UN gender adviser calls for more action to integrate women in peace issues

Rachel Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues

25 October 2006 – The United Nations should do more to encourage Member States to adopt national action plans to more fully integrate women in peace and security issues, especially in countries recovering from conflict, the UN Special Adviser on Gender Issues said today.

“I think we need a lot more of the countries emerging out of conflict to come up with national actions; these are the countries that really could use the full implementation of 1325 in order to consolidate peace,” Rachel Mayanja told a news conference referring to the 2000 Security Council resolution calling for more women’s involvement.

As an example of recent progress she cited a contingent of some 125 women police officers sent by India under UN peacekeeping auspices to Liberia, which is recovering from civil conflict.

The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) recently held a training forum for countries contributing troops and police for overseas missions, as part of its commitment to boost the role of women in peace and security matters, she noted.

“I think if you are going to support these countries to consolidate peace they need to have clear action plans where they themselves would be committed to implementing the resolution and it will go a long ways to sustaining peace,” Ms. Mayanja said.

“We have always pointed out that the Security Council needs to do more …encourage all Member states to come up with action plans,” Ms. Mayanja, noting that most have so far come from developed countries, including Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Her comments follow a report she submitted last month on behalf of the Secretary-General to the Security Council assessing the UN’s own internal progress enhancing the role of women in peace issues.

“We discovered that the entities have made commendable progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 however it is somewhat haphazard, it is not consistent and not in all aspects of the resolution,” she noted today.

There are “gaps in accountability, coordination of our activities is still a big challenge and we did not find sufficient evidence commitment at the highest level to implementation, lack of commitment that is demonstrated by lack of resources….[and] …extremely junior staff” chosen to implement the resolution,” she also said today.

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