Taking Action: What Would You Include in the US Action Plan for UNSCR 1325?
by Kimberly Weichel, CEO
I’m delighted to begin this monthly column highlighting the advocacy work that Peace X Peace does to advance and support women internationally. Each month I’ll focus on a different initiative or piece of legislation that is critical to women and the role we can play as individuals, as an organization, and in cooperation with other organizations. Together we are a force field for change!
This month my focus is UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the formation of a US National Action Plan. In 2000 the UN Security Council formally acknowledged through the creation of Resolution 1325 the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted while women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes. SCR 1325 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. Women offer a vital perspective in the understanding of conflict as well as creating ties across opposing factions and increasing the inclusiveness, transparency, and sustainability of peace processes.
SCR 1325 has four pillars.
- Participation calls for increased involvement of women at all levels of decision-making, including in peace negotiations and peacekeeping operations;
- Protection calls for the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence, including in emergency and humanitarian situations;
- Prevention calls for improving interventions to prevent violence against women, including prosecuting those responsible for violations and strengthening women’s rights under national law; and
- Relief and Recovery calls for seeing international crises through a gendered lens, such as taking into account the particular needs of women and girls in refugee camps.
In 2005 the Security Council called on UN member states to continue to implement SCR 1325 through the development of National Action Plans that identify priorities and resources, determine responsibilities, and commit to action. So far 24 National Action Plans have been developed. You can see them here: http://www.peacewomen.org/pages/about-1325/national-action-plans-naps.
Last October US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the US will develop its own National Action Plan to promote women, peace and security. Currently about five US government agencies are developing components of this plan. A core group of civil society organizations, including Peace X Peace, has been asked to contribute ideas and writing to the US Plan. We are meeting weekly to develop our ideas and will be sending them to the State Department and the White House. We’ll soon be opening a channel for your input to inform ours, so watch this space and our weekly Announcements column.
It’s very important that these action plans lead to real change on the ground. Women―like each one of you―have been doing peacebuilding work at the grassroots since the world began, yet we are usually not involved in the official peace processes for our countries. And sustainable peace hinges on involving women! So our commitment is to ensure that the US National Action Plan is comprehensive, with specific, measureable goals and timelines. As we work, we will be encouraging the other member nations that have not yet done so to develop their own action plans. We stand together!
- Women at the Center of Peace: UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (peacexpeace.org)
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