New study to examine women’s role in peace and security over the past 15 years

Date: 10 September 2014

New York — At a special event at United Nations headquarters today, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and UN Women announced the launch of a global study to review progress and challenges since the Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, in 2000. A landmark legal and political framework, the resolution acknowledges the importance of women’s participation and the inclusion of gender perspectives in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, post-conflict peacebuilding and governance.

With a rising number of global crises, including Syria and Iraq, the Central African Republic and the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, speakers highlighted the urgency of the new study. The findings are expected to be completed by mid-2015, and will also track progress made through six subsequent Women, Peace and Security resolutions at the Security Council. 

United Arab Emirates Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh said her country’s decision to place the Women Peace and Security agenda at the forefront of its priorities at the UN “stems from a strong conviction that women can be agents of their own progress, not victims. The UAE believes that the inclusion and active participation of women in all aspects of society is fundamental to a more peaceful and stable world order.”

The Ambassadors of Ireland and of the United Arab Emirates co-hosted the launch, which brought together the diplomatic representatives of the five countries that presided over the Security Council when the seven major resolutions were passed – Namibia (1325), United States of America (1820, 1888 and 1960), Viet Nam (1889), United Kingdom (2106) and Azerbaijan (2122).

“Ireland is a strong supporter of far greater involvement of women in preventing conflict, in peacemaking and in peacebuilding,” said Irish Ambassador David Donoghue. “We are in the process of developing our second National Action Plan on 1325 and see the Global Study as an opportunity to learn from and feed into this process.”

Speaking at the event, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “too often, policy gains, rather than real impact, has been our indicator of success. This must change. We must take stock, and ensure that plans are action-oriented and adequately funded. Simply put, we need more results for women and girls.”

The study’s lead author, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, and former Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Radhika Coomaraswamy, outlined the need to highlight emerging issues that were not part of the original resolution, including the rise of violent extremism, and the use of new technologies to inform and protect.

This upcoming study will feed into the High-Level Global Review that is planned for October 2015. It will highlight best practices as well as existing challenges.

Lead author Ms. Coomaraswamy said that the study will focus on the impact on women and girls during times of conflict and peace. She will consult directly with women affected by conflict to make their experiences and ideas part of the study’s policy recommendations.

The study comes at an opportune time, aligning with other major policy reviews and debates next year, such as the post-2015 development agenda discussions and the 20-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

At the 10 September launch event, Member States and UN entities were invited to reexamine the women, peace and security agenda and help shape the study and its recommendations over the coming year, ahead of the high-level review in October 2015.