As part of its commitment to championing human rights for all, UNA-UK is pleased to support Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) in the publication of its recent report on women, peace and security.
Published by GAPS with input from its member organisations, including UNA-UK, the report responds to the UK Government’s recent self-assessment of progress on the UK National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security, as well as making recommendations for the future.
Specifically, the report welcomes the UK’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment for women and girls to participate in peace, security and development. The pledges made by the UK at the High-level Review of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in October 2015 are laudable, and it is hoped that in 2016 the Government will "move from rhetoric to standard-setting".
There are strong links between women’s involvement in peace processes, the likelihood of agreements to be reached and the durability of those agreements. In light of this, the report states, it is hoped that full access will be granted to female stakeholders to all relevant UK-based summits in the future.
The report urges the UK to make use of its position on the UN Human Rights Council - where it is currently campaigning to serve for an additional term - to promote the participation of women in conflict prevention and resolution as a means of guaranteeing women’s human rights and ending violence against women in conflict.
Looking ahead, peace talks over conflicts in countries such as Syria and Yemen constitute the first major test for the UK’s commitment to gender balance. As the lead on Women, Peace and Security at the Security Council, the UK should promote a "model of excellence" for others to follow, says the report. This requires expanding its programmes to ensure that, in keeping with the newly-agreed Sustainable Development Goals, no one is left behind in the pursuit of human rights for women and girls.
Read the full report, including its recommendations to the UK Government, here.
Image: Security Council debates Women, Peace and Security - 13 October 2015. Copyright UN Photo/Amanda Voisard