1325 PeaceWomen E-News Issue #82 17 October 2006

SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF RESOLUTION 1325 The Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, 31 October 2000. CLICK HERE for the full text of the resolution.

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For past issues of the newsletter, CLICK HERE.

THIS ISSUE OF 1325 PEACEWOMEN E-NEWS FEATURES:

1. Editorial:Sixth Anniversary of Resolution 1325
2. Women, Peace and Security News
3.
Sixth Anniversary of Resolution 1325:
Women, Peace & Security October Advocacy Program
4. Reflections on Implementation:
2005 Open Debate Statements and the Peacebuilding Commission
5. Feature Statement: Statement by South Korean Women on North Korean Nuclear Test
6 . Feature Resources: Report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace & Security
7. Gender & Peacekeeping Update: Peacekeeping Watch - News & Resources
8. NGO Working Group on Women, Peace & Security Update: Open Letter to UN Ambassadors regarding the October Security Council Open Debate
9. UNIFEM Update: Security Council Open Debate: Key Messages: Voice, Influence, Justice, Security, Accountability
10. Women, Peace and Security Calendar

The PeaceWomen Project is a project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Please visit us at http://www.peacewomen.org.


1. EDITORIAL
The PeaceWomen Team

In general, an anniversary is a cause for celebration – and there have certainly been some solid steps taken towards the full and effective implementation of Resolution 1325 since its unanimous adoption nearly six years ago to celebrate. 1325 must not become something that Member States and the UN system only pay attention to during the month of October. It is vital that we move beyond “Anniversary Advocacy” and that the resolution is mainstreamed within the day-to-day work of the Security Council and throughout the UN system.

During last year’s Open Debate on women, peace and security, Austria said “the Peace-building Commission offers the international community a major opportunity to ensure that a gender perspective becomes a normal part of any peace-building process.” Whether 1325 has, in fact, been taken seriously in the design, mandate and work of the PBC to date is the subject which is carefully considered in the soon to be released report of the NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security (see Events Calendar in Item 3). We hope to offer a point of reflection for women, peace and security advocates and for Member States in considering whether the commitments expressed in the past have been realized (see item 4).

Member States will again have an opportunity to address this issue during the 2006 Open Debate on women, peace and security. The Debate, to be held on 26 October under the Presidency of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN, will focus on the role of women in the consolidation of peace. The NGOWG on Women, Peace and Security (of which WILPF is a founding member) have made recommendations to Member States (see item 9) in regard to several issues – including the integration of 1325 in the work of the Peacebuilding Commission. This month’s UNIFEM Update (item 9) offers particularly valuable messages for the Open Debate which, if taken seriously, would advance the effective implementation of 1325. We hope to see a large number of Member States participating in this debate and, further, that they will seriously consider and address these issues and recommendations. The Open Debate is one of several events to be held in the coming weeks. A number of women from conflict-affected countries will be traveling to New York to participate in advocacy activities and we look forward, in the next issue of the 1325 E-News, to reflecting their valuable perspectives, insight and recommendations for the meaningful implementation of 1325 at the country level.

The next edition of our newsletter will feature a review of the events that took place and resources that were released to mark the 6th Anniversary of Resolution 1325. It will also provide more in-depth analysis of the upcoming Security Council Open Debate and the Secretary-General’s latest report on women, peace and security (see item 6). We look forward to receiving information and feedback on events and initiatives, particularly those that took place in places other than New York.

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As always we welcome your contributions to the newsletter’s content. The newsletter is sent out at the end of each month. Contributions for the November edition should be sent to enewssubmissions@peacewomen.org by Thursday 9 November 2006.

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2. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY NEWS

ANNAN CALLS FOR MORE POLITICAL WILL TO COMBAT SCOURGE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
October 9, 2006 – (UN News Centre) Condemning widespread global violence against women as a human rights violation, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called for more political will and financial resources to fight the scourge, warning that as long as such acts continue there will be no real progress towards equality, development and peace.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: WOMEN ACTIVISTS STRUGGLE AGAINST PATRIARCHY
October 16, 2006 - (All Africa) Women rights activists from Southern Africa emerged as determined as ever to continue with the struggle against patriarchy during a three-day conference held in Johannesburg last week. Participants noted that patriarchy is at the core of women's subordination and must be challenged in both the public and private spheres.

CHAVEZ'S EMBRACE OF IRAN LEADER INSULTS WOMEN
September 27, 2006 – (Women's Enews) Hugo Chavez, one of the key figures in the left populist movements spreading throughout Latin America, has publicly lauded and embraced Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Moments like this show just how little women's lives matter in the world of nationalist politics.

LATIN AMERICA: WOMEN LAWMAKERS FIND STRENGTH IN UNITY
September 23, 2006 - (IPS) More and more women legislators in Latin America are setting aside their differences and coming together around the cause of women’s rights, in women’s caucuses. The last to have done so are female congresswomen in Colombia and Peru, who say they realised there is strength in unity.

AFGHAN WOMEN'S OFFICIAL SHOT DEAD
September 25, 2006 - (BBC News) A leading Afghan official working on women's rights has been shot dead in the southern province of Kandahar. Safia Amajan, head of the province's women's department, was leaving her home for work when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire, police said.

MUSLIM WOMEN PROTEST CHANGE TO LUKIC INDICTMENT
October 6, 2006 - (Tribunal Update) Bosnian Muslim women who say they were victimised or raped by Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Milan Lukic are protesting against the alteration of the indictment against him.

WOMEN RETURN TO FIGHT A NEW WAR
October 2, 2006 - (PANOS) Sisay Abebe Belaynesh Adugna was 12 when she joined Tigrayan guerillas to escape a child marriage. Pledged to her husband at the age of seven, Adugna's wedding took place in a small town in Tigray, the northern Ethiopian province that was the theatre of a fierce 17-year-conflict between government soldiers loyal to the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam and the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).

UN REPORTS SHARP RISE IN VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, GIRLS IN DARFUR
October 9, 2006 - (VOA) The United Nations says sexual violence against women and girls in Sudan's troubled Darfur region has soared in recent months, along with an overall deterioration of security. A coalition of U.N. agencies says the alarming increase in violent attacks against women and children in Darfur has risen ever since the signing of a peace accord between the Khartoum government and one rebel group earlier this year.

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For more country-specific women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

For more international women, peace and security news, CLICK HERE

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3.sixth anniversary of resolution 1325


WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY MONTH

October 31 marks the 6th Anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325. Below we offer a sampling of events and initiatives planned for the Women, Peace and Security October Advocacy Program.

NGO WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY – OCTOBER ADVOCACY PROGRAM

The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) will be conducting a week of advocacy at UN Headquarters and has invited two women peacebuilders to take part in its Women Peacebuilders Program. The objective of the program is to ensure that women’s experiences and concerns in areas affected by violent conflict are heard by policy-makers and others at the United Nations. The participants selected for the program are actively working on Resolution 1325 and related women, peace and security issues on the local, national and regional levels. The women are developing concrete recommendations on issues of women, peace and security for the work of the Security Council, UN Agencies, Member States and civil society. These recommendations will be communicated at a variety of events, panels and meetings planned for this period.

Participant Profiles

Ms. Barbara Bangura – Sierra Leone

Barbara Bangura, one of the founding members and the Regional Adviser of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET) in Sierra Leone, is currently the National Coordinator of Grassroots Empowerment for Self Reliance (GEMS), a women’s organization formed in Sierra Leone in 1998. GEMS mission is to transform the dignity and respect of marginalized women in society to ensure self reliance through development, by working with grassroots rural women towards achieving a well developed society where men and women work together constructively as partners in development.

Ms. Bangura has advocated tirelessly for women’s inclusion and participation in the processes of peacebuilding. In 2001, she was the Secretary-General for the Network on Collaborative Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone (NCP-SL), in 2003 she was the Country Coordinator for the Women in Peacebuilding Network in Sierra Leone (WIPNET-SL) and from 2004 – 2006 she served as a Regional Adviser for Women in Peacebuilding Network in Accra, Ghana.

Ms. Bangura is actively involved in peacebuilding and non-violence sensitization and training workshops for women. She is a member of several peacebuilding networks, including the Women’s Committee on the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (WACOTREC). Ms. Bangura has taken part in many trainings and workshops focusing around women and peacebuilding, including a workshop on “Gender & Peacekeeping In The West African Context” organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in collaboration with The Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Research Department of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael and the first Regional Conference of Women in Peacebuilding Network in Dakar, Senegal.

Ms. Safaa Elagib Adam – Sudan

Ms. Elagib Adam is currently the Secretary-General and Gender Advisor of the Community Development Association (CDA), which she joined in 1992. The Community Development Association is based in Khartoum, Sudan. The Community Development Association (CDA) is a non-governmental organization working on sustainable development and peace – with a special focus on the western states of Sudan. Ms. Elagib Adam has worked extensively in the area of gender and peacebuilding, including as a National Expert for German Development Services and with OXFAM UK as a Deputy Relief Coordinator. Her professional training and experience includes participation at many peacebuilding consultations and dialogues including: The Civil Society Forum of the Donors Conference and Gender Symposium for Sudan (Oslo, 2005); Expert Group Meeting on Understanding the Darfur Conflict (Addis, Ababa); and a workshop on Women’s Human Rights and Gender-Based Violence (UNHCR, Geneva, 2004).

In 2005, Ms. Elagib Adam participated as a Gender Expert in the 7th round of Darfur Peace Negotiation in Abuja. She was also among the 1000 women nominated in 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize by the project Peacewomen across the Globe. In addition, Ms. Elagib Adam is an executive member of the Darfur Forum for Dialogue and Peaceful Co-Existence, as well as the Sudanese Women Empowerment in Peace and Development Network, and a member of the Darfur Conflict Advocacy Group.

Ms. Sharon Bhagwan Rolls - Fiji

Ms. Bhagwan Rolls is the Coordinator of femLINKpacific. Ms. Rolls is a leading advocate of women, peace and security. She has presented numerous papers and conducted training on a range of issues including women’s media advocacy, and the implementation of UN commitments to women, peace and security, especially through UN Security Council resolution 1325, and has undertaken women’s media assignments in Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste to address women’s under-reported contributions to peace in these conflict areas of the Pacific region. She is presently the AMARC-Women’s International focal point for the Pacific region, as well as the Vice President of AMARC Asia Pacific Board. AMARC is the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters. She has served on the Reference Group of the AUSAID Pacific Media Communications Facility, is the Pacific region’s coordinator for the (WACC) Global Media Monitoring Project and is also a member of the Gender Caucus (Steering Committee) for the World Summit on the Information Society.

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UNIFEM SCR 1325 ACTIVITIES

Given the theme of this year’s Security Council open debate, UNIFEM activities and events will focus on our work in post-conflict governance, gender justice and security sector reform. The Executive Director of UNIFEM, Noeleen Heyzer, will address the Security Council noting that while it is essential to ensure that women are present in sufficient numbers in peace negotiations and in public decision-making institutions, physical presence is not the same thing as influence. We must work not only to bring more women into representative politics, but also to reform governance systems to build public accountability for meeting women’s needs. UNIFEM will also support the participation of three civil society women peacebuilders from Timor-Leste, Liberia and Burundi at the open debate as well as at the SC Arria Formula meeting.

In addition, UNIFEM with Member States and civil society partners will organize five panel discussions highlighting the linkages between the SCR 1325 and the newly established Peacebuilding Commission and the importance of gender justice and security sector reforms in peace consolidation (For a full listing please see the calendar of events). In preparation for the open debate UNIFEM has prepared in number of resources: CEDAW and SCR 1325: a Quick Guide, Voice, Influence Justice, Security: the Keys to Inclusive and Sustainable Peacebuilding; Gender and Conflict Analysis: Towards Context-Sensitive Conflict monitoring and peacebuilding; and a CD of major UNIFEM publications on governance, peace and security.

Extracts from UNIFEM’s key advocacy messages for the open debate are included in the UNIFEM update in item 9 below.

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1325 OCTOBER CALENDAR

Below is a sampling of events organized for the 6th Anniversary of Resolution 1325:

For further details and who to contact about these events please:

visit the PeaceWomen October events calendar: http://peacewomen.org/un/6thAnniversary/Oct06calendar.html

or e-mail us at info@peacewomen.org

For the Calendar developed by The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women visit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch

Wednesday 18 October, 2006

Institute for Peace and Justice Women Peacemakers Conference. Who's making policy? What difference does it make?
October 18-20 Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, San Diego, California
An international conference on gender-inclusive decision making for peace with justice.

Co-Convened by Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) and UNIFEM

Monday 23 October, 2006

Gender & Disarmament
1:15 pm, Conference Room A, UNHQ, New York
A discussion on gendered perceptions about security and the relative value of weapons, from weapons of mass destruction to small arms and light weapons.

Hosted by Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

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National Level Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325.
9:30 am, Labouisse Hall, UNICEF Building, New York.
Hosted by the Permanent Missions of UK, Norway, and Sweden, OSAGI, NGO Working Group

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Turning Rights on Paper into Justice on the Ground: Enforcing SC Resolution 1325 as Binding International Law
6:30-8pm - Panel, 8-9pm - Reception, UN Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, 12th floor
A panel discussion on strengthening SC Resolution 1325 as a tool by arguing for its legal enforcement in national or international courts and other oversight bodies such as the UN Security Council.

Hosted by the Global Justice Center.

Tuesday 24 October, 2006

Women, Peace and Security: What progress since UN Security Council Resolution 1325?
October 2, Westminster, London U.K
United Nations Association - Annual General Meeting.

Wednesday 25 October, 2006

Women, Peace And Posts - Representation Of Women In The United Nations System
1:15 pm, Conference Room 7, UNHQ, New York

Hosted by OSAGI and DPKO

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Beyond Victimhood: Women’s Peacebuilding in Times of Conflict
1:15 pm, Conference Room 2, UNHQ, New York

Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Denmark/UNIFEM/International Crisis Group and others.

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Launch of ‘Six Years On’ Report: The Peacebuilding Commission & Resolution 1325
6:00 pm, Church Centre, 777 UN Plaza, 12th Floor, New York

Hosted by the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security

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Beyond Victimhood: Women’s Peacebuilding in Times of Conflict
6:00 pm (reception to follow), New York University, New York

Hosted by NYU, ICG, Inclusive Security, UNIFEM and others.

Thursday 26 October, 2006

Open Debate of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security
All day event, Security Council Chamber, UNHQ, New York

Under the Presidency of the Permanent Mission of Japan.

Friday 27 October, 2006

Townhall Meeting & Breakfast With Women Peacebuilders
9:00 am, Church Centre, 777 UN Plaza, New York

Hosted by the NGO Working Group and UNIFEM

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4. reflections on implementation

2005 Open Debate Statements and the Peacebuilding Commission

Gender mainstreaming and women’s participation in relation to the newly established Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was address by several Member States, at last year’s open debate on women, peace and security. Amongst those who addressed the Council, there appeared to be strong support for this body partnering with civil society, and in particular women’s organizations, in the fulfillment of its mandate. The resolution establishing the PBC Resolution (A/60/180) [e]ncourages the Commission to consult with civil society, non-governmental organizations, including women’s organizations. Support of the PBC as a vehicle for ensuring women’s participation was reflected in most statements, including the Presidential Statement. Disappointingly, however, only a few states acknowledged the importance of a formal mechanism for consultation within the mandate of the Commission. Both Norway and Austria expressed support for the appointment of a Gender Advisor in the Peacebuilding Support Office - this has not yet been taken up and is something that the NGOWG is again recommending this year.

It is hoped that these statements will facilitate further debate on the commitment to, and pace of, real implementation of Resolution 1325 – in particular through mainstreaming the resolution in the work of the UN system.

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Austria
Concerning the structure of the Peacebuilding Commission, Member States and organisations involved in its work should bear in mind the desirability of gender balance in all meetings of the Peacebuilding Commission. Austria believes that a Gender Advisor should participate in all meetings of the Peacebuilding Commission in its country specific configurations.

Canada (for Human Security Network)
This is a golden opportunity, from the outset, to ensure that the Commission's work incorporates the knowledge and lessons we have learned in the implementation of Resolution 1325. We will work with other member states to ensure that the Peacebuilding Commission fully integrates this approach in its structure, mandate and practice.

Denmark
It goes without saying - I trust - that the provisions 1325 will be important guiding principles for the work of the PBC.

France
This body will have a crucial role to play in accelerating fie implementation of resolution 1325.

Germany
It is of vital importance that a gender perspective is integrated in the Peacebuilding Commission and that this perspective should be reflected in the mandate of the Commission as well as in its structure. The Outcome Document stresses the importance of inclusion of civil society in country-specific meetings. Germany believes that the inclusion of women's organizations will be of particular importance.

Namibia (for SADC)
The establishment of the Peace Building Commission has presented us with an opportunity to ensure that gender is integrated in the design and work of the Commission. We must formulate concrete strategies, actions and programmes, in a consistent and effective manner, to advance the role of women in the area of peace and security. We should ensure the effective participation of women in the Commission.

Norway
To ensure that the gender perspective is systematically integrated in policies and recommendations to the Peacebuilding Commission, Norway would welcome the inclusion of a Senior Gender Adviser in the Peacebuilding Support Office.

Peru
The incorporation of a gender perspective in the conception and the activities of the Peace Building Commission is of crucial importance, considering that its main purpose is to bring together all relevant actors to marshal resources and to advised on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peace building and recovery.

Philippines
Resolution 1325 should be among the basic pillars of its work. Essential to the work of the Peacebuilding Commission would be its coordination with civil society, including women's organizations, both at the headquarters level and at the country level.

South Africa
The decision by the 2005 High Level Summit to establish the Peacebuilding Commission is an important milestone in farthering the contribution to the full implementation of Resolution 1325. It opens the door for women to ensure integration of the gender perspective in all phases of peace building. Our own experience in South Africa taught us that, given a chance, women can bring an important and much needed perspective: They are not simply victims of wars and conflicts, but are an important part of the solution. We would urge the Commission, once established, to pay particular attention to the knowledge and understanding women can bring in peace building processes

Tanzania
In the envisaged Peacebuilding Commission, the role of women should be central from the very beginning at all levels and in particular at the country level configuration with visible participation of civil society. This is a unique opportunity to incorporate gender issues as integral components of the transition from peacekeeping through peacebuilding to sustainable development.

United Kingdom (on behalf of EU)
A gender equality perspective should be fully integrated in its recommendations, reports, activities, strategies, and best practice analyses. And, by bringing together peacekeeping operations and development partners, they can ensure that progress is made to integrate gender into the political process of a post-conflict country and is not lost once the immediate post-conflict phase ends. In short, the EU believes that the Peacebuilding Commission and its support office offer the international community a major opportunity to ensure that a gender perspective becomes a normal and integral part of any peacebuilding process. We hope that the Peacebuilding Commission can address the role of women in peacebuilding, to identify ways and means how the UN can further support this role, early in its life.

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For the full 2005 PeaceWomen Open Debate Thematic Compilation please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/un/5thAnniversary/Open_Debate/Compilation/Compilationindex_2005.html


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5. FEATURE statement

Statement by South Korean Women on North Korean Nuclear Test
Women Making Peace

We oppose the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear testing and we encourage a peaceful and reasonable solution to this issue.

The DPRK has finally conducted its first nuclear bomb test on October 9, 2006. It shocked the world by conducting the test on the Korean peninsula. We remember tens of thousand Korean victims of atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in 1945.

The DPRK’s actions deny the illegal nature of nuclear weapons and breach the 1992 South-North joint declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. It also threatens peace on the peninsula and may lead to the expansion of arms and nuclear proliferation throughout Northeast Asia. It has also undermined the hope of Korean women who have worked hard to peacefully reunite Korea. We women once again clarify our position opposing to any form of nuclear testing and weapons that defy peace and threaten human lives. The DPRK’s nuclear weapons program must be abandoned.

The DPRK’s testing was expected. They had announced that it would take hardline measures on the US financial sanctions against the DPRK to secure their livelihood and sovereignty, demanding bilateral dialogues with the United States. The United States ignored the DPRK's demand and kept sanctions in place. As a result, the DPRK has finally carried out their threat, conducting the test. The current situation is due to a lack of active measures to build mutual trust between the United States and the DPRK.

Another concern is the international community's move toward raising tension. We women cannot agree with the United Nation Security Council and Korea's neighboring countries on placing economic and military sanctions against the DPRK. Raising tensions by using blockades and other means of political pressure will only lead the DPRK to take another hard-line stance. Sanctions will not resolve this issue. They will instead lead to more tension and instability on the Korean peninsula and heighten the danger of war, making our hope of peace unattainable. With the current situation, more reasonable and peaceful measures are needed to resolve the issue of the DPRK's nuclear testing.

This issue must be resolved through dialogues and negotiations. The United States, especially, needs to start dialogue with the DPRK immediately. Despite the Six Party Joint Declaration of September 19 last year, the United States imposed financial sanctions against the DPRK which led to the current testing. This issue can be resolved through a package deal with the United States guaranteeing the security of the regime in the DPRK and by it abandoning its nuclear weapons program. Those countries involved in six-party talks must support the building of mutual trust between the United States and the DPRK. Thus, rather than force, the DPRK’s issue can be resolved in a diplomatic manner by enticing the DPRK to participate in six-party dialogues.

The Republic of Korea government should be more independent and assertive when it comes to the DPRK. Modifying the engagement policy toward the DPRK and reviewing the Mt. Kumgang tourism project and Gaesung Industrial Complex matter would further heighten tension. Rather than joining sanctions against the DPRK, we women demand the Korean government to strive to minimize tension and concentrate on diplomatic efforts to achieve long-term goals of settling peace and achieving reunification of the Korean peninsula. In difficult times, the reconciliation and cooperation policy and South-North exchanges should be continued for peaceful dialogues.

We women will join hands with people and other organizations both non-governmental and governmental in the ROK and abroad who seek to resolve the DPRK's nuclear issue in a peaceful manner and to realize a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. We will strive until the day peace is achieved.

October 10, 2006
Women Making Peace

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WILPF also issued a statement, available here: http://www.wilpf.int.ch/statements/dprk_nuke_test.html

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For more women, peace and security initiatives – in country, regional, global and international, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/campaigns/global/index.html

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6. FEATURE RESOURCE

2006 Report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace and Security
UN Secretary General, 27 September 2006

This report on women, peace and security, released by the Secretary-General on 9 October 2006, is a response to the statement by the President of the Security Council, on behalf of the Council, at last year’s Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security to “update, monitor and review the implementation and integration on an annual basis of the System-wide Action Plan and report to the Council.”

For the full report please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/1325/N0653084.pdf

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For NGO and civil society reports, papers and statements, UN and government reports, and books, journals and articles on women, peace and security issues,
please visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/resourcesindex.html

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7.GENDER AND PEACEKEEPING UPDATE

Peacekeeping Watch: news & resources

ANNAN FURTHER ENHANCES ‘ZERO TOLERANCE’ OF SEXUAL ABUSE BY UN PEACEKEEPERS
13 October 2006 (UN News) – Reinforcing further his “zero tolerance” policy for sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping forces, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a second group of legal experts to ensure that the rules are binding on contingent members and applicable to all categories of peacekeeping personnel.

Ensuring the Accountability Of United Nations Staff And Experts On Mission With Respect To Criminal Acts Committed In Peacekeeping Operations (A/60/980)
August 2006
This report contains the findings and recommendations of a Group of Legal Experts appointed by the Secretary General in October 2005 to conduct a study on the best ways to ensure that United Nations staff members and experts on mission who serve in peacekeeping operations and who commit crimes during their peacekeeping assignments can be held criminally accountable. The study was among a wide range of recommendations proposed by Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, the Secretary-General’s Adviser on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by United Nations Peacekeeping Personnel, in his March 2005 report “ A comprehensive strategy to eliminate future sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping Operations” (A/59/710)
http://www.peacewomen.org/resources/Peacekeeping/SEA/A60980.pdf

Website of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on Gender and UN peacekeeping
This recently revamped website outlines DPKO's mandate on gender issues and highlights the department's efforts to date to integrate a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1325. It includes information on the functions of gender advisers and focal points in peacekeeping missions and contains links to useful resources on gender and peacekeeping
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/gender/index.htm

For more links to websites focused on Gender and peacekeeping, including those of the Gender Units in a number of UN peacekeeping missions, please visit
http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pklinks.html

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For PeaceWomen’s Peacekeeping Watch index, visit: http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pkwatch.html

For more gender and peacekeeping news, visit PeaceWomen’s Gender and Peacekeeping News Index:

http://www.peacewomen.org/un/pkwatch/pknews.html

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8. NGOWG UPDATE

Open Letter to UN Ambassadors: Recommendations on the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
New York, 16 October 2006

Dear Ambassador,

To advance the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in the year to come, the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) respectfully submits the following recommendations and urges you to consider them in your statement at the Security Council Open Debate on Women’s Participation in the Consolidation of Peace on 26 October 2006.

1. While the NGOWG commends the Security Council for efforts undertaken over the past year to implement SCR 1325 in its work – including consultations with representatives of Sudanese women’s groups during the Security Council Mission to Sudan in June 2006 – the overall implementation of SCR 1325 by the Security Council remains low, and its use within the work of the Council remains infrequent. Noting that, to date, the Security Council has no systematic way to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in its work, we urge you to:

  • Call on the Security Council to establish a focal point and an expert level working group on women, peace and security to ensure systematic implementation and integration of resolution 1325 within its work, including in all resolutions that establish or extend peacekeeping missions and in terms of references for Security Council mission trips and mission reports.

2. While welcoming the recent meetings of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in support of peacebuilding processes in Burundi and Sierra Leone, we note the need to ensure that the PBC integrates core commitments to gender equality and women’s participation in its work, as required by SCR 1325. We urge you to:

  • Call on the PBC to adopt an internal policy on gender mainstreaming in its structure and operations and to integrate a gender analysis in arrangements for the management, disbursement and use of the new Peacebuilding Fund;
  • Call on the PBC to create a permanent gender advisor position in the Peacebuilding Support Office, at the senior management level, staffed by an individual with extensive expertise and experience in gender and peacebuilding.
  • Call on the PBC to create mechanisms to facilitate the participation of representatives of women’s civil society groups and networks in its country specific configurations

Preceding this year’s open debate, the NGOWG will release a report on the implementation of SCR 1325 in the Peacebuilding Commission, which we hope will provide further insights and proposals on these issues.

3. Noting continued pervasive sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls by parties to armed conflict, most recently documented by the Secretary-General in his In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence Against Women (A/61/122/Add), we urge you to:

  • Support the Study’s recommendation in paragraph 397 that “[t]he Security Council intensify efforts to address gender-based violence against women and consistently monitor measures taken within the framework of the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 . . . [and] consider establishing a dedicated monitoring mechanism to increase the effectiveness of the Council’s contribution to preventing and redressing violence against women in armed conflict”; and
  • Request the Secretary-General to make further recommendations to the Security Council on specific means by which the Council could be more systematically informed of the use of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict and means by which the Council could more effectively bring an end to impunity and hold parties responsible for these violations accountable.

4. Noting that women and women’s organizations continue to be largely absent from most peace negotiation processes around the world, in spite SCR 1325’s call for the involvement of women in the creation and implementation of peace agreements, we urge you to:

  • Call on the Security Council, the Secretary-General and Member States to create mechanisms to ensure the inclusion of representatives of women and women’s groups engaged in peacemaking and peacebuilding in all peace negotiations and processes.

5. With support of the United Nations, governments and regional organizations should develop action plans on women, peace and security using the framework of SCR 1325. The action plans should:

  • Be derived from a gender-informed review of domestic and foreign policy;
  • Be developed in partnership with inter-departmental working groups including civil society; and
  • Contain specific and time-bound activities, targets and monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

However, to date, there is no clear place where governments or regional organizations can go to share best practices in or to view model action plans on SCR 1325 or take stock of how governments and regional organizations have progressed in implementing SCR 1325 at the national or local levels. We urge you to:

  • Call on the Secretary-General to develop concrete recommendations and guidelines for reporting on progress made in the development and implementation of national action plans and strategies on women, peace and security by October 2007.

We are confident that the aforementioned recommendations will do much to ensure accelerated implementation of resolution 1325. Should you wish to discuss this matter with us, please do not hesitate to contact our office at the address given above.

Thank you for your consideration and your concern regarding this issue.

Sincerely yours,

Gina Torry, Coordinator

Signed: Members of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security:

Boston Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
Hague Appeal for Peace
Femmes Africa Solidarité
International Alert
International Women’s Tribune Center
Women’s Action for New Directions
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children
United Methodists Women’s Division

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The NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security (NGOWG) was established in May 2000 to call for a United Nations Security Council resolution on women, peace and security. Following the unanimous adoption of resolution 1325 in October 2000, the group began the difficult work of pressing for its full implementation. The NGOWG currently consists of Amnesty International, Femmes Africa Solidarité, Gender and Security International Research Network, Hague Appeal for Peace, International Alert, International Women’s Tribune Center, Women’s Action for New Directions, the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, Women’s Division of General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

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For more information about the NGOWG, CLICK HERE.

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9. UNIFEM UPDATE

Security Council Open Debate on Women Peace and Security
October 26, 2006

Key Messages: Voice, Influence, Justice, Security, Accountability

I. Women’s voice in peace-building and peace consolidation must be amplified

Women must have access to peace negotiations from the earliest possible stage if they are to be in a position to see that their needs are recognized and their interests are represented in peace accords and in the institutional reform processes involved in peace consolidation. UNIFEM has found that an effective means of amplifying women’s voice in these processes is to convene national assemblies of women to identify common interests and shared priorities for peace accords.

Although there are many differences between women, they often come together over the following concerns: justice and reparations for war-time atrocities against women, property rights and economic supports in order to rebuild livelihoods, protection and restitution of property for returnees, and participation in public decision-making forums.

In Burundi, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor Leste, and Afghanistan, national conventions and dialogues have given women leverage subsequently to assert rights to participate in constitutional reform and in electoral competitions. In effect, this contributes to consolidating a constituency in support of gender equality in post-conflict recovery.

The Peace Building Commission should seek to engage women’s organizations at the country level so that they are able to voice their knowledge and perspectives, suggest creative strategies most conducive to the local context, and fully invest their networks and communities in the processes of peace and development.

II. Enabling women to influence peace-building processes requires institutional transformation

Sustainable peace requires establishing legitimate, inclusive systems for public decision-making and policy implementation. While it is essential to ensure that women are present in sufficient numbers in peace negotiations and in public decision-making institutions (ideally a minimum of 30% of decision-makers), physical presence is not the same thing as influence. It is unrealistic to expect that women, particularly when they have a minority presence, can by themselves change public decision-making and resource allocation patterns.

UNIFEM works not only to bring more women into representative politics, but also to reform governance systems to build public accountability for meeting women’s needs. Gender-sensitive governance reform entails:

• Scrutiny of public expenditure management from a gender perspective to ensure that resources are allocated in ways that reflect national commitments to build gender equality. Gender-responsive budgeting procedures can assist in this.
• Institutional reforms to public accountability systems, public services, the justice system, and local government must build in mechanisms to improve women’s access to these systems as clients and as citizens demanding accountability.
• Incentive systems need to be changed in order to motivate public sector actors to respond to women’s needs.
• Performance measures need to note and reward efforts to respond to women’s concerns.
• Accountability systems need revision to ensure that power-holders answer to women when justifying their decisions, and to ensure that there are consequences for failing to meet national commitments to upholding women’s rights or building gender equality.

The PBC and the Peacebuilding Support Office should address gender equality issues when the PBC considers issues of security sector reform, transitional justice and reconciliation, and land reform and economic infrastructure in the process of developing a country strategy for peace consolidation.

III. Women need justice -- judicial reform beyond the transitional phase must address women’s needs

If violations of women’s rights committed during and after conflict are to be prosecuted or receive adequate redress, women need to engage in post-conflict transitional justice processes, and the personnel in these systems must respond to international human rights standards. Transitional justice and/or reconciliation processes must take special steps to ensure accessibility and responsiveness to women. In cases of sexual violence, this will require special measures to protect survivors and to respond to the trauma that accompanies testimony. Reparations measures must compensate women for the social and health costs of sexual violence.

Sexual violence is not, however, the only reason for which women have immediate needs for justice in a post-conflict context. Women’s basic economic security requires that the justice system defend women’s access to and control of productive assets, particularly land. Rapid rebuilding of women’s’ livelihood base is not only a critical prerequisite for recovery from conflict, but it also protects women from vulnerability to sexual violence and exploitation and HIV/AIDS.

The cost and complexity of rule of law reform and justice system rehabilitation has often driven donors and states to prioritize rebuilding the commercial law sector to support economic recovery. This in effect relegates women’s justice-seeking to the customary or informal sector, where they must petition traditional or religious tribunals. These informal justice institutions do not always uphold international human rights standards, particularly in relation to women’s rights. This can prevent women from taking leadership roles in community governance and economic recovery, which can be to the detriment of long-term sustainable peace.

IV. Women need safety – bring gender equality into security sector reform

Reforming state security structures and clarifying their legitimate functions is a first step to peace consolidation, and yet it has almost everywhere lacked attention to gender issues. This is a serious concern for women because gender-based violence often continues unabated after conflict, and in some contexts women who take up non-traditional public roles have become targets of violence. Women cannot take their place amongst those who rebuild society if they face assault for doing so. Security institutions must not only protect women and prevent gender-based violence, but should be subject to internal reforms to support gender equality.

Gender-sensitive security sector reform entails:
• Inclusion of women combatants and others associated with fighting forces in DDR processes.
• Gender balance in reconstituted police and armed forces.
• Institutionalization of respect for women’s rights in the mandates, incentive systems, performance measures, and organizational cultures of security forces.
• Inclusion of women in civilian oversight mechanisms monitoring security sector performance (parliamentary defense committees, community public safety committees).

V. The international security establishment should be accountable for gender equality, starting with accountability mechanisms for SCR 1325

Six years after the adoption of SCR 1325 on women, peace and security the accountability and monitoring mechanisms for its implementation at the national, regional or global levels are weak. Actors responsible for implementing 1325 are not equipped with effective reporting and monitoring systems, incentives, performance measures, or means of facilitating women’s engagement, and monitoring systems needed to ensure accountability to women in conflict-afflicted societies.

At the SC level: a mechanism to ensure the systematic integration and implementation of resolution 1325 in the UNSC’s work is needed. Such a mechanism could include designation of a SC member to serve as a focal point on women, peace and security. Alternatively a SC working group on women peace and security could be created, consisting of representatives from all UNSC members.

At the UN System Level: the UN system-wide action plan on the implementation of the SCR 1325 needs to be strengthened through regular monitoring with measurable indicators and benchmarks; independent information systems to ensure an objective review of the entity’s performance; performance measures and incentive systems that support implementation of 1325; and periodic reviews.

At the National Level: At the national level SCR1325 implementation has been ad-hoc. Only few member states have developed national action plans or strategies on SCR 1325. The 2005 SC Presidential Statement called on Member States “to continue to implement resolution 1325 (2005), including through the development of national action plans or other national level strategies.” Such action plans and strategies need to be developed in consultation with civil society organizations and include monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

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UNIFEM’s Web Portal on Women, Peace and Security, CLICK HERE

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10. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY CALENDAR

Call for Papers: Forgotten Conflicts Workshop at Colgate
10 November 2006, The Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Colgate University, USA & the Politics-State-Space Research Group, University of Durham, England

This workshop will address the issue of "forgotten conflicts" like that in Western Sahara. It will bring together approximately 15 scholars from around the globe in order to address the epistemological, historical, ethical, and political implications of this phenomenon.

The 2-day workshop will privilege thorough and substantive interaction, with the aim of facilitating engaged and critical responses to the topic. To this end, papers will be submitted in advance of the workshop and posted on a firewalled web site for participants to read before the event.

Please email abstracts of 250 words to all three of the organizers by 10 November 2006:
David.Campbell@durham.ac.uk; nries@mail.colgate.edu; and dmonk@mail.colgate.edu

For more information in the workshop, please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/calendar.html#colgateworkshop

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Gender in the Construction of the Democratic Developmental State
12-14 November 2006, Cairo, Egypt, APISA-CLACSO-CODESRIA, Comparative Research Seminars, Gender Symposium 2006

Participants in the CODESRIA 2006 Gender Symposium will be invited to engage the renewed debate on the developmental state in Africa whether built on its democratic underpinnings or its social/institutional embedness with a a view to squarely engendering its theoretical underpinnings and weaving gender concerns into the fabric of its proposed operational policies.

For more information, please visit:http://www.codesria.org/news.htm

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WiSER: The Inaugural International Women and Leadership Conference
16- 17 November 2006, Fremantle, Western Australia

The Women and Leadership Conference is one of the few international conferences that focuses on women and leadership and has the express aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners. This link between researcher and practitioner leads to new insights into the issues facing women and provides a range of opportunities for future collaborative work. It will provide a unique opportunity within Perth for local, interstate and international scholars and practitioners within the fields of leadership, management, organisational change, gender studies, social policy, business and education to present both refereed and non-refereed papers and benefit from the networking opportunities that will arise from a meeting of their peers.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.cbs.curtin.edu.au/index.cfm?objectid=2D9F2B78-E470-C846-4D45E4AB178882CF

To download the registration form, please visit:
http://www.peacewomen.org/frame/calendar/November%20Conference%20.pdf

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Women's Voices Illuminating Cultures in Conflict
November 28, 2006, New York State Writers Institute, Albany, New York.
A series of readings and discussions at the University at Albany. Yvette Christianse, South African novelist and poet, will read from her epic novel about slavery in Africa, "Unconfessed" (2006), on Tuesday, November 28. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.eisinc.com/release/storiesh/WRINST.607.html

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For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE.

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