Open Letter to the Group of Friends of 1325: Recommendations for the September 2019 UN General Assembly High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Sustainable Development Summit


Open Letter to the Group of Friends of 1325: Recommendations for the September 2019 UN General Assembly High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Sustainable Development Summit

August 2019

Dear Friends of Women, Peace and Security,

In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda, including stand-alone goals on gender equality (SDG5) and peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16).

In September 2019, the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) under the 74th Session of the General Assembly will meet to follow up and review progress on the 2030 Agenda including on gender equality and peace. In advance of the 24-25 September SDG Summit, Member States have been asked to share Voluntary Accelerated Actions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to scale up ambition and action. The Summit will also launch the 2019-2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Review Process.

Many member states have already shown leadership and commitment to issues of gender, equality and peace. However, continued silos pose obstacles to action.

Implementing the SDGs in a coherent manner requires strengthening the participation, protection, and rights of women and girls across the conflict spectrum. The Women, Peace and Security Agenda is a critical tool to a coherence approach that links up SDG5 and 16, as well as other goals, in a way that leaves no one behind.

In preparation for the SDG Summit in September 2019:

We invite you to revisit existing recommendations and commitments on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This includes recommendations from the 2015 Global Study on UNSCR 1325 as well as more recent commitments, such as those made at the 23 April 2019 High Level WPS Commitments event hosted by Germany, the United Kingdom, and UN Women.

We urge you to:

1)   Commit to Acceleration Actions on SDGs on peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16) and gender equality (SDG5) that accelerate the WPS Agenda:

a.     Commit to country specific action, such as supporting women’s meaningful participation including gender perspectives in peace processes in Afghanistan, Libya, the Korean Peninsula, or Yemen;

b.     Commit to specific thematic action that strengthens holistic action and prevention, such as strengthening implementation mechanisms addressing Gender Based Violence obligations in the Arms Trade Treaty;

2)    Call for strengthened interlinkages in policy and implementation between the SDGS and human rights, including women’s and girl’s human rights, and the WPS Agenda: 

a.     Commit to addressing CEDAW, CRC, UPR, and other human rights mechanism recommendations in Voluntary National Reviews;

b.     Commit to addressing commitments in 1325 National Action Plans into SDG Voluntary National Reviews;  

c.     Commit to including WPS Focal Points and coordinating bodies in SDG coordination bodies;

3)    Support a High Level Political Forum (HLPF) review process which strengthens its independence and holistic accountability:

a.     Ensure that modalities address structural, cross border, cross cutting issues around women’s and girls’ human rights and the development-humanitarian-peacebuilding nexus;

b.  Ensure the meaningful participation of civil society including women human rights defenders and peacebuilders at national, regional, and international levels.

Realising the vision of the 2030 Agenda requires urgent political as well as technical shifts. Deep rather than superficial action is needed for political transformation.

We are calling on you to raise the bar and promote sustainable development and peace that works for every woman and every girl of every age, place, ability and status, and for all of us.

Drafting Team: Abigail Ruane (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom); David Nichols (Amnesty International), Mavic Cabrera Balleza (Global Network of Women Peacebuilders), Erin Helfert Moësse (Plan International), and Akila Radhakrishnan (Global Justice Center) 


  1. Afrihealth Optonet Association (Nigeria)
  2. Amnesty International (Global)
  3. Amnesty International Belgium (Belgium)
  4. Amnesty International Indonesia (Indonesia)
  5. Amnesty International Venezuela (Venezuela)
  6. Arab Women’s Solidarity Association (Belgium)
  7. Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (Thailand)
  8. Asociacion Regional Mujeres Ingenieras (Peru)
  9. Aube Nouvelle pour la Femme et le Développement (DRC)
  10. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (USA)
  11. Charles & Doosurgh Abaagu Foundation (Nigeria)
  12. Comité Internationale Péruvien (Belgium)
  13. Community Emergency Response Initiative (Nigeria)
  14. Cordaid (Netherlands)
  15. Corporación Humanas Chile (Chile)
  16. CVFE (Collectif contre les Violences Familiales et l'Exclusion) (Belgium)
  17. Direction de l'Egalité des Chances, Ministère de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Belgium)
  18. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality (Fiji)
  19. Djanaeva (Kyrgyzstan)
  20. Dr Uzo Adirieje Foundation (DUZAFOUND) (Nigeria)
  21. Echoes of Women in Africa Initiatives (Nigeria)
  22. Elles Tournent (Festival International Féministe de Films de Femmes-Bruxelles) (Belgium)
  23. Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia (Mexico)
  24. Fédération des Centres de Planning familial des Femmes Prévoyantes Socialistes (FCPF-FPS) (Belgium)
  25. Feminist League (Kazakhstan)
  26. Femmes Prévoyantes Socialistes (FPS) (Belgium)
  27. Fida International (Finland)
  28. FinnWID - Finnish Women in Development (Finland)
  29. Fundacion Arcoiris por el Respeto a la Diversidad Sexual (México)
  30. Fundacion para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (Argentina)
  31. Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) (UK)
  32. Gestos–Soropositividade, Comunicação e Gênero (Brazil)
  33. Global Justice Center (USA)
  34. Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (USA)
  35. Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) (Netherlands)
  36. Interface 3 Namur (Belgium)
  37. International Women's Health Coalition (USA)
  38. Judith Trust (UK)
  39. Kenana Association for women empowerment (Egypt)
  40. Korea Women’s Alliance (Republic of Korea)
  41. Korean Women's Movement for Peace (Republic of Korea)
  42. Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (Ecuador)
  43. Le Monde Selon les Femmes (Belgium)
  44. London Abused Women’s Centre (Canada)
  45. MADRE (USA)
  46. Make Mothers Matter (MMM) (International)
  47. Millennia2025 Women and Innovation Foundation, PUF (Belgium)
  48. National YWCA of Korea (Republic of Korea)
  49. Network of Rural Women Producers (Trinidad and Tobago)
  50. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (USA)
  51. Nobel Women's Initiative (Canada)
  52. Nonviolence International New York (USA)
  53. Observatorio de Género y Equidad (Chile)
  54. OutRight Action International (USA)
  55. Oxfam International (Global)
  56. PA Women's Organization Alga (Kyrgyzstan)
  57. Persephone NPA Union of Women with a Disability or a Chronic and Disabling Disease (Belgium)
  58. Plan International (UK)
  59. PRAXIS (Belgium)
  60. Rapad Maroc (Morocco)
  61. REFACOF (Cameroon)
  62. Regional Centre for International Development Cooperation (RCIDC) (Uganda)
  63. Rutgers (Netherlands)
  64. SIGLOXXII (El Salvador)
  65. Society for Conservation and Sustainability of Energy and Environment in Nigeria (SOCSEEN) (Nigeria)
  66. Solidarité des Femmes Activistes pour la Défense des Droits Humains (SOFAD) (DRC)
  67. Soroptimist International (Global)
  68. SOS Viol ASBL (Belgium)
  69. Sukaar Welfare Organization (Pakistan)
  70. Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN) (Uganda)
  71. Vie Féminine (Belgium)
  72. WECF International (Netherlands)
  73. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Global)
  74. Winam Grassroots (Kenya)
  75. Women Cross DMZ (USA)
  76. Women Environmental Programme (Nigeria)
  77. Women for Women International (UK)
  78. Women Making Peace (Republic of Korea)
  79. Women's International Peace Centre (Uganda)
  80. Women's Major Group (Global)
  81. Women's Refugee Commission (Global)
  82. Zamara Foundation (Kenya)
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Open Letter to the Group of Friends of 1325: Recommendations for the September 2019 UN General Assembly High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Sustainable Development Summit

Press Release: Open Letter to the Friends of 1325: Recommendations for the September 2019 UN General Assembly High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Sustainable Development Summit