Ghana on Wednesday launched a National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (GHANAP 1325).
The 60-page document, which was developed by the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC) in collaboration with stakeholders, fulfils national as well as international obligations with regard to the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), which was adopted in October 2000.
The Resolution was however based on the UN's recognition of the international needs, rights, experiences and roles of women in areas of armed conflict, peacemaking and peace keeping.
It also provides for the active participation of women in all aspects of peace negotiations, peace building and post conflict reconstruction.
Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister, MOWAC, who launched the document, said by the event, Ghana is now included in the directory of African countries that have national action plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.
She said the document is expected to serve as the country's specific action plan for the implementation UNSCR 1325, which requires an increased representation of women in all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions.
It also seeks to put in place mechanisms for the involvement of women in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
“More importantly, UN Member States were called upon by the Security Council to adopt a gender perspective when negotiating and implementing peace agreements and to ensure that the rights and protection of women and girls enshrined in international law are duly respected,” she said.
Mrs Azumah Mensah explained that Ghana's Action plan focuses on the three pillars of Participation, Protection and Prevention.
Its objective is to ensure the full responsibility and active participation of women in conflict prevention, resolution, peace negotiation, mediation, crisis and security management at all levels of the Ghanaian society.
The document would ensure that the rights, interests and special needs of women and girls are integrated in policy formulation and implementation, contributing to reduce conflict and the eradication of violence against women and girls in both private and public spheres.
She said effective implementation of GHANAP 1325 would lead to an increase in the number of women in leadership positions in security sector institutions, their participation in the promotion of peace and resolution of conflicts, particularly, by supporting local peace initiatives of women.It would in addition prevent gender-based violence and protect the needs and rights of women and girls within the scope of peace missions, humanitarian operations and positions in the international UN and African Regional and Sub-Regional organisations.
GHANAP 1325 will therefore ensure a coherent approach to the implementation of UNSCR1325 and the promotion of a gender perspective in Peace and Security.
The National Action Plan consolidates all efforts to enhance women's position and role as decision-making in conflict prevention, crisis management and peace building activities.
The Minister called for active collaboration between MOWAC and other key Ministries including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the Interior.
She said mechanisms such as monitoring and evaluation, reporting and communication strategies has also been developed and would be employed as cross-cutting issue for each of the three pillars.
She emphasised that the successful implementation of GHANAP 1325 would largely depend on the security sector institutions and Ghanaians.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr William K. Aboah, Minister of the Interior, noted that although Ghana has not experienced any armed conflicts on a large scale, there has been some violent and deadly inter-ethnic conflicts in the country, which have adversely affected many people especially women, children and the vulnerable.
He said Ghana has however played very significant roles in the maintenance of international peace and security both under the auspices of the UN and the African Union, adding that “our action plan should therefore be informed by our local as well as international experiences”.
He cited the establishment of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service and the increase in the proportion of women in regards to recruitment, retention and career advancement of women in the security services as some major steps to ensure women's participation in peace making and conflict resolution.
Mr Aboah commended MOWAC and all who worked hard towards the development of the document and gave the assurance that the Ministry is ready to partner MOWAC and others to ensure peace in the country especially, before during and after election 2012.