ECOSOC Chamber, North Lawn Building, United Nations Headquarters, New York
UN Women and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights hosted a panel Securing justice for women in post-conflict states on Monday, 2 May 2011, 10:00–13:00, at the United Nations Headquarters.
In 2011 the Security Council and the General Assembly will consider issues relating to rule of law and transitional justice. In order to complement the forthcoming inter-governmental processes, the panel reflected on the role played by women in transitional justice processes, focusing on experiences in Latin America, Africa and Asia, from both the perspective of victims and advocates for lasting change.
Specifically the panel examined:
- The nature of conflict-related violations and violence experienced by women and its impact on their lives;
- Women’s empowerment/participation in the peace process & post-conflict governance and the inclusion of a gender-sensitive agenda in transitional justice processes (i.e., prosecutions, SSR, truth-seeking, reparations, institutional reforms and national consultations);
- Continuing challenges/obstacles women face in their search for truth, justice and reparations and how to strengthen the role of government and civil society, particularly enhancing knowledge of the legal and policy framework to effectively engage the TJ process;
- Recommendations for reforms to the transitional justice agenda and mechanisms with a view to ensuring full and equal access to justice for women – including in the types of violations redressed, mandates, composition, and nature of the processes themselves.
- Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights (opening remarks)
- Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women (opening remarks)
- Yasmin Sooka. Ms. Sooka is currently Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights, South Africa. She served as Commissioner on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission; as International Commissioner on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and was recently a Member of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka.
- Betty Murungi. Ms. Murungi is currently serving as a member of the Board of the International Criminal Court Trust Fund for Victims. She is the former Vice-Chair of the Kenya Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and was the co-founder and Executive Director of Urgent Action Fund-Nairobi. She has also served as long-time Legal Advisor to the Coalition on Women’s Rights in Conflict Situations.
- Barney Afako. Mr. Afako is the legal advisor to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP). He is the former legal advisor to the Juba Peace Talks; and former legal advisor to AU Panel on Darfur.
- Dallas Mazoori. Ms. Mazoori is a former member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s Transitional Justice Unit specializing in conflict mapping and mobilization of victims and civil society for justice. She co-organized the first ever Afghanistan Victims Jirga in 2010 and is currently with the Afghanistan program of the International Center for Transitional Justice.
- Vasuki Nesiah. Ms. Nesiah is a legal scholar and Assistant Professor of Practice at New York University where she teaches human rights and international law. She is a former senior associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice and has written and worked on issues of gender and transitional justice extensively.
- Lorena Balardini. Ms. Balardini is a researcher at CELS (Center for Legal and Social Studies), an NGO that has been working since 1979 to promote and protect human rights, and strengthen the democratic system in Argentina. She is the co-author of a recent report entitled “Gender and Sexual Violence in the Clandestine Detentions Centers – A Contribution to the understanding of the Argentine experience” and is responsible for a trials data mapping project at CELS mapping the human right trials of Argentina, Chile and Peru.
- Valnora Edwin. Ms. Edwin is the Executive Director of the Campaign for Good Governance, Sierra Leone, a civil society organization that has engaged extensively in human rights, good governance and transitional justice programming. She is also a steering committee member of the African Transitional Justice Research Network and sits on NACSA, the coordinating body for the implementation of Sierra Leone’s reparations programme.
- Helen Mack. Ms. Mack is the founder and president of the Myrna Mack Foundation, an organization dedicated to fight against impunity and to promote the rule of law in her country. She initiated the first judicial process against high ranking military officials of the Guatemalan Army, charging three officials with organizing the assassination of her sister, Myrna Mack, and finally achieving the conviction of the primary author of the crime. Currently, she is coordinator of the Commission for the Police Reform.