Panellists: Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of WILPF; Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator/Program Director for Global Network of Women Peacebuilders; Nahla Valji, Policy Specialist on rule of law and justice at UNWomen; Louise Allen, Executive Coordinator, NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
Organised by: WILPF, GNWP, WAND, and the Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights
WILPF in collaboration with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), the Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), and the Consortium on Gender Security and Human Rights hosted a civil society consultation to provide updates on the High-Level Review, discuss civil society engagement, and provide space for recommendations. The consultation was moderated by Laila Alodaat, Syrian Human Rights lawyer and Program Associate of WILPF’s MENA Agenda 1325 Project.
In looking at the 20 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and 15 years since the implementation of UNSCR 1325, Madeleine Rees reiterated that our demands for women’s inclusion and equality have remained the same. She stated that the solution is to demand gender equality and work to change the inherent patriarchal culture, the structures of power and the unequal socially constructed roles. Before ending, Rees gave the call for us to “rethink, strategize, organize and make a difference.”
Nahla Valji who is presently working on the Global Study for the 2015 High Level Review of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 reminded that 2015 is a critical year for the WPS agenda as 3 simultaneous reviews on peace and security are scheduled to take place. She recommended that we need to think strategically about the obstacles which has prevented us from reaching the vision which was founded in Beijing and in doing so, ensure that we centralize the inclusion, participation and issues of women in all the reviews as well as women, peace and security and financing recommendations.
Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator/Program Director for Global Network of Women Peacebuilders discussed the role of civil society especially with regard to its participation in the Global Study. She explained that civil society participated in the study based on it being an independent study which adequately reflected civil society voices. She explained the process of the study and its 3 components: National and Regional Consultations; Advisory Groups (inclusive of representatives from civil society) and; a Civil Society Survey. Louise Allen of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security reminded that we have 6 months until the 1325 High Level Review to jointly advocate, develop multi-targeted advocacy and push UN Member States and Agencies to recommit to the principles of a transformative WPS agenda.
Attendees were called upon to make recommendations toward the Global Study based on the four pillars of UNSCR 1325: Participation, Prevention, Protection and Relief and Recovery. These recommendations were documented and after a round of comments and question and answer, the panelists each made closing remarks. Attendees were reminded that while there will be thousands of recommendations towards the completion of the Global Study, not all will be included into the final report. Instead these recommendations can provide a road-maps of the the micro-economics of conflict also of the civil society voice within these processes. Rees further gave the call to create a new global movement for change and extended the invitation for all to join WILPF’s 100th anniversary conference ‘Women’s Power to Stop War’ at the Hague in April.