by saying that the Agreed Conclusions will be presented to the General Assembly and the Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality. In a separate conversation, Ambassador Belle remarked that Member States could use highlights from the discussion on the review theme in their statements at the anniversary of SCR 1325 in October 2008.

 

IWTC intends to pursue discussion on strengthening the CSW process and in ensuring that the highlights of the discussions on the review theme are taken up in the Security Council and other relevant policy-making spaces on women, peace and security.  

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