The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) concluded a series of webinars on gender and small arms control for government officials in Cambodia. As the COVID-19 restrictions to travel in Asia-Pacific persist, UNRCPD provided the training in virtual format rather than in-country as originally planned.
Thirty-two officials, from the National Committee Against Torture, the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, the General Commissariat of National Police – Department of Firearms and Explosive Management, the General Department of Prison, and the Senior Officials Meeting on Transactional Crime of the ASEAN, joined the four thematic webinars, which were held on 8, 9, 19 and 20 July 2021.
Each webinar consisted of presentations by UNRCPD trainer and experts, question and answer segments, interactive polls, and discussions in break-out rooms. Participants completed questionnaires and homework assignments to consolidate the knowledge they gained during the sessions. Furthermore, the participants were given a digital dossier so that they continue to have access to the webinar’s material in their day-to-day activities.
Thirty-two government officials from key government agencies and ministries connected to the webinar series on gender and small arms control.
H.E. Pol. Gen. Por Phak, Secretary General, General Secretariat, Ministry of Interior and Mr. Yuriy Kryvonos, Director of UNRCPD delivered opening statements, welcoming the participants. The first webinar introduced participants to small arms control and how it relates to gender, as well as to the normative framework (global instruments on SALW control, the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Women, Peace and Security agenda).
Webinar 1- H.E. Pol. Gen. Por Phak, Secretary General, General Secretariat, Ministry of Interior delivered opening remarks.
During the second webinar, Mr. Dragan Bozanic, South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC), presented on the importance of collecting sex and age disaggregated data as a basis for gender analysis and for developing gender responsive and effective small arms control. Next, Ms. Gaelle Demolis, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, shared data and analysis on the status of women in law enforcement in the ASEAN region, with a focus on Cambodia.
The third webinar was dedicated to designing gender responsive small arms control at the policy and the regulatory framework level. In this context, Mr. Deepayan Basu Ray, formerly with the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction (CAVR), highlighted ways to strengthen such frameworks to better respond to the different ways small arms impact women, men, boys and girls, while focusing on Cambodia’s national law on weapons and ammunition and the application of the gender provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Ms. Ida Scarpino, UNRCPR Project Coordinator, concluded with a presentation on National Coordination Mechanism and National Action Plan on SALW, as effective tools to develop a broad, coherent and inclusive strategy to address the complex problems associated with the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
During the second webinar, Mr. Dragan Bozanic, Gender and Research Specialist at UNDP SEESAC, explained that gender aspects are not sufficiently considered in SALW control policies and how this negatively impacts the effectiveness of SALW control measures.
Ms. Gaelle Demolis, Governance, Peace and Security Programme Specialist and Officer in Charge for the Philippine Programme Presence Office at the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, explained the main challenges and opportunities for implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the region.
Webinar 3 – Mr. Deepayan Basu Ray, Independent Consultant, delivering a presentation on Strengthening the national legal framework for gender-responsiveness.
Gender-responsive small arms control programming in highly technical stages of the small arms life cycle was the focus of the fourth webinar. Mr. Emile LeBrun from the Small Arms Survey and Mr. Llewelyn Jones, from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), explored how gender aspects relate to conventional ammunition management, as well as to humanitarian mine action and physical security and stockpile management (PSSM).
Webinar 4- Mr. Emile LeBrun, Senior small arms control Consultant and Project Manager of the Small Arms Survey’s Gender and Ammunition Management Project explained why gender mainstreaming is important to the life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA).
Mr. Llewelyn Jones, Regional Director for South and South-East Asia, for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), presented the methodology of the baseline assessment for mainstreaming gender in mine action activities in Cambodia.
A final discussion in break-out rooms, aimed at summarizing key takeaways from the different sessions and identifying action points for gender mainstreaming small arms control in Cambodia. These included the need to review national legislation and regional convention on SALW control and illicit trafficking through a gender lens, as well as the organization of workshop on improving the national infrastructure on SALW control and women’s meaningful participation in this field.
The webinar series was part of a global project in support of gender mainstreamed policies, programmes and actions in the fight against small arms trafficking and misuse, in line with the Women, Peace and Security agenda, funded by the European Union.
Webinar 4 – Dr. Yuriy Kryvonos, Director of UNRCPD, summarizing the results of the four webinars and options for the way forward during the closing session.