Women, Peace and Security: Bringing Women’s Rights into UNHQ Policy
The non-governmental Working Group on Women, Peace and Security has teamed up with Finland to arrange for advocates of women’s issues to come to UN Headquarters in 2012 to present women’s concerns directly to the Security Council. The first delegations will come from Afghanistan, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Sudan, and Somalia. Meetings with the Security Council may also be organised for women’s rights advocates coming from Syria, Haiti, Kosovo, and Kyrgyzstan.
The women’s rights advocates from the conflict areas are being brought to UNHQ to discuss women’s concerns related to peace and security. Each delegation will have meetings with the Security Council just before UN discussions of the situation in their country. This should guarantee the best possible impact on Security Council decisions. The goal is to make sure that women’s voices and women’s concerns are more concretely reflected in the work of the UN Security Council, particularly in countries with internal conflicts.
The Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN will contribute to travel costs and preparations for the delegations, to a total of $50 000 USD. Finland will also host panel discussions and meetings between the women’s rights advocates and other Member State Missions to the UN, NGOs, and UN representatives and groups working in the area of women, peace and security.
Because the countries involved are all affected by conflict, one of the primary considerations for bringing women’s rights advocates to UN Headquarters is the safety and security of the delegates. This may make it difficult to bring specific delegations to New York on specific dates. The plan is to try and organise meetings with the Security Council for delegations of women advocates already travelling to New York for other purposes, such as the annual meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
The Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the status of women. The annual meeting of CSW evaluates progress on these issues.
First formed in 2000 to advocate for a UN Security Council resolution, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security now focuses on implementation of the resulting resolution, SCR 1325, and all other Security Council resolutions that address this issue. Strategically placed in New York at UN headquarters, it plays an important global role in monitoring policy and practice related to women, peace and security.