Resolution 1325 is unprecedented in many ways. It was the first UN Resolution that required parties to prevent violation of women’s rights, women’s participation in peace negotiations and in post-conflict reconstruction. It was also the first resolution to specifically address women’s particular experience in peace and conflict. On 5 November LPI’s Horn of Africa Regional Programme attended the 15th anniversary commemoration of the Resolution. While 1325 is a key instrument the road to its full realization is ongoing said AU Peace and Security Commissioner Smail Chergui, “effective implementation of Resolution 1325 demands strong political will and commitment at all levels.”
LPI’s Horn of Africa Regional Programme (HARP) Resident Representative Hannah Tsadik presented the following statement before the open session.
Mr. Chair, members of the PSC, your excellences, distinguished guests.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important open debate on how to galvanize action on the women, peace and security agenda.
We are all here today to commemorate 15 years of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the many achievements of the continent, like the appointment of the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace & Security Mme Diop. We also have the embodiment of resolution 1325 here today in the form of the courageous women peacekeepers, peacemakers & peacebuilders. As a fellow peace building practitioner, I salute & honor you.
While we are here to celebrate, as speakers that have preceded me have underlined, a lot remains to be done when it comes to implementation & action.
The concept note for this very open session have highlighted that 16 out 54 AU member states have developed national action plans for the implementation of Resolution 1325. We congratulate these 16 member states for being pioneers on the continent. As national action plans are critical steps towards implementation, the Life & Peace Institute and its partners, encourages the African Union to implore and support the remaining 38 African Union member states to develop & finalize national action plans, which can guide the implementation of 1325 on the ground. More than just action plans, it is key that such plans do not remain as mere plans but acted on, monitored with accountability measures in place and reviewed periodically. And critically, resourced & financed properly.
I would also like to reiterate that moving on the Women, peace and Security agenda does not just benefit women. A great number of research – solid empirical data – in the past 20 years have shown the correlation between conflict and gender inequality. The more gender unequal a country is, the more likely it is that said country will experience armed conflict. But there is good news as well, because the opposite has also found to be true – the more gender equal a society is – in other words, the more a country has progressed on 1325 – the less likely it is that such a society will experience civil war or relapse to conflict.
Implementing 1325 is not just a “women’s issue” or (sorry for my use of words) a “soft issue”. Moving on the women, peace & security agenda is as serious – and essential – as any “hard security” measure to address conflict.
Implementing 1325 benefits us all, as it benefits sustainable peace. And to implement 1325, we need all – not just women, but also our brothers, the men of the continent, to join hands in these efforts. Thank you for your kind attention.