20-21 March 2019, San Salvador – As part of the Canada-funded project “Building Momentum for the Regional implementation of A/RES/65/69 on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control”, the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) carried out a sub-regional seminar entitled “Fostering Violence Prevention against Women through Arms Control. Every Woman Counts.” Dates were from 20 to 21 March 2019 in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The sub-regional seminar brought together NGOs from the International Action Network on Small Arms with government representatives from Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Nicaragua and Panamá who have responsibility for addressing arms control, gender-based violence and violence against women and girls. Also participating were officials and experts from UNDP, UNODC, UN Women, the Organization of American States, the Central American Integration System, and the Center of Excellence for Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice.
The seminar aimed to foster a better understanding of the main international standards, instruments, legal frameworks and good practices on small arms control and their distinct impact in preventing violence against women in order to facilitate national and regional efforts to advance full implementation of the UNGA resolution 65/69 (2010) on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control.
Nancy Robinson, UNLIREC Director, offered opening remarks stressing that the high participation achieved in the Seminar “is a testimony to the growing momentum for action against armed violence in this region.” She noted examples of how the UN and its Member States increasingly highlight and respond to the gendered nature of weapons. She encouraged participants “to stand united and work together to stop femicide and ensure that adequate controls are in place to regulate arms.”.
Participants proposed initiating their own advocacy and awareness raising campaigns on the need for incorporating arms control into prevention of violence against women initiatives, laws and policies. They expressed their willingness to ensure the collection of disaggregated data on femicide perpetrators, arms involved, risk factors, and reporting on all forms of gender-based violence.
This seminar was a contribution to the implementation of relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council that have repeatedly called for a full and meaningful participation of women in peace, disarmament and arms control efforts. It also provided opportunities for NGOs and government representatives from Central American countries, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Colombia to exchange ideas, discuss strategies, and consider possibilities for joint initiatives to address challenges vis-à-vis the implementation of UNGA resolution 65/69 in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as disseminate current local, national, sub-regional and regional practices in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular the SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).
The sub-regional seminar is part of a regional project funded by the Government of Canada and it was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador.