WEST AFRICA COMMITS TO ENHANCE THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN PEACE PROCES
Dakar, September 17, 2010 – “The Dakar Declaration on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325” and its related regional action plan for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were adopted today in Dakar at a Regional Forum entitled "Women Count for Peace”. The event took place at ministerial level on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
"Through the Dakar Declaration all countries committed to adopt, as soon as possible, a national action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325. The effective participation of women in conflict prevention, peace keeping and peace building as well as in decision-making bodies would then become a reality in West Africa ", stated Vice-President and Minister of Women's Affairs of Gambia, Her Excellency Ms. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, who chaired the closing ceremony of the Forum."This declaration is unique because of its regional dimension," she underlined.
Recognizing the crucial role of women in maintaining peace in the sub-region, the Dakar Declaration sets out clear commitments made by the Ministers in charge of gender issues in West Africa, ECOWAS, the Mano River Union (MRU), the African Union (AU), civil society and the UN to accelerate the implementation of resolution 1325 both at national and regional level. It aims at fostering synergies among the different actors through the establishment of a strategic framework and a regional action plan of ECOWAS to support the national action plans. The Declaration also provides for the establishment of monitoring mechanisms and evaluation instruments including specific indicators. ECOWAS will coordinate this process in collaboration with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and UN WOMEN - the new United Nations body dedicated to gender issues - on behalf of the UN system.
The Declaration is built on four pillars: (1) effective participation of women in peace processes, (2) protection of women and girls from conflict related sexual violence (3) prevention through greater involvement of women in preventive diplomacy and the establishment of early warning systems, (4) relief and recovery through access to adequate care and humanitarian services. The declaration also provides concrete measures to ensure the effective implementation of resolution 1325 in each country. These include inter alia the designation of national and regional focal points in the various institutions as well as the publication of periodic reports and regular coordination meetings.
The Vice-President and Minister of Women's Affairs of Gambia and the Minister for the Promotion of Women of Togo, Henriette Olivia Akossiwa Amedjogbe-Kouevi have been designated to submit the Declaration to ECOWAS Member States. The Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, will present the declaration to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Member States during a special event entitled "Women Count for peace- Global Open Days ", in New York on October 21, 2010. This event will be held in preparation to the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security dedicated to the 10th anniversary of resolution 1325.
The conference is organized under the auspices of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) in collaboration with various Regional Offices in West Africa such as the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Information Centre in Dakar (UNIC).
For more information: Laurence Gerard, Public Information Officer - Office of the Secretary General's Special Representative for West Africa Office: 221 33-869-8560 - Mobile: 221-928 77- 3324 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit: www.un.org/unowa or www.unifem.org/campaigns/1325plus10/