UN Women Executive Director calls for action to step up leadership of women in all areas of peace and security at the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points meeting in Namibia

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

UN Women Executive Director delivers her Call to Action at the meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Global Focal Points Network.  Photo: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire
UN Women Executive Director delivers her Call to Action at the meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Global Focal Points Network. Photo: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire

UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is visiting Namibia this week to attend the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Focal Points Network meeting being held in Windhoek from 10 to 11 April.

The two-day meeting will bring together Women, Peace and Security Focal Points from Member States, sub-regional and regional organizations, civil society experts and young women leaders from more than 40 countries. Participants will engage in in-depth discussions on how to increase women’s leadership and participation in all areas of peace and security, strategies to strengthen implementation of National Action Plans on WPS, address the issue of disarmament and small arms and light weapons, and the important role of young women in advancing the women, peace and security agenda. This is the first meeting of the Network in Africa.

L-R: UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; UNHCR Namibia Representative Joyce Mends-Cole; African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineita Diop at a meeting with women leaders to discuss the formation of a National Chapter of the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) in Namibia. Photo: UN Women
L-R: UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; UNHCR Namibia Representative Joyce Mends-Cole; African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineita Diop at a meeting with women leaders to discuss the formation of a National Chapter of the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) in Namibia. Photo: UN Women

The Network serves as a cross-regional forum for Member States, regional organizations and civil society to share experiences and best practices to advance implementation on all UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security and to improve coordination of funding and assistance programmes. Canada and Uruguay will co-chair the Network in 2020, and UN Women serves as the Secretariat of the Network.

On Thursday, 11 April, the Executive Director will deliver a Call to Action at the WPS Focal Points Network meeting to build momentum towards the 20th anniversary in 2020 of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and to urge participants to act and make commitments that amplify the role of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Between 1990 and 2017, women constituted only 2 per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of negotiators, and 5 per cent of witnesses and signatories in all major peace process. Several recent high-profile peace talks for Yemen (held in Stockholm), for Libya (held in Palermo) and for Afghanistan (with the Taliban) have had either no or minimal participation of women.

Women leaders discuss the formation of a National Chapter of the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) in Namibia. Photo: UN Women
Women leaders discuss the formation of a National Chapter of the African Women’s Leadership Network (AWLN) in Namibia. Photo: UN Women

During her visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will hold high-level meetings with senior government officials to discuss collaboration between the Republic of Namibia and UN Women on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 2020.

Esther Antonius a Development Officer (Legislature) from the Namibian Ministry of Gender Equality, Women and Child Welfare shows her groups’ hashtag at the Youth Peace Lab. The Lab was one of the working groups at the 3rd Capital Level Meeting of the Women Peace and Security Global Focal Points Network. Photo: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire.
Esther Antonius a Development Officer (Legislature) from the Namibian Ministry of Gender Equality, Women and Child Welfare shows her groups’ hashtag at the Youth Peace Lab. The Lab was one of the working groups at the 3rd Capital Level Meeting of the Women Peace and Security Global Focal Points Network. Photo: UN Women/Otae Mkandawire.

The Executive Director will also meet with young women leaders and women leaders from the social, political and private sectors to promote peace, governance and leadership, and to discuss the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN).