Statement by Participants at the South Asia Consultation on UN Security Council Resolution 1325

Friday, April 4, 2003


The Commission on the Status of Women (March 3-14, 2003), ended after failing to pass the final draft of the Agreed Conclusions on Violence Against Women on March 25, 2003. Unlike the draft of the Agreed Conclusions on Violence Against Women, the final draft of the Agreed Conclusions on the “Participation and Access of Women to the Media, and Information and Communications Technologies and Their Impact On and Use as an Instrument for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women” was passed.

To read the Agreed Conclusions on the Participation and Access of Women to the Media, and Information and Communications Technologies and Their Impact On and Use as an Instrument for the Advancement and Empowerment of Women (PDF) , click here.

CSW in the News

Commission on the Status of Women Fails to Adopt Draft Agreed Conclusions on Violence Against Women, as it Closes 47th Session
March 25, 2003 – (UN Press Release) The Commission on the Status of Women did not adopt its draft agreed conclusions on women's human rights and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, as it concluded its forty-seventh session this afternoon.

Closing Statement by Ambassador Ellen Sauerbrey, United States Representative to the Commission on the Status of Women
March 25, 2003 – “On behalf of the United States, I would first like to express my appreciation to the members of the Bureau, to you Madame Chair and to the facilitator of the negotiations on Violence Against Women, Mr. Fernando Coimbra, for all the hard work that went into this very important issue for women around the globe.”

U.N. CSW Panel Suspends Meeting Amid Discord Over Rights Measure
March 17, 2003 – (UN Wire) A U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting that was to end Friday was instead suspended until further notice amid disagreement over language in a draft resolution on women's human rights and violence against women and girls.

CSW Agreed and not Agreed Conclusions!!
March 15, 2003 – (IWTC Women's GlobalNet) CSW delegates adopt Agreed Conclusions on Gender, Media and ICTs…but do not adopt Agreed Conclusions on women's human rights and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.

For more information about the Commission on the Status of Women, click here

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March 17-April 25, 2003, Geneva

The UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is currently meeting in Geneva for its 59th session where over 3,000 delegates from member and observer States and from non-governmental organizations are participating. During its regular annual session, the Commission adopts around a hundred resolutions, decisions and Chairperson's statements on matters of relevance to individuals in all regions and circumstances.

WILPF representatives are present at the CHR and are working in coordination with other NGOs to promote statements on peace and human rights. While the agenda is loaded with areas of concern for WILPF-UN, New York, agenda item 12 on the integration of the human rights of women and the gender perspective and its sub-item 12a on violence against women are of particular importance. According to the schedule of the CHR, these items will be treated the week of April 7, 2003.

For more information about the work of the CHR and for information from NGOs present at CHR, click here. We will post updates to this page as information is sent to us from Geneva.

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3. 1325 NEWS

Key Challenges on Civilian Protection in Conflict
April 3, 2003 - (IRIN) Kofi Annan has highlighted three particular challenges to civilian protection in armed conflict. This report considers: sexual and gender-based exploitation, commercial exploitation and the escalating threat posed by global terrorism.

A Canadian Discussion on Resolution 1325
March 31, 2003 – In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, The Linden School, a feminist school in Toronto (grades 1-12), organized an event entitled “Coalition For Peace: Women Take Action-Including Women's Voices at Peace-Tables Worldwide.” In a packed auditorium with standing room only, a few hundred Torontians were introduced to Resolution 1325. In addition to a keynote statement by journalist and activist Sally Armstrong, and a panel discussion, a petition was circulated that will be sent to Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bill Graham, urging his leadership in implementing Resolution 1325 by incorporating it into Canada's national legislation.

Sarah Shteir, a PeaceWomen Project Associate, spoke on the panel about Resolution 1325 and the work of WILPF's PeaceWomen project. The next issue of the newsletter will feature her feedback from the event, including some of the questions posed by the students of The Linden School about Resolution 1325.

U.N. Workshop Precedes Entry Into Force Of Treaty On Women in Afghanistan
March 31, 2003 – (UN Wire) The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is holding a women's rights workshop tomorrow in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in advance of the entry into force Friday in the country of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. The workshop, which will focus on the treaty, is the first in a planned series of UNAMA rights workshops for women. Expected tomorrow are more than 30 participants, including local and national government representatives (UNAMA release/ReliefWeb, March 30).

A Woman's Work?
March 30, 2003 – (New York Times Magazine editorial) In a way, it is no surprise that more women than men oppose the war with Iraq. The gender gap on issues of war and military spending has been obvious at least since pollsters first thought to measure such a thing.

Somali Women Peace Delegates Lobby for Their Rights
March 28, 2003 - (IRIN) Somali women attending the ongoing peace conference in Nairobi, Kenya, have called for women's rights to be included in all stages of the peace process.

Women for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in the Southern Caucasus: A UNIFEM Initiative
March 24, 2003 – (UNIFEM Press Release) The Southern Caucasus Regional Coalition “Women for Peace” was established on March 23, 2003 with the purpose to promote women's role in the conflict resolution, peace building and development agendas in the Southern Caucasus. The Coalition includes women leaders from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. To read their “Appeal to the World Community” concerning the war in Iraq, click here.

African Union Urged to Back Women's Rights
March 24, 2003 - (IRIN) The human rights group Amnesty International (AI) has called on the African Union (AU) to back plans to boost and protect the rights of women on the continent.
To read the AI press release, click here.

Encouraging Women's Involvement in the Nepali Peace Talks
March 23, 2003 – (The Institute for Human Rights Communication Nepal – Press Release) On March 23rd, a 'Roundtable Conference' was organised in Kathmandu to encourage the involvement of women in the peace talks. It aimed to help raise the problems of Nepal's women - who make up 51% of the population - at the decision making level, and to ensure that women's priorities and needs are not neglected during the peace talks.

1 in 7 U.S. Military Personnel in Iraq Is Female
March 23, 2003 – (WEnews) The war with Iraq will be the largest deployment of women to a combat theater to date, marking more than a century of women's military service.

Women Speak for Peace Above the Din of War
March 22, 2003 – (The Toronto Star) Michele Landsberg writes: Six days ago, on the brink of plunging the world into war, George W. Bush emerged from his Azores summit meeting with Britain, Spain and Portugal and announced: "We have concluded that tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world."

A Violent Peace for Angola's Women?
March 20, 2003 – (OXFAM Angola Diary) ‘Many houses have many secrets – things that other people don't know about. Particularly to do with the behaviour of men.'

Gulu Women Cry for Peace
March 18, 2003 – (New Vision -Kampala) On a dry and windy morning, the women marched forward in a long line stretching nearly half a kilometer from the office of the Gulu Resident District Commissioner to Kaunda Grounds.Some wore sandals. Others were barefoot in gomesi, T-shirts and ebitengi. Trauma was visible on their faces. They told tales of massacre, rape, abduction and numerous atrocities against them by the rebels in the area.

The Role of Women in Peace Building and Reconstruction: More Than Victims
March 17, 2003 – On March 6, Ambassador Steinberg, Deputy Director of Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State, addressed the Council on Foreign Relations, alongside UNIFEM's Executive Director Noeleen Heyzer, about the importance of bringing women to the official peace table: “We know that bringing women to the peace table improves the quality of agreements reached and increases the chance of success in implementing, just as involving women in post-conflict governance reduces the likelihood of returning to war.”

A Peace of her Mind
March 16, 2003 – (Sunday Herald-Nova Scotia) Murial Duckworth has been fighting for the cause of peace since the 1930s. She remains, at 94 and on the eve of yet another conflict, as passionate and uncompromising as ever.

Mozambican Women Against War On Iraq
March 14, 2003 – (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique) Mozambican women's organisations have denounced the imminent United States war against Iraq, and have demanded respect for international legal instruments.

For More News please see:

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4. FEATURE ANALYSIS: Statement by Participants at the South Asia Consultation on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (23/02/03)
International Alert

A group of women from diverse organisations in different countries of the South Asia region gathered at a consultation in Bangkok, Thailand, facilitated by International Alert to share experiences and analysis on issues relating to women, peace & security and to learn, appreciate and understand more about UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and its relevance to local, national and regional contexts.

The following are key points for follow-up, which were collaboratively identified by those present at this consultation:

Content & Wording of the Resolution

1. While acknowledging that UN Security Council Resolution 1325 gives space for diverse and varied actions in different contexts, the group urged that the following be noted:

1.1 Justice and equity need to be clearly included as vital elements that are currently not incorporated sufficiently.
1.2 The phrase “where appropriate” in clause 5 should be deleted.
1.3 Statements that reinforce stereotypes and push women into secondary roles in society should be avoided.

Accountability, Justice & the Changing Global Context

2. There is a need to take heed of the impact of post 9/11 activities, which undermine accountability.

3. That the UN ensures that its stakeholders at all levels are made aware and held accountable to uphold and implement Resolution 1325.

4. That the UN ensures dissemination of 1325 to its stakeholders and appointees at all levels.

5. The need to facilitate the establishment of a report back mechanism for violations of human rights within member states through:

5.1 Strengthening the CEDAW reporting mechanism and follow-up
5.2 Establishing a systematic reporting mechanism to the UN Human Rights Commission in order that civil society can report violations committed by their national security forces.

6. That all states be strongly urged to ratify the Optional Protocol to CEDAW in order to strengthen the individual complaint mechanism built into this.

Effective Local/National/Regional Interface & Response Strategies

7. That funds held by regional/national UN offices allocated for peace initiatives be disbursed swiftly and effectively without political ties in order that timely interventions may be secured.

8. That all agencies should establish a rapid response mechanism to ensure timely and appropriate and impartial disbursement of resources and funds emphasising support for women's peacebuilding and post conflict initiatives. Thus, complying with paragraph 7 of UNSC Resolution 1325.

9. The need to utilise and hold accountable existing regional and national mechanisms to implement Resolution 1325 eg. SAARC Conventions on Trafficking, Welfare and Small Arms and Track I & II negotiations.

10. That civil society groups establish the following in order to ensure the full implementation of 1325 at the local & national levels:

10.1 Establish local / national reporting mechanisms.
10.2 Translate and disseminate easily accessible information on 1325 through local media such as radio and respected press.

Representatives present committed themselves to the implementation of the suggestions outlined for civil society, but requested equal commitment from other stakeholders at the regional and international levels especially UN agencies, programmes and the Secretariat.

For more information about this statement and the consultation in Bangkok, contact Nicola Johnston (International Alert)

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to:

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Considering the abundance of statements and speeches that have been made recently about woman and the war in Iraq, we have included, below, brief excerpts from a number of these statements along with a link to the full statement:

Women's Organizations Worldwide Urge General Assembly to "Unite for Peace"
March 28, 2003

We, the undersigned organizations, call on the member states of the United Nations General Assembly to enact an emergency application of UN Resolution 377 (“Uniting for Peace”) to stop the US-led bombing of Iraq and protect Iraqi civilians. Uniting for Peace provides that in the event of a “threat to the peace or act of aggression,” which the Security Council does not counter, the General Assembly “shall consider the matter immediately.” The Assembly can recommend collective measures, including the use of armed forces, to member states to “maintain or restore international peace and security.”

For a related news story by the International Council for Peace and Justice, click here.

Women in Situations of Conflict
Senator Elizabeth Hubley, Canadian Senate, Ottawa,Canada
March 25, 2003

Honorable senators, the invasion of Iraq is well underway and, once again, women are at risk, both as combatants and as innocent civilians. Indeed, the prelude to war certainly showed us the contrast in circumstances of women at times such as now…While women are victims of the violence and helpless refugees, they are also peace negotiators, leaders and activists…Honorable senators, March 8 was International Women's Day. Women throughout the world desire to be at the peace tables rather than on the battlefields. It is my hope, as I know that it is the hope shared by every person in this chamber, regardless of gender, that the war in Iraq will be short-lived, with a minimum of casualties on both sides, and that peace, when it comes, will be just and lasting.

Appeal to the World Community
“Women for Peace,” Southern Caucasus Regional Coalition
March 23, 2003

We, women of Southern Caucasus who experienced all hardships of war conflicts express our pain and concern in connection with the ongoing war in Iraq…We call on to the actions in the spirit of the UN SC resolution 1325 of necessity to involve women in the process of peaceful regulations at all levels.

Women Unite Against the War! Oppose the US Imperial Dreams!
March 23, 2003

… As the war on Iraq escalates, the world will see extensive and intensive expansion of the US military, resulting in greater global instability. Countries like the Philippines and South Korea will be used as launching pads for more aggressions. Militarization means sexual violence, rape, and degradation of women, girls, and boys for the sex trade around US military bases. In South Korea, there have been more than 100,000 documented cases of sexual abuse by the US military. Since the deployment of US troops to the Philippines in February 2002, sex trafficking of Filipinas has increased to 600%, 5,000 Filipinas have been trafficked into South Korea for the rest and recreation use by US troops. During the first Gulf War, there were reports of “rest and recreation” ships, each with 50 Filipinas for the use of US troops who could not enter Islamic countries.

The World March of Women Against War in Iraq
4th International Meeting of the World March of Women
March 18-22, 2003, New Delhi, India

We, women of the World March representing 35 countries and territories, gathered in Delhi for the 4th international meeting of the World March, state our strongest and most determined opposition to the war that has begun started by the United States government and their allies against the Iraqi people. This unilateral declaration of war breaks with all international standards and with the very spirit of the UN Charter; furthermore, it ignores the will of the vast majority of peoples who have been marching by the millions throughout the world for weeks now. With this war, the United States government and their allies are acting as the cops of the world in order to control the oil market and remake the Middle East region according to their interests.

For the full statement in French, click here.
For the full statement in Spanish, click here.

Head of UN Women's Fund Urges International Community Not To Forget the Needs of Iraqi Women as they Face War
Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director, UNIFEM
March 21, 2003

Today at UNIFEM our thoughts are with the women of Iraq who need the adequate protection and assistance that is the right of all civilian populations under international law. The Security Council in Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security recognized that, “women account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and as internally displaced persons.” The International Community must remember this as it organizes to deliver assistance and protection to the women of Iraq.

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to:

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6. FEATURE INITIATIVE: Women Peace March in Israel/Palestine
September 4-25, 2003

Twelve Norwegian women have taken the initiative to organize a peace march in Israel/Palestine. According to the organizers:

“People all over the world have over a long period of time witnessed the suffering of the people in the Middle East. At the same time we see that the situation is at a stalemate, and that politicians have not been able to find solutions that will benefit the people of both Palestine and Israel.

This is the background for our invitation to women all over the world to participate in a peace march. The march is founded on the principles of non-violence and on UN‚s Human rights, and will be accomplished in the spirit of M. Gandhi and M.L. King.

We will travel to the area and march through refugee camps, villages and cities in both countries. We will show the people of Palestine and Israel that they are not alone. We will sow the seed of change, and hopefully give a new energy to people on both sides.

We are invited to stay in the homes of Israeli and Palestinian women, and we will take part in their ‘thousands of conversations' about a different and better future. We will plant new olive trees where the old ones have been chopped down, thus contributing to the rebuilding of the region. By traveling to the region we will see the situation with new eyes and this will enable us to see new paths of co-operation and new projects in the aftermath of the march.”

Anyone who is interested in participating in the peace march is invited to set up their own national committee. To date, there are committees in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, UK, USA and of course, Norway, Palestine and Israel.

If you would like to start up a Committee in your own country, please contact the Norwegians at:

For more information about the peace march, click here.

For more PeaceWomen initiatives please visit:

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Another Killing Field
Report from the WILPF Palestine Section
February 2003

“It seems that forever WILPF Palestine Section has been trying to convey to our WILPF sisters throughout the world the horrific situation that prevails in Palestine, truly a catalogue of horror and abuse of human life. Over the past months, the Section has received many messages of support, and we are aware that amongst you are souls who grieve for us, and who we know spend many a working hour working for peace.”

Women and Peace-Building
Canadian Woman Studies
Editor-in-Chief: Luciana Ricciutelli
Fall 2002/Winter 2003

The most recent issue of Canadian Woman Studies includes articles about the impact of women on peacekeeping operations, feminism and peace activism, peace activism via the internet (PeaceWomen), and women's experiences of conflict and their peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts in a diversity of countries, including Uganda, Northern Ireland, Guatemala, Nepal, Kenya, Canada, India, Cyprus, and Eastern Europe. For information about how to order this issue, contact CWS

For a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles and analyses on women's peace theory and activities, as well as NGO position papers, reports, speeches, statements and tools for organisational building. Please go to:

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Conference on Security Council Resolution 1325
April 8, 2003, Ramat-Gan Law College, Israel
Isha L'Isha, the only multi-service women's center servicing Haifa and northern Israel, has organized this conference to address the effects of armed conflict on the lives of women and girls, and the necessity of mainstreaming a gender perspective into peace resolution efforts. For more information, contact Sarai Aharoni, Isha l'Isha- Haifa Feminist Center at 04-8530159 or

The International Criminal Court: A Gender Perspective
April 9, 2003, 3-5 pm, Teachers College, Columbia University
The Peace Education Center has organized a panel to discuss, among other things, the significance of women's role in the establishment of the ICC, the significance of gender in the ICC statute, and the role of women's activism in the future. Panelists inlcude Rhonda Copelon, Professor of Law & Director International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic and Betty Reardon, Founding Director Peace Education Center and Program, Teachers College Columbia University. For further information please contact: Yohei Ishiguro at, or call 212-678-8116.

UNU/INCORE International Summer School
June 9-14, 2003, Northern Ireland
The International Summer School provides an intensive week of training, networking and discussion in the field of conflict resolution. Facilitated by leading experts, the International Summer School is aimed at mid to senior level policy makers, practitioners, academics, members of the media, military and religious organisations. Three courses are offered in 2003: Managing Peace Processes; Track Two Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation; and Evaluation and Impact Assessment of Peacebuilding Projects.

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This edition of the 1325 PeaceWomen E-News Features:

1. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW): Update and News
2. Commission on Human Rights (CHR): Now in Session
3. 1325 News
4. Feature Analysis: The South Asia Consultation on SC Resolution 1325
5. Feature Statements: UNIFEM, GABRIELA, World March of Women and more
6. Feature Initiative: Women Peace March in Israel/Palestine (September 2003)
7. Feature Resources
8. Calendar Events