Participation & Involvment of Women in Peacebuilding Commission: Letter from the Women Ministers for Foreign Affairs

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


September 24, 2005 – (The Daily Star) UNIFEM called on the international community to recognise women's efforts to prevent and resolve conflict in their communities, and to strengthen support for women's inclusion as full and equal participants in formal peace processes. UNIFEM's regional programme director for East and Horn of Africa, Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, speaking at a press conference, said that although women often play a leadership role in their communities during and after conflict, they were too often left out of formal peace negotiations and agreements.

September 29, 2005 - (Washington Post) - A group of Turkish women's rights activists confronted Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes on Wednesday with emotional and heated complaints about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, turning a session designed to highlight the empowering of women into a raw display of the anger at U.S. policy in the region.

September 27, 2005 (IPS) - While the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush describes the recent elections in Afghanistan as a major step forward for the war-torn nation, human rights groups here wonder if women will have an effective voice in the new parliament.

September 21, 2005 - (UN News) – Underlining the need for a broad strategy for conflict prevention and peaceful settlement of disputes, the United Nations Security Council has emphasized the potential contributions of a vibrant and diverse civil society and pledged to strengthen its relationship with its organizations.

August 30, 2005 - (femLINKPACIFIC) – At the official opening of the National Council of Women's training for women candidates and campaign managers yesterday, Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole, highlighted that advancing women's participation in the political sphere was one step towards investing in Solomon Islands' women's collective demonstration of their sense of responsibility, honesty and capacity to lead: "It is time for the women of the Solomon Islands to step up to take on the important leadership roles", he said.

September 24, 2005 - (O Globo) When the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) was launched in 1992, even the most optimistic among us did not think it likely that we would remove landmines from the world's arsenals. Because their use was so longstanding and so widespread, the vision of a ban seemed far from reality.

September 16, 2005 (IPS) - One of the few Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have already met or are well on their way to fulfilling refers to gender equality at all levels of education. However, that achievement is not reflected by better job opportunities for women or equal pay for men and women.

For more country-specific women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

For more international women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

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October 31 2005 marks the fifth anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325. PeaceWomen has developed an October events calendar.

Please visit for updates.

As events are finalized, and new events organized, PeaceWomen will update the above online calendar.

The next issue of 1325 PeaceWomen E-News will feature the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security October Advocacy Program including: an announcement of the Program Advocates selected to participate in events at UN Headquarters; news on events to take place in and around the UN to mark the 5th Anniversary (including the planned Security Council Open Debate on 27 October 2005); and the launch of a report on the implementation of the resolution.

Highlighted here is a sampling of other events and initiatives organized to mark this important occasion:

The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women is preparing an online calendar of events covering activities and events sponsored by UN entities, civil society organizations and Member States to mark the anniversary. It will be updated regularly during October.

The calendar will be posted at

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European Women at the negotiation table!
31 October, 2005

The German women's security council, with numerous other women's and peace organizations, is calling for a 31 October action all over Europe. Five years after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, the 3 "P"s are still not implemented: Participation of women in all kinds of conflict resolution at all levels, prevention of violent conflicts with the equal participation of women, and protection of women especially affected by conflict, displacement and as refugees. At the hour 13:25 on October 31, women will take their rightful place at negotiation tables in front of / or in European foreign ministries. This symbolic action calls for the full and rapid implementation of Resolution 1325 in general and specifically for the equal participation of women in the negotiations for the final status of Kosovo. For more information on this initiative contact Heidi Meinzolt-Depner at

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openDemocracy 1325 Online Debate

openDemocracy­ the online magazine of politics and culture - launches a major debate this October to mark the fifth anniversary of UN Resolution 1325. How does it affect us? Has it made any difference and what difference could it make? In 2000, Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security called for full and equal participation of women in conflict prevention, peace processes and peace building, as decision-makers in international organizations, in the deliberations that form the basis for democracy ­ women in areas often reserved for men.

On October 17, Lesley Abdela who has recently reported for openDemocracy on the real plight facing so many Iraqi women today, and Sir Jeremy Greenstock ­ the man most responsible for 1325 - launch a series of articles which take a long, cool look at what this major international commitment has achieved to date. We hear from leading women in the UN and the EU, women who have sought to make a difference on trafficking and to peacebuilding, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Congo; from the women who have worked to support them in Canada, India and the UK; and from the World Bank.

In parallel, the Women Making a Difference blog, starting on October 3, will bring 30 women who have experienced conflict and who have fought to prevent it ­ from Abhkazia to Sierra Leone - into an in-depth conversation throughout October on their experience and their ambitions. As women are delegated from around the world to go to New York and advocate for the full implementation of 1325, our bloggers will monitor their progress and formulate a message for those responsible at the highest level.

Numerous organizations that have been deeply involved in implementing and reinforcing the importance of resolution 1325 in worldwide grassroots projects are contributing to openDemocracy's project.

We thank the following for their early support ­ for helping to make this debate possible:
- The UK Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
- International Alert
- Women Waging Peace
- 1000peacewomen
- One World Action

For more on this initiative visit:

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The 2005 Peace Building Cyberdialogues on UNSCR 1325: Linking New York, Kampala, Monrovia, Oslo, Dili, Bougainville, Bangkok and more
27 - 30 October 2005,
The International Women's Tribune Center

The International Women's Tribune Centre, in collaboration with partner organizations, is planning to convene two, possibly three cyberdialogues that will bring the voices and views of women on issues of peace and security to the attention of government officials at the national and international level. Drawing upon the experiences of women from different world regions, a major focus of the cyberdialogues will be women's efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and analysis of the gaps and challenges in the implementation process. The cyberdialogues will take place during the 10th International Forum convened by the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID) to be held from October 27-30, 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand.

To join the Cyber-Dialogues or for more information contact Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, IWTC: or visit:

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3. FEATURED Statement

Participation & Involvement of Women in Peacebuilding Commission Letter from the Women Ministers for Foreign Affairs
New York, 19th of September 2005

H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, President of the General Assembly

Last week, our Heads of States or Governments agreed on how to strengthen the United Nations to the benefit of all people women and men, girls and boys.

The outcome document is a roadmap, a call for swift action in a number of areas, including the establishing of a Peacebuilding Commission. It is also a compass, a set of principles that should guide all actions and efforts.

One is gender equality and the full and equal participation and involvement of women in promoting peace and security. When meeting yesterday, we the Foreign Ministers of 14 countries and the EU Commissioner for External Relations - discussed concrete ideas on how to merge these two central decisions to ensure that a gender perspective is integrated in the design and work of the Peacebuilding Commission.

The details of the composition and working methods are now to be developed by the 60th session of the General Assembly. As a guide for this work, we agreed that:
- Representation is essential. The Organizational Committee must include a good balance of Member States, including countries with experience of conflict as well as donor countries and troop-contributing countries. However, a well-balanced Peacebuilding Commission also demands a fair representation of both women and men. We urge Member States, the UN system, regional and sub-regional organisations, and international financial institutions to nominate women as representatives in the Organizational Committee and to Country-specific meetings. Women and representatives of women's organisations in countries under considerations must be heard and participate. The goal must be to form a Peacebuilding Commission that in all its aspects has an equal representation of women and men.

- Knowledge is key. The Commission must have an in-depth knowledge of the roles, experiences and needs of women in post-conflict situations. When deciding on details of the design and working methods of the Commission and its support office, particular attention must be paid to including knowledge and understanding of the participation, empowerment and special needs of women in post-conflict and peace-building.

- Funding is crucial and mainstreaming a must. The needs and roles of women and girls must be taken into consideration when designing and developing activities funded by the standing Peacebuilding Fund. Furthermore, a gender perspective must be thoroughly integrated in all recommendations, activities, reports, strategies and best practices analyses from the Commission, the Fund and the Support Office.

By deciding to establish a Peacebuilding Commission, we have shown our determination to prevent old conflicts from relapsing, and to promote reconstruction, institution-building and sustainable development. The challenge ahead is to make sure that these efforts embrace, and improve, the daily life of both women and men. The ideas above are one contribution to that process.

Sincerely Yours.

H.E. Ms. Ursula Plassnik, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria
H.E. Dame Billie Miller, Senior Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados
H.E. Ms. Antionette Batumubwire, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burundi
H.E. Ms. Carolina Barco Isakson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia
H.E. Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia
H.E. Ms. Salomà Zourabichvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
H.E. Ms. Fatoumata Kaba-Sidibe, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea
H.E. Ms. Rita Kieber-Beck, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein
H.E. Ms. Ilinka Mitreva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia
H.E. Ms. Alcinda Abreu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mozambique
H.E. Ms. Leila Rachid de Cowles, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay
H.E. Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa
H.E. Ms. Laila Freivalds, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner of the European Commission

To view this statement on-line CLICK HERE


The PeaceWomen team monitored the 2005 World Summit High-level Plenary Session and General Debate of the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly.

From this monitoring, indices have been compiled of all references to gender, the Peacebuilding Commission and the Human Rights Council made in statements by member states. The indices contain relevant excerpts and links to full statements via the UN Website.

PeaceWomen notes and appreciates the mention of Resolution 1325 during the General Debate:

The role and needs of women should be duly reflected in the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission.
The Commission should contribute to the follow-up of the binding commitments in Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security (2000).

Norway, Statement in General Debate, 23 Sept 2005

We hope that in future statements more Member States are cognizant of, and draw attention to, this crucial resolution.

For access to indices and excerpts CLICK HERE

Select an Index and click on a country!

A similar Disarmament Index has been compiled by WILPF's Reaching Critical Will project.

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September 9 2005 (WOMENSENEWS) - Disappointed at the failure of the U.N. World Summit to make more specific commitments to combating world poverty, some women's groups are relieved that at least provisions to help women were included in a final document.
Amid a sense of disappointment over the three-day U.N. World Summit held here last week, women's rights advocates claimed a small victory. When the dust settled after strained, last-minute negotiations over the "outcome" document of the summit, key strategies promoting gender equality remained in the text signed by 191 world leaders last Friday.
"For women's rights activists, the most important outcome is that in a space that was not women-specific, we kept women as a political factor at the forefront of the U.N.," said Charlotte Bunch, executive director for the Center for Women's Global Leadership, the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers.

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For the World Summit Final Outcome Document and an official UN summary of the World Summit achievements visit:

Galvanizing Action to Combat Violence Against Women – Online Discussion
26 September – 10 October 2005, UN Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) United Nations, New York/Online
The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) is hosting a three-week discussion on “Galvanizing Action to Combat Violence Against Women.” The online discussion is intended to provide a forum for activists, advocates, experts and other stakeholders around the world working on issues related to violence against women to feed into and help inform the in-depth study undertaken by the Secretary-General pursuant to GA resolution A/RES/58/185.

Week 2: 3-9 October: Responding to all forms and manifestations of violence against women
Week 3: 10-14 October: Assessing and evaluating impact.

Contact: Monique Widyono at
For more information visit:

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16 DAYS Of Activism Against Gender Violence
November 25 - December 10, 2005

*For the Health of Women, For the Health of the World* – *NO MORE VIOLENCE*

Violence against women is traumatic to the body, mind and spirit and can prevent women from being fully active participants at home and in the world. This year's 16 Days campaign theme, as a continuation from 2004, emphasizes the connections between women's human rights, violence against women and women's health, and the detrimental consequences violence against women has on the well-being of the world as a whole.

Join the 16 Days movement!

Become part of an already existing student, community, national or international activity for the 16 Days or take action on your own. Use past International Calendars of Activities (available online) or contact the Center for Women's Global Leadership if you would like more information about activities in your area. Submit your planned activity for posting to the 2005 International Calendar of Activities and become part of the growing global 16 Days movement.

Contact the Center for Women's Global Leadership to receive a free copy of the Take Action Kit for the 16 Days campaign.
The Take Action Kit will be available in September and includes:
* a current campaign announcement
* a campaign profile and a description of dates
* a list of participating organizations and countries
* a bibliography and resource list
* a list of suggested actions
* supplemental information relevant to this year's theme

Get Involved - Online!

The Center will post information about the Campaign online.

Center for Women's Global Leadership
160 Ryders Lane, Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8555, USA
Phone (1-732) 932-8782
Fax: (1-732) 932-1180

For more on this initiative CLICK HERE

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For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, visit:

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Women Building Peace: Sharing Know-How, Assessing Impact: Planning for Miracles
Judy El Bushra with Ancil Adrian-Paul and Maria Olson, International Alert, June 2005
The issue of impact measurement in conflict transformation and peacebuilding work has gained a higher profile in the last few years as a result of several research and development initiatives. These initiatives have not addressed the issue of gendered impacts in any depth, nor have they reflected the specific circumstances of women's organizations engaged in peacebuilding. This report, based on a workshop on assessing impact, seeks to broaden the scope of peace and conflict impact monitoring by highlighting issues of concern to women, and by showing how these issues may enrich the field. It distils some of the experience and thinking of women's organizations engaged in peacebuilding on how - and why - they carry out impact assessment.

For the executive summary of this report visit:

For the full report visit:

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Don't Forget Us': The Education And Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs Of Adolescent Girls From Darfur In Chad
H. Heninger, M. McKenna, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, July 2005
This document examines the conditions in a number of refugee camps for people from Darfur in Chad, focusing on education needs and protection from gender-based violence for adolescent girls.

For the executive summary of this report visit:

For the full version visit:

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Security on Whose Terms? If Men and Women were Equal
Kvinna till Kvinna
This new report discusses the connection between development, security and women's rights. When women are insecure or threatened and have limited freedom of movement they cannot participate in peace and democracy work on the same conditions as men. Therefore women's lack of security is in itself a threat to peace. To get sustainable peace both women and men have to be involved in the peace process. Still there are very few women represented in peace negotiations and in politics in countries affected by conflict and war. This unequal power balance is caused by the fact that women's rights are not respected.

For the executive summary of this report visit:

For the full version visit:

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The Relevance of Gender for Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction
Disarmament Diplomacy
When trying to think about how to solve the problems created by the existence of weapons of mass destruction, ideas about gender matter. Although the linkage between weapons of mass destruction and gender will be unfamiliar for many readers, this paper argues that ideas and expectations about gender are woven through the professional and political discourses that shape all aspects of how weapons of mass destruction are considered, desired and addressed. To address WMD challenges more effectively, it is essential to take into consideration how armament and disarmament policies and practices are influenced by ideas about masculinity. An understanding of how these limitations occur can play a crucial role in helping break some of the persistent barriers to achieving disarmament and non-proliferation.

For the full article visit:

For the full issue of Disarmament Diplomacy visit:

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For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues, please visit:

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World Summit Outcome Document Recognizes Issues of Sexual Exploitation & Abuse by Peacekeepers

The documentation in recent years of sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations civilian and uniformed peacekeeping personnel has threatened public confidence in UN peacekeeping and served to undermine the institution's mandate to protect civilians. In that regard, Peace Women welcomes the recognition in the recently concluded 2005 World Summit Outcome document, of the recommendations of the Secretary General's Adviser on sexual exploitation and abuse by Peacekeeping personnel and its call for the quick implementation of measures adopted by the General Assembly based on those recommendations:

“We underscore the importance of the recommendations of the Secretary-General's Advisor on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN Peacekeeping Personnel, and urge that those measures adopted in the relevant General Assembly resolutions based upon the recommendations mentioned above be fully implemented without delay”

Paragraph 96, Final Outcome Document

PeaceWomen will continue to urge the UN and member nations to increase their commitment to the eradication of this form of abuse, and will continue to monitor all news and initiatives aimed at addressing the problem.

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September 19 2005 - (ISN Security Watch) - The Nigerian government on Monday said it would punish any police officers serving in the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are found guilty of sexual exploitation and abuse. The 120-strong police contingent is being recalled over allegations of sexual misconduct, another blow to UN peacekeeping operations.

September 15 2005 (ReliefWeb) - A one-day Consultative Meeting on the Draft Policy for Support to Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) organized by UNAMSIL in collaboration with UNICEF took place yesterday at the UNAMSIL Headquarters in Freetown. Declaring the meeting open, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Sierra Leone, Ambassador Daudi Mwakawago, posed a number of questions to which he urged participants at the meeting to proffer realistic solutions.

September 15, 2005 (Irish Independent) - World leaders will tell the United Nations this week to accelerate the steps it is taking to outlaw and root out sexual abuse by its own officials and staff members. This is a clear response to molestation scandals that surfaced earlier this year, notably allegations involving the former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers.

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For PeaceWomen's Peacekeeping Watch index, visit:

For more gender and peacekeeping news, visit PeaceWomen's Gender and Peacekeeping News Index:

From Local to Global – Making Peace Work for Women: NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security - Five Years On Report

Five years ago, the United Nations unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR 1325). The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG), which was formed to advocate for a Security Council resolution on women, peace and security, has spent the past five years dedicated to advancing the implementation of the provisions of the resolution.

The NGO Working Group is pleased to announce the publication of From Local to Global: Making Peace Work for Women, Security Council Resolution 1325 - Five Years On Report. This report provides insight into the implementation of SCR 1325 at the United Nations level. It examines the progress made by the Security Council in their work as well as in Open Debates. It examines the key bodies responsible for implementing the resolution's provisions – such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. It also takes into consideration how the lack of directly allocated resources has impeded progress and implementation.

The Report also examines the crucial role of Member States in leading the way to realizing the provisions of SCR 1325 at the local and national level. It looks into the process and the creation of National Action Plans and policy on women, peace and security. It also presents innovations and strategies used by civil society at the local, regional and international level to advance the work on women, peace and security. It considers the power of communication and advocacy – such as translation campaigns to make SCR 1325 available to local communities, the use of global media such as community radio and the Internet, as well as initiatives such as consultations, workshops and peace education.
Above all, this Five Years On Report poses a central question: What would a world in which the principles enshrined in 1325 look like? When peace works for women, it provides a crucial component for creating sustainable peace and development locally and globally. It is our hope that the readers of this report keep this critical vision in mind.

The NGOWG's action alerts and updates are posted on the NGOWG website at:

For more information about the NGOWG, visit:

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Women's Rights and Next Steps Post Summit
6 October, New York
3:30-5:30pm at the UN Church Center (12th floor), 777 UN Plaza (at 44th Street)
Sponsored by: Gender Monitoring Group of the World Summit & United Methodist Office for the United Nations.
Discussion will begin with speakers on the four issues of critical importance to the Summit, including development, human rights, peace and security, and UN reform. They will address how each of these areas impacts women and gender concerns around the world, and how women are contributing to shaping future dialogue for each issue.

The Gender Monitoring Group is:
Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL)
Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN)
Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

For information on the advocacy and monitoring campaign to ensure that the voices of women are heard at the summit visit

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Gender & Militarism Dialogue
18 October, 2005, UN Conference Room A, UN HQ, New York
Sponsored by Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) this discussion will explore gender, militarization, and anti-militarist activities generally and with a focus on Israel. The event seeks to bring together the disarmament and security discourse with that of women, peace and security. Topic and speakers to be confirmed.

For updates on this event visit:

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Training: Making Governance Gender Responsive (MGGR)
23-29 October 2005, Center for Asia Pacific Women in Politics (CAPWIP), Manila, Philippines
The course is designed for middle and senior level government executives, women and men in local governments, political parties, research and training institutes and civil society organizations who are leading or participating in governance reform initiatives in their respective countries.

For more information, visit:

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Women into Decision Making – Achieving Peace and Economic Justice
5 November 2005, WILPF (UK),

10am-5pm at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church Friendship Centre, Shaftesbury Ave, London WC1.
In the morning session speakers will explore ways in which women are making decisions in conflict and post conflict regions, what UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security has achieved and how it can be strengthened. In the afternoon the seminar will look at ways in which economic injustices affect women and how they can be empowered. We shall consider whether it is possible to prepare a UN resolution on economic justice and women modeled on SCR 1325.

Workshops will include: UNSCR 1325 – Taking Women's Concerns to the World Trade Organization – Challenging Corporate Power.

For list of speakers, more information and registration, visit:
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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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1. Women, Peace and Security News
2. Fifth Anniversary of Resolution 1325: Women, Peace & Security Month Has Arrived
3. Feature Statement: Participation & Involvement of Women in the Peacebuilding Commission - Letter from the Women Ministers for Foreign Affairs to the UN Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly
4. 2005 World Summit Recap: PeaceWomen Indices, Outcomes & Summary
5. Feature Initiatives: �Galvanizing Action to Combat violence Against Women & 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence
6. Feature Resources: Reports from International Alert, Women's Commission for Refugee Women & Children, Kvinna till Kvinna
7. A Gender and Peacekeeping Update: Comment on the World Summit & News
8. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: From Local to Global � Making Peace Work for Women, Peace and Security � Five Years on Report
9. Women, Peace and Security Calendar