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UN Secretary-General issues call to action on Women, Peace and Security in peacekeeping contexts
8 Oct 2020 -  United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres took part in a virtual roundtable discussion with women leaders from the Central African Republic, Cyprus, Darfur and Mali to discuss women’s leadership in advancing the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda under the framework of the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping Initiative.
The online discussion marked the 20th Anniversary of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 and reaffirmed women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in achieving and sustaining peace as a key priority. In their interactions with the Secretary-General, the women leaders highlighted progresses and remaining challenges in implementing this priority agenda in their respective contexts, touching on a wide range of issues from women’s participation in peace processes and conflict resolution, to the effectiveness of women’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring women’s voices as voters and candidates in elections.
The effectiveness of women’s leadership has been particularly evident during the pandemic, Mr. Guterres said. Yet women are under siege, bearing disproportionate care and economic burdens and facing an alarming surge of violence in the home. In situations of conflict, it is often women who are brokering peace at the community levels. However, he added, they continue to be actively sidelined once those processes move to the national and international levels. This must change, he said. The Secretary General called on governments, the UN system, regional organizations, civil society, and the wider international community to take bold actions to translate commitments into reality. Closing this unique discussion with a Call to Action for peacekeeping stakeholders to recommit, reshape and accelerate the Women, Peace and Security Commitments, the Secretary-General said we must prioritize women’s leadership, invest in community based women’s networks as equal partners and we must adopt feminist approaches to accelerate women’s full, equal and meaningful participation. Today, women’s leadership is a cause. Tomorrow, it must be a norm.
Call to Action (pdf)