17 Asia-Pacific countries join together to promote women, peace and security
Date: Monday, July 11, 2016
Bangkok, Thailand – Countries from across Asia-Pacific must place conflict-affected women at the center of their peace and security efforts, a landmark Regional Symposium has concluded.
Convened by UN Women and the Government of Japan, the Asia-Pacific Regional Symposium on National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security brought together representatives from 17 countries for the first time to share experiences and develop strategies for the national implementation of women, peace and security objectives.
Government representatives, civil society advocates, academics and experts from across the region will discuss emerging issues of concern including how climate change and displacement disrupt women’s security. The need to focus on strategies to prevent violence before it can escalate was another key theme of meeting. In addition, participants will discuss how their national plans on women, peace and security have been developed and how they can be implemented to deliver practical benefits to women affected by conflict.
“Women must be strong participants in all forms of peace and security,” said Roberta Clarke, UN Women Regional Director and Representative in Thailand. “Women are powerful actors in accelerating economic recovery after conflict, increasing the sustainability of peace processes, and building a culture of tolerance and inclusion,” she stressed.
Kyoko Hokugo, Director, Gender Mainstreaming Division, Foreign Policy Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan emphasized that “this Symposium is a groundbreaking opportunity to reflect on emerging trends and look to future action that can benefit National Action Plan processes and the advancement of the international women, peace and security agenda.”
UN Security Council resolution 1325 and National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security
UN Security Council resolution 1325, unanimously adopted in October 2000, stressed the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for maintaining and promoting peace and security. In the years since, seven further resolutions on women, peace and security (WPS) have been adopted, creating a robust framework for the implementation of the WPS agenda and reinforcing existing global commitments, treaties and conventions on women’s rights including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), and the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
To deliver these commitments at the national level, the United Nations has encouraged member states to adopt National Action Plans on WPS as one of a range of mechanisms that implements the resolutions and monitors the progress of the WPS agenda. As of May 2016, 63 countries have adopted National Action Plans, including nine in the Asia-Pacific region, with several currently in development.
Highlighting the commitment of the Government of Japan to strengthening women’s role in peace and security both in Japan and across the region, Hideo Fukushima, Minister, Deputy Chief of Mission and Permanent Representative of Japan to ESCAP Embassy of Japan in Thailand, provided: “Japan recognizes the need for women to be leaders in preventing conflict and in 2015 launched its own National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.”
During the Opening of the Symposium, UN Women’s Chief on Peace and Security, Paivi Kannisto, underscored the need and importance of strong political will, collaboration with civil society, financing for implementation, and monitoring of achievements for the success and high impact of National Action Plans on women, peace and security.