By Julius N. Uma
June 14, 2010 (JUBA) — A high profile meeting held between Sudanese women and top United Nations leaders over the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325 on women peace and security could set a new agenda for women, Sudan Tribune has learnt.
The meeting, held at UNMIS headquarters in Khartoum, brought together Sudanese women from a broader spectrum of civil society organizations in Southern Sudan, Darfur, Eastern Sudan, the Blue Nile, Khartoum and the Nuba Mountains.
A source told Sudan Tribune that the meeting, which was one of the more than 20 similar events held globally in various UN locations, provided a forum for women to voice their concerns and provide recommendations to accelerate the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security.
During the high-profile meeting, the women reportedly expressed concern that despite the passing of the resolution ten years later, much still remains to be done.
The forum, among other things, offered comprehensive and holistic recommendations on women’s role in conflict prevention and resolution, covering topics as diverse as alternative fuels and de-mining activities.
“Women used this opportunity to strongly demand the UN to advocate with them for a minimum of 30 percent female participation at all levels of decision-making, from peace negotiations to DDR commissions. They further called for a national mechanism for the implementation of SCR 1325,” a female activist who attended the Khartoum meeting said.
While speaking at the meeting, Jasbir Singh Lidder, United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, reportedly reiterated the UN’s commitment in collaboration with all stakeholders from government and the civil society towards the realization of the peace and security resolution.
Ms. Grace Okonji, a Senior Gender Adviser at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also acknowledged the organization’s efforts in supporting women of Sudan.
The consultative meeting, supported by United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), UNMIS and UNDP further provided an avenue highlighting three implementation gaps namely, the scarcity of women in peace negotiations, the continued use of sexual violence as a tactic of war, and the persistent shortfall in financing for women, peace and security concerns. All these were said to be persistent in Sudan.
ABOUT UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325
The much-hyped United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, was passed on October, 31, 2000 and calls upon all actors, including governments and the UN to take concrete actions to ensure the participation of women in peace processes and to improve the protection of women in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The Resolution covers key, interrelated areas which include; Calls for an increased representation of women at all decision-making levels- nationally, regionally and internationally in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict and peace processes; calls on all actors involved, when negotiating and implementing peace agreements to adopt a gender perspective into peacekeeping.
Additionally, UNSC Resolution 1325 also underlines the need for better protection of women from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence in situations of armed conflict.