Project Factsheet
Tools for » Peace Negotiations and Security Council Resolution 1820: Women's Security and Peace Processes
Project ID 00071098 Description UNA003 Peace Negotiations and
Fund
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 27 May 2009
Theme
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
Project status Financially Closed
Country United Nations Participating Organization   UNWOMEN - UNWOMEN
About

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict[1] is convening conflict mediators with experience from a range of recent conflicts to address the question of how peace negotiations can address a number of issues related to the use of sexual violence as a political or military tactic in conflict.  The objective is to generate guidance for mediators and their teams to enable them to address sexual violence, where relevant, in peace processes.  The two-day Colloquium will assemble mediators from past peace processes, staff from mediation teams, leaders of women’s peace coalitions and subject experts to address the challenges of implementing Security Council resolution 1820.[2] 

This Colloquium builds on a previous highly successful conference which was undertaken by UN Action member agencies, the Wilton Park conference on military peacekeepers’ roles in preventing widespread and sexual violence. The conference, which was organized by UNIFEM and DPKO on behalf of UN Action brought together military peacekeepers, chiefs of staff and member states for a high level conference, which contributed to the passage of UN Security Council resolution 1820. One of the recommendations of Wilton Park was to strengthen international commitment to engaging women in peace talks. UNIFEM was tasked with the preparation of a guidance note for mediators. Subsequently, at the UN Action against Sexual Violence Strategic Planning meeting in 2008, DPA offered to lead in bringing SCR 1820 into peace negotiation and conflict mediation processes.  DPA and UNIFEM are sharing the lead on this effort and are collaborating with UNDP and DPKO along with the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HDC) – to galvanize high level political support for the implementation of a critical area of Security Council resolution 1820, namely to build mediation capacity on sexual violence, promote policy level responses, resource allocations and eventually stronger peace agreements.

The event is timed to contribute to discussions of the upcoming Secretary-General’s Report on the implementation of SCR 1820.  The Colloquium outcomes will also support longer-term efforts to improve the UN’s capacity to engage women in all aspects of conflict resolution and peace building, including through proposals to the DPA for guidelines for mediators and their teams.


[1] UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict is a group of 12 UN entities building coordination and accountability in the UN’s response to sexual violence in conflict.  See:  http://www.stoprapenow.org.

[2] SCR 1820 was adopted on 19 June 2008. The resolution acknowledges that women and girls are particularly targeted by the use of sexual violence as a tactic of warfare and notes that rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide.

 

Project results

The high-level colloquium convened approximately seventy-four participants comprising 9 mediators and SRSGs, 35 UN staff members, 24 representatives from civil society organizations (including technical experts and women’s groups), 4 military commanders, 2 elected politicians and a moderator from the BBC World Service. A report summarizing the main findings and recommendations emerging from the colloquium has been drafted, and is expected to be tabled at the Security Council by the United Kingdom. These findings have been shared with member states at an Arria Formula meeting on June 24th and the IPI event on September 14th. Five separate guidance notes are being developed by UNIFEM in collaboration with the Department of Political Affairs, to be posted on the DPA’s Peacemaker website and from part of the DPA support package to mediators and their teams.

But the most important outcome related to the colloquium is the unanimous passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1888, which strengthens the operational viability of UNSCR 1820’s implementation. Drafted by the United States and sponsored by more than fifty member states, it was voted on at a Security Council session presided by the US Secretary General of State, Hillary Clinton. This resolution powerfully affects the architecture of the UN-system’s response to sexual violence in conflict and several of its provisions are heavily influenced by the issues discussed at the colloquium and its recommendations. For example:

Para 16. Urges the Secretary General, Member States and the head of regional organizations to take measures to increase the representation of women in mediation processes and decision-making processes with regard to conflict resolution and peacebuilding; and Para 17. Urges that issues of sexual violence be included in all United Nations-sponsored peace negotiation agendas, and also urges inclusion of sexual violence issues from the outset of peace processes in such situations, in particular in the areas of pre-ceasefire, humanitarian access and human rights agreements, ceasefires and ceasefire monitoring.

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