News Archive
Mar 11, 2011 - UNSCR 1325 and Peace for Sustainable Development: Partnership of Parliamentarians, Policy-makers, and NGOs
Report on a parallel event of the UN 55th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

Time: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 1:00-3:00pm
Place: Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations (2nd Floor)

As part of the Northeast Asian Women's Peace Conference (NEAWPC) initiative, a panel discussion entitled "United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and Peace for Sustainable Development" was co-hosted by the Organizing Committee of the NEAWPC, Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) of the George Washington University, and Peace Boat US. Coinciding with the official launch of UN Women, the event shed light on the necessity for women's participation in peace building processes, bolstered by UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

The panel included parliamentarians, diplomats and NGO activists and examined ways to fully implement UNSCR 1325 on the ground. Its diverse composition laid the foundation for a potential partnership across various levels in the political arena to ease tensions and mainstream a gender perspective into regional peace negotiations. Audience members from around the world filled the room and demonstrated high expectations for the promises of the UN mandate. Linda Yarr, Director of PISA, moderated the panel.

"We used to say "No Women, No Peace." But we have learned from painful experiences, that not all women are necessarily peaceful. We need women who want to prevent violence and resolve conflict in non violent ways," said Cora Weiss, President of the Hague Appeal for Peace, in her opening. Having participated in drafting UNSCR 1325 as a civil society representative, Ms Weiss is well aware of not only the benefits but also its missed opportunities.

Choi Young-Hee, South Korean Congresswoman and sponsor of the event, placed importance of the resolution in a more concrete historical and political context. By referring to recent developments and military clashes on the Korean Peninsula, such as the sinking of the Cheonan warship and North Korea's shelling of Yeongpyeong Island, she made an urgent call to establish a peace regime. Meanwhile, as she argued that women are underrepresented in policy-making processes in the areas of military, diplomacy and unification, she pointed out the absence of women negotiators at the official Six-Party-Talks. She concluded her speech by elaborating the roles of parliamentarians with regard to UNSCR 1325 in for example, promoting a public education campaign and the developing a National Action Plan.

Next, H.E. Herman Schaper, Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations, whose country championed the implementation of the resolution, took the microphone. Stating that the Netherlands adopted its National Action Plan (NAP) in 2007, Ambassador Schaper described its characteristics as concrete, specific, and inclusive. According to him, "the Dutch government follows the 3D approach of Defence, Diplomacy, and Development. In this approach, it does not only strive towards military success but also aims at economic development, good governance and inclusive political structures."

Moving to the case of the United States, Ms Susan Braden, Senior Policy Advisor in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the US State Department, made clear that "the US government will ensure that a gender [issue] is effectively addressed throughout all bureaus and missions" and it is currently working to develop a NAP, with a budget of $44 million. She also appealed to the academic community to provide solid research on the value of including women in decision making on peace and security.

The final speakers were representatives of NGOs from South Korea and the United States. Co-Chair Dr Chung Hyun-Back first introduced the history and development of the Northeast Asian Women's Peace Conference. She explained that although the conference started as the Women's Six-Party Talks, due to deteriorating inter-Korean relations North Korean women were no longer able to participate, so its name was changed. Taking a critical stance on the current South Korea government's North Korea policy, she urged the resumption of humanitarian aid to the North and the adoption of NAPs by the countries participating in the Six-Party Talks.

Ms Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, briefly summarized the core aspects of UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions and raised a critical question, asking whether "we really need that many resolutions to fully address the impact of armed conflict on women." Furthermore, she pointed out that "the resolutions focus too much on the prevention of sexual violence and not enough on the prevention of armed conflict itself. If more women sat at the decision making table it would probably decrease their vulnerability to sexual violence."

The event concluded with a lively session of questions and debates.

Documents for download
Speech - Ambassador Herman SchaperSpeech - Choi Young-HeeSpeech - Cora WeissSpeech - Hyun Back Chung