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20 years of UN-Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security

BM Maas & UN Secretary-General

Foreign Minister Maas with Nobel laureate Nadia Murad, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and UN Secretary-General António Guterres in the UN SC on 23 April 2019, © Thomas Koehler/photothek.net

19.05.2020 - Article

This year, we mark the 20th Anniversary of UN-Resolution 1325.

It was adopted by the Security Council at its 4213th meeting, on 31 October 2000 with the aim of increasing the participation of women in crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict peacebuilding to protect them against gender-based violence and in particular sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. These targets were given sharper focus and further development with the follow-up Security Council Resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015) and 2467 (2019, sponsored by Germany).

These Resolutions focus on four points: firstly, women are to be more strongly represented and actively involved at all levels of peace processes per se and in security policy in general; secondly, all people are to be protected against sexual violence in armed conflict; thirdly, women must be an integral element of all conflict prevention measures; and, fourthly, all aid, reconstruction and reintegration measures must take gender-sensitive account of the needs of men and women.

Priority issue in the UN Security Council

The role of women in peacekeeping and in conflicts is a prime focus of Germany’s UN Security Council membership 2019-2020. The aim is to anchor gender equality, participation and the protection of women as key elements of foreign and security policy. To this end it is working in various ways: firstly, through improved mainstreaming when dealing with crises and extending mandates; secondly, in co‑chairing with the Dominican Republic the responsible Security Council Working Group (Informal Experts Group on Women, Peace and Security, IEG); thirdly, Germany deliberately invites women experts from civil society to Security Council Sessions; and, fourthly, it chairs informal meetings of the Security Council on this issue.

In addition, during its Security Council Presidency in April 2019, Germany took several measures to push the “Women, peace and security” agenda:

  • Organisation of the traditional Security Council Open Debate on Sexual Violence in Conflict, with 90 speakers, including Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege, lawyer Amal Clooney, civil society representative Inas Miloud (Libya), UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten.
  • Adoption of new Security Council Resolution 2467 (2019) on conflict-related sexual violence as a targeted instrument to strengthen accountability and provide effective support to survivors of sexual violence (survivor-centred approach). An overview of the Resolution (in German) can be found here.
  • Organisation of an event to mark the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325 at which a total of 77 UN member states, regional organisations, UN bodies and international NGOs pledged support for over 400 specific voluntary commitments on women’s equal and effective participation in peace processes and on protection against sexual and gender-based violence.

Women, peace and security in the EU

At European level Resolution 1325 is implemented in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy. As a regular participant in the EU’s Women, Peace and Security Task Force, Germany is involved in EU decisions and activities relating to the implementation of Resolution 1325. The Task Force members are representatives of the European Commission, the Council Secretariat and the member states. In 2018 a new Strategic Approach to Women, Peace and Security was drawn up including the following key points: 1) women’s political participation and involvement in decision-making, including equal and meaningful participation in all political, economic, security-policy and social aspects of their societies; 2) measures against sexual and gender-based violence; 3) support for proactive measures to further women’s economic empowerment, with decisive benefits for the economy and society; 4) strengthening national implementation frameworks in EU member states, such as national action plans (NAP) and equivalent strategic documents.

Women, Peace and Security in the OSCE

In January 2020, the OSCE released a study to examine the progress made in the implementation of the UNSRC 1325 in the OSCE region. It examines the National Action Plans of the OSCE participating States and highlights the main trends and challenges also in relation to the key findings and recommendations of a previous OSCE study published in 2014.

To support and enable students and young professionals, in particular women, to make their contribution to peace and security, the OSCE together with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) initiated the OSCE Scholarship for Peace and Security in 2018. It offers a training programme on conflict prevention and resolution through arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation with a specific focus on OSCE-relevant instruments. Sponsored by Germany, Andorra, Finland, Ireland and Switzerland, the third edition of the training programme started this year on 6 April 2020 with an eight-week online course. Due to the unprecedented global Corona-pandemic, the in-person course originally scheduled for May 2020 is envisaged to be held in Vienna later this year with 50 young female participants.

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