Women, peace and security: report of expert group meeting (part one) , 2004

From IWTC Women's GlobalNet #245, 23 February, 2004

At its forty-eighth session, 1-12 March, 2004, the UN Commission on the 
Status of Women (CSW), will review the thematic issue of "women's equal 
participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution 
and in post-conflict peace-building". The UN Division for the Advancement of Women organized, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women and the Department of Political Affairs, an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on "Peace agreements as a means for promoting gender equality and ensuring participation of women —A framework of model provisions," in Ottawa, Canada from 10 -13 November 2003. A major background document was Security Council resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security.

Because of the length of the report, we will be presenting a summary in 
two parts. Part one includes recommendations relating to the role of:

  • the mediator brought in to mediate conflicts
  • parties to the conflict
  • funding entities and
  • regional and international organizations.

Part two will focus on the obligations of content of peace agreements with regard to security — legal, political and physical security.

Summary of recommendations adopted by the EGM (part one)

The mediator: In order to successfully implement her/his mandate, the 
mediator will acquire and use:

  1. Data on the gender composition of the various fighting forces at the table, especially at the leadership level.
  2. Historical background, mapping of the conflict incorporating gender-specific data and information, and oral and written briefings on the experiences of women in the conflict.
  3. Identification of existing civil society groups and networks, including regional networks, from a cross-section of society.
  4. Information kit with all international and relevant regional legal instruments pertaining to the promotion of gender equality and women's participation

Parties to the conflict: Parties to the conflict are likewise expected to take specific action in support of gender equality and the participation of women, and must:

  1. Participate in a training/briefing on how to integrate the obligations of 1325.
  2. Ensure gender balance in the composition of their delegations.

Funding entities: Can contribute by:

  1. Ensuring funding for the high-level gender adviser to the mediator and allocate resources for the adviser's activities.
  2. Supporting corrective actions that the mediation team and/or other stakeholders in the negotiations may take to ensure integration of a gender perspective and strengthen women's participation.
  3. Making the inclusion of initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and women's participation a prerequisite for project funding.
  4. Creating an appropriate mechanism to ensure accountability of funding recipients for the implementation of the gender-specific elements of projects.
  5. Giving equal priority to projects aimed at empowering women's civil society organizations in conflict situations to prepare themselves for effective participation in peace negotiations through a national consultative process, the creation of national level networks, capacity building and other preparatory steps. To this end, create and sustain a dedicated Fund.

Regional and international organizations: Should take the following 

  1. Support women's associations in their efforts to organize themselves so as to ensure their effective participation in peace negotiations.
  2. Participate in a training/ briefing on how to integrate the obligations of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) in formal and informal mediation processes.
  3. Support the mediator in the effective performance of the tasks assigned to her/him under section 1 above.
  4. Take corrective action to include promotion of gender equality and 
    women's participation in all stages of negotiation processes, both 
    formal and informal, already underway, in compliance with the present 
  5. Set an example of excellence in regard to the gender-balanced composition of their staff.

Back to Research index