Speech by Gitanjali Singh, UN Women Deputy Representative for Nepal at the Launch of UNSCR 1325 & 1820 NAP Implementation Guideline

Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Launch of 
UNSCR 1325 & 1820 NAP Implementation Guideline 

May 7, 2013, 10:00AM – 12:00
Airport Hotel, Kathmandu 

Organized by Saathi and Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) in collaboration with Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MOPR)
Remarks Gitanjali Singh – Deputy Representative

Honourable Minister Mr. Ram Kumar Shrestha, Excellency Mr. Stewart Beck,  Ambassador of Canada, Secretary Mr. Dharanidhar Khatiwada, Joint Secretary’s Mr. Saduram Sapkota, Mr. Upendra Adhikary, and Mr. Dinesh Thapaliya, Ms. Rossaak, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Norway, Mr. Basanta Gautam, Chief District Officer of Kathmandu District, Ms. Mavic Carberra Balleza – International Coordinator, Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, Ms. Bandana Rana, Executive Chair of Saathi, Ladies and Gentleman,

Good morning, on behalf of the Peace Support Working Group and UN Women I would like to congratulate the Ministry, Saathi and Global Network of Women Peacebuilders for developing the Local level Guidelines to strengthen UNSCR 1325 and 1820 implementation. It is an extremely useful and timely resource tool.

Localization is essential to ensure ownership. Our collective development experience bears testimony to the fact that even the best scripted policies and plans fail to produce concrete results when they are not locally owned. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of a bottom-up participatory approach to ensure sustainability in the implementation of programmes, with local authorities and communities taking ownership and leadership for the implementation. The founding Executive Director of UN Women very rightly pointed out that the 21st century must be the century of inclusion and that has to include women’s equal leadership and participation. We will not realize our goals for building true citizen democracies, ensuring peace and development that is sustainable, if we fail at women’s empowerment and substantive equality.

During the past 20 years, we have witnessed critical gains in ensuring that women enjoy the same human rights as men, that women are treated equally. It is quite clear that there can be no peace, no progress, no equality without women’s full and equal rights and participation. And there can be no gender equality without women’s realization. This momentum has to be maintained and we need to continue to move forward ensuring that women’s voice, choice, agency and collective wisdom are harnessed to sustain development and peace.

The UN Security Resolutions 1325 and 1820 are milestones. Their emphasis on women’s participation at all levels of decision-making on conflict resolution and peacebuilding, for an end to widespread conflict-related sexual violence and demanding accountability in order to end impunity - in a sense was a tipping point in history. 

Nepal in the last few years has made significant gains by adopting the NAP on SC 1325 and 1820 and by bringing out the first NAP Monitoring report. The NAP for SC 1325 and 1820 unlike other plans (since it is backed by financial resources) provides a tremendous entry point and a platform to take forward the dialogue on women’s rights and empowerment. While the NAP provides this space – we need to recognize that it does not cover the entire breadth of women’s rights issues. Therefore convergence and coordination with other national programmes like LGCDP using the CEDAW framework needs to be consistently reiterated. These localized guidelines must be integrated with the LGCDP Phase II roll out.

It is disheartening to note that despite an increased focus on the causes and consequences of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict, the implementation of meaningful measures to address the problem globally is still lagging. Perhaps nowhere is women’s access to justice more critical than in societies transitioning from conflict. An effective response to SGBV in post conflict contexts requires political will from the highest levels in the Government.  

The Government of Nepal has demonstrated political will and put in place a number of policies to provide “interim relief” to “conflict victims/survivors”. However this has excluded victims/survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence. The Peace Support Working Group strongly advocates for the inclusion of provisions for victims/survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence in the various policies that the Government has put in place. We do need to go the extra mile on this issue.The first year Monitoring Report on the Implementation of NAP by the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) also recommended collecting factual data on women victimized during conflict with the support of NGOs. The report clearly states that without accurate data it is impossible to launch a comprehensive programme for victims/survivors. We hope the implementation of NAP local level guidelines will facilitate collation of accurate data.

UN Women is committed to taking these guidelines forward and to integrating them in all our work. The Peace Support Working Group commits to sharing these guidelines with all its partners. We are sure SAATHI and Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) have a dissemination plan and a mechanism to track evidence of use.  

The Nepal NAP on SC 1325 and 1820 is a significant achievement – but there is still a long way to go. If we all - Government, civil society, development partners, continue to work together and collaborate we will be able to create  a society free of discrimination and violence, where women and men, girls and boys, can live in dignity, free of fear and want, with the freedom and capabilities to make their own choices about how they live their lives.

Thank you

 

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