The staff of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), in cooperation with UNDP SEESAC, successfully concluded a coaching programme on gender-mainstreaming small arms control on 23 April 2020.
Comprising both on-site and online sessions, the coaching programme fit into a multi-year global effort by the Office for Disarmament Affairs in support of gender-mainstreaming policies and actions to prevent illegal flows and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in line with the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNRCPD assists States in the Asia-Pacific region through the European Union-sponsored project.
Through the coaching programme, the Regional Centre strengthened its capacities for integrating gender perspectives into its portfolio. Additionally, it trained staff on the use of a training manual on gender-mainstreaming small arms control developed under the project.
The coaching was conducted by Dragan Bozanic of UNDP SEESAC who shared his experience on gender-mainstreaming small arms control in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. During the training, UNRCPD staff developed elements and recommendations which can be translated into UNRCPD’s work in the Asia-Pacific region. The training also highlighted how global small arms control measures converge with the Women, Peace and Security agenda, emphasizing that national authorities should synchronize national action plans on the agenda and action plans on small arms control.
In working groups, UNRCPD staff engaged in practical exercises to obtain substantive knowledge on key terms, challenges and concepts that are crucial to gender-responsive small arms programming and gender analysis. The staff also worked to plan out specific activities which will be carried out under the project, such as in-country trainings on gender-mainstreaming small arms control for selected States in the Asia-Pacific region.
Through interactive discussions, the participants identified key indicators for the long-term success of these planned trainings, such as an increase in women’s roles in arms control-related policymaking as well as peace and disarmament education. As a result of this exchange, the Centre will call on Governments during in-country trainings to augment their national action plans with measures aimed at making disarmament education available to young women and girls. Peace and disarmament education will also remain key in promoting gender-transformative approaches, as it provides an opportunity for sustainable and effective changes in social behavior towards gendered roles and small arms.