The Role of NGOs in the Implementation of UNSCR 1325

 

Ms. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza

 

Let me go through the resolution, which is about 3p: Participation, Protection in conflict and post conflict situations and Prevention of sexual violence and of conflict itself.

 

ICRC says that 80% of the victims heavily affected by conflicts are women and children. But, not only projected as victims but also Women should be Peace builders and decision makers.

 

The resolution 1325 came from the ground and up. It is inclusive, participatory and initiated by civil society organizations. There are various women, peace and security resolutions. The resolution 1820 reinforces the jurisprudence of the ICTY and ICTR, stating that rape is a technique of war. It emphasise that there should be no amnesty for sexual violence. Moreover, sexual violence should be addressed in peacekeeping mandates.

This resolution was presented to civil society organizations, mainly in NY.

 

Resolution 1888

This resolution appointed a special representative of the UN Secretary General. There is a high level champion that draws attention on sexual violence in conflict areas. The resolution calls for investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence as civilian officers and military commanders. Command responsibility (IHL principle) should be extended to cover sexual violence. There are fewer civil society organizations that know about this resolution.

 

Resolution 1889

It was unanimously adopted by the Security Council and is dealing with post-conflict situations and peace building. It developed indicators to monitor the implementation of the various resolutions on women, peace and security.

 

Also there is a need to recognize the missing link in resolution 1888: reporting and accountability. There was a hope with Resolution 1889, states would report to the Security Council. Unfortunately it did not happen so easily. Until now, the indicators have not been officially adopted: it is only a naming and shaming exercise. The concern is that it would be only another reporting burden. There are indeed too many indicators and some of them are unrealistic. Right now groups like UNICEF, UN Women are consulting again with members states for the indicators and their use. However, there is still no civil society consultation in the process.

 

Resolution 1960

It further strengthens commitment and political will to prevent sexual violence, to combat impunity and enforce accountability.

The UN Secretary-General is requested to establish monitoring analysis and reporting arrangements on sexual violence. The resolution requests also a yearly publication of a list of armed groups that target women for sexual abuse

 

Various organizations sent a letter to the Security Council, asking if we really need that many resolutions to fully address the impact of armed conflict on women. They said that it created a lot of confusion, especially on the ground. The other concern is that the resolutions focuse too much on the prevention of sexual violence and not enough on the prevention of armed conflict itself. If women sat at the decision making table it would probably decrease their vulnerability to sexual violence.

 

So far, there are 24 national action plans, which is 12% of the countries in the world.

There is one regional action plan: Burundi, DRC, Rwanda. It is very important because states feel pressure from neighboring countries more than from the General Assembly. A regional Action plan is also ongoing in the Pacific.

 

There are also regional policies adopted by the European Union “EU comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the UNSCR 1325 and 1820” and a solemn declaration on Gender equality in Africa.

 

It is important to develop indicators and to monitor the implementation of the resolution 1325 by civil society. Some work needs to be done on CEDAW in order to make some general recommendations. This will serve as an interpretation of State obligations under international law.

 

Nowadays, most action plans are concentrated on central government actors and on NGOs working in the capitals. But NGOs that work where the conflict is actually taking place, where it matters the most, are not involved. There are some efforts to be made to involve civil society at the very local level, to increase their wonderful work on the ground but also to involve local officials at the very local level.

 

Here are some strategies for advancing the 1325 resolution implementation:

- Broad awareness raising. Building a government will and constituency.

- Partnerships among NGOs, governments, the UN and the private sector should be strengthened. Involving the private sector is new. There is a need to make them understand that peace is good for business and therefore they shall contribute towards this goal.

- Champions should be identified, especially at the national level. As an example, there is the particular situation in Nepal where the projects are supported by congress women.

- Need to emphasis the importance of the clarity of purpose, particularly by the adoption of national action plans.

 

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