NEW YORK – On the margins of the High-Level Week on women, peace and security (WPS), the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the United Nations (UN) and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) launched a new joint initiative on advancing the role of women in post-conflict reconstruction that will be conducted over the next 12 months in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on WPS.<
The initiative consists of four panel discussions, the launch of a major research report in the second half of 2020, and a UN plan of action aimed at addressing the gaps in gender-sensitive approaches to post-conflict reconstruction that remain under-researched and under-implemented.
Speaking about the initiative, H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN stated: “We believe it is important to build momentum ahead of the 20th anniversary of this resolution to identify the actions that we as the UN community can take in the next 12 months to actually get women involved and leading on peacekeeping and conflict prevention. Research has proven to us time and again the value of women’s engagement in politics to ensure sustainable peace, security, and development for all. It is a great pleasure to be working with Ambassador Melanne Verveer and her team at the institute again as we collaborate on identifying concrete actions and reforms that Member States and UN agencies can undertake and advocate in order to ensure gender mainstreaming in the post-conflict processes and services that the UN proves and facilitates in time for the 20th anniversary.”
Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of GIWPS and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, said, “We need to pay greater attention to the critical transition period when a country is emerging from conflict. It provides a particular window of opportunity for women’s inclusion in contributing to a new constitution, building democratic institutions, and in advancing stability, economic opportunity, and sustainable peace.”
The event also featured the first panel of the series hosted by the two partners, with the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, focusing on post-conflict governance and political participation. It evaluated factors that have led to meaningful gains in women’s political participation, while investigating the impact of quotas, women’s formal engagement with political parties, legal and constitutional reforms that enshrine women’s rights, support for national and local women’s civil society organizations, and the work of international implementers and funders. Speakers at the event included Ambassador Nusseibeh, Ambassador Verveer, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the UN H.E. Valentine Rugwabiza, Deputy Chief of Peace and Security at UN Women, Ms. Olufunmilayo Balogun, Senior Program Officer for Religion and Inclusive Societies at the US Institute for Peace Ms. Palwasha Kakar, Director of the Women Lead program at the National Democratic Institute Ms. Olena Yena, and Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany to the UN H.E. Jurgen Schulz.
The remaining panels will focus on justice and the rule of law, economic revitalization, and inclusion, as well as climate adaptation and security sector reform. The research report will reflect the findings and key statistics developed by GIWPS concurrent with and drawing from the panel series and is intended to catalogue best practices and the “business case” around gender-mainstreaming in post-conflict reconstruction. The UN plan of action aims to translate the research and panel contents into an agenda for the UN community.
The UAE remains firmly committed to advancing the WPS agenda. In July 2019, the UAE and UN Women announced that the second round of the Military and Peacekeeping Training Programme for Women – held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, and run in partnership with UN Women, the UAE Ministry of Defence, and the General Women’s Union – is set to launch in January 2020. The programme is a part of the UAE’s efforts to advance the WPS agenda and aims to amplify the vital role women play in the security sector and the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, and to equip civilian women with the skills to protect themselves and their communities in times of conflict.
Previously, between 2014-2015, the UAE Mission to the UN and GIWPS collaborated on a panel series with UN Women on women, peace and security aimed at informing the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) by exploring emerging issues in the agenda. Following the conclusion of the series, the partners produced a joint publication, highlighting this series of breakthrough policy dialogues.