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Peace Negotiations: Females

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in promoting the role of women in post-conflict negotiations and reconstruction. (228494)

Eight years after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325, the resolution has had a positive impact on the inclusion of women in post-conflict negotiations and reconstruction. It has drawn international attention to the issue, it has resulted in greater inclusion of women in political dialogue in countries where the UN Peacebuilding Commission is operating, and mandates for UN peacekeeping missions now routinely request that the role of women is fully recognised. But we recognise that work must continue to ensure the systematic involvement of women at all stages of the conflict cycle. The adoption of UNSCR 1820 in June this year was a significant step forward in strengthening previous calls to address women’s under-representation. In September, the UN Security Council held an Open Debate on ‘mediation’ in conflict resolution reiterating this call and in October, the UN Security Council Open Debate will focus on the need to enhance the role of women in peace processes.

The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to ensure the comprehensive and effective implementation of UNSCR 1325. We were among the first countries to draw up a national Action Plan setting out action for Government personnel and Departments to implement UNSCR 1325 and have encouraged other countries to do the same. Several European countries have since developed their own action plans. We regularly review the plan in partnership with civil society. We are raising awareness of gender in conflict by ensuring references in all relevant UN Security Council resolutions and in the mandates of peacekeeping operations, and are promoting the role of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding through forums in a range of conflict affected countries.

The UN Peacebuilding Commission was established in 2005, to offer technical assistance to countries emerging from conflict and provide catalytic financial support for reconstruction efforts. The UK is a member of the Commission and has been instrumental in ensuring that UNSCRs 1325 and 1820 are mainstreamed through the Commission’s engagement with countries on its agenda.