In the context of its regional project on women, peace and security (WPS), the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) organized a “Workshop for Southeast Asia on Gun Violence and Illicit Small-Arms Trafficking from a Gender Perspective”. Held from from 3 to 6 July 2018 in Bangkok, the workshop was funded by the United Nations Trust Facility Supporting Cooperation on Arms Regulation (UNSCAR).
The workshop brought together representatives of leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on gender issues and women’s empowerment, as well as members of parliaments (MPs) from Southeast Asia interested in arms-control issues. Also participating were UN officials, WPS trainers from the Women’s Network of the International Action Network on Small Arms, as well as international expert speakers from the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons, Centre for Armed Violence Reduction, and Small Arms Survey. Through applying a gender perspective, the Workshop aimed to strengthen control of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) and empower women in the region to take part in such efforts. It further sought to sensitize decision making taking into consideration the impact of gun violence on women through interactive activities, including table-top exercises, trainings, and small group discussions.
UN officials explained key Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on WPS and the concept of gun-free zones, and promoted relevant treaties and instruments such as the Arms Trade Treaty and the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects.
The workshop provided opportunities for NGO representatives and parliamentarians from Southeast Asian countries to exchange ideas, discuss strategies, and consider opportunities for joint initiatives to address the challenges posed by illicit trade in small arms and its impact on women.
The workshop also contributed to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.
Photo credits: ODA