10 Apr 2019 10:40am
By Anna Salkeus
WINDHOEK, 10 APR (NAMPA) Since its adoption in 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 has recognised that women in conflict situations are not only victims, but equal role players in bringing about and maintaining peace.
Resolution 1325 is an organising framework for the women, peace and security agenda. The framework was initiated by Namibia after serving and representing Africa on the UN Security Council from 1999 to 2000 and assuming the month-long presidency of the council.
Namibia, as a contributor to the UN peace missions, has also incorporated women in its contingents.
Highlighting the achievements of the framework in an interview with Nampa on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said at UN level, there has been an improvement in having women as envoys in peace process activities.
Nandi-Ndaitwah was speaking ahead of the third annual Women, Peace and Security Focal Point Networks (WPS-FPN) meeting which takes place here on Wednesday and Thursday.
This is the first time the meeting, which aims to enhance the women, peace and security agenda, is taking place in Africa.
Around 150 participants from UN member states are expected to attend the two-day meeting.
When Resolution 1325 marked its 15-year milestone, a study was commissioned by the UN Secretary General which pointed out that the participation of women in the peace process both at national, regional and international level still needed some improvement.
Another achievement of Resolution 1325 is the development of national development action plans on women and peace to ensure that countries have national programmes which will empower and prepare women to be effective agents for international peace.
This engagement is an opportunity for women to exchange information and see how they can move forward to enable them to strengthen their capacity both at national, regional and international level, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.
She explained that the meeting will be divided into four working groups dealing with specific issues.
The first working group will look at disarmament and small arms and light weapons.
When you talk about peace and security, you have to look at the instruments that are being used in the conflict situation and small arms and light weapons are the ones being used, the minister said.
She said there is a need for such a discussion as such small arms are also needed for the maintenance of peace.
The second working group will consider the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the national action plan. Each country participating is required to have a national action plan in place and for member states to share information on how they are implementing these plans.
The role of sub-regional and regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union in the maintenance of world peace and how women influence this role will be interrogated by the third working group.
The fourth group will look at peace and labour for youth, tackling their participation in peace building and management and conflict resolution.
The youth and women are being recognised as the agents of change and they have to be involved if we are really to solve the problems we are facing today, said Nandi-Ndaitwah.