Thursday, 28 October 2010

Ghana takes steps on participation on women in conflict resolution

Ghana takes steps on participation on women in conflict resolution
October 27, 2010

Accra, Oct. 27, GNA - Ghana has finalised the National Plan of Action for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in which women's participation in peace and security institutions and conflict prevention would be increased.


The other two pillars of the Plan are the protection and promotion of human rights of women and girls in the situations of conflict in peace support operations and prevention of violence against women, including sexual, gender-based and conflict related violence.


"It needs cabinet approval and we have started that process," Mrs Juliana Azuma-Mensah, Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, at the official launch of Women, Peace and Security Institute (WPSI) project in Accra on Wednesday.


The launch was also marked by a panel discussion to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.


The Minister noted that the plan targeted the development of gender sensitive policies that included procedures for reporting and addressing sexual and gender-based violence and conflict at the national, regional and district levels.


"The activities within the Action Plan therefore include strategies to increase women's participation in peace and security institutions and conflict prevention, the development and implementation of specific requirements of women peacekeepers, as well as the review of existing policy on peacekeeping."


Mrs Azuma-Mensah appealed to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, which is housing the WPSI, for specialised courses under the Institute that would make its programmes accessible to civil society organisations inclined towards peace and security to enhance their capabilities and sharpen their peace negotiations and mediation skills.


Ms Ellen Margrethe Loj, Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General, said the launch of the WPSI opened a new chapter to opportunities to advance women's peace and security in Africa.


"I am confident that the WPSI will assist in filling the gaps and also create a more favourable environment for effective and inclusive peace and security policies and programmes in other conflict affected countries in Africa," she said.


She noted that insufficient funds allocated to support gender mainstreaming in post-conflict countries were part of the challenges in the implementation process.


Ms Loj expressed the hope that the Institute, through research and systematic data gathering, would provide innovations on how to tackle the issues of security and gender-based violence in Africa.


The Institute will also serve as a knowledge centre for expanding technical capacity, training and policy research, analysis on women, peace and security in Africa.


The WPSI will focus on five strategic interventions comprising women's participation in peace negotiations and conflict mediation process, policy and academic research on gender, peace and security, documentation of women's contribution to peace processes in Africa, African women's leadership in responding to gender-based violence conflicts.


She said the Institute would also strengthen and contribute to African institutions working to address peace and security challenges.


Air Vice-Marshall Christian Dovlo, Commandant of KAIPTC, said the institute, which was located at KAIPTC, would begin by providing technical support in the mainstreaming of gender issues into policy briefs and training programmes.


Mr Gerard Duijfjes, representative of the Netherlands Government, announced that to foster the implementation of Resolution 1325, his country was supporting the starter-up phase of the institute with 400,000 dollars.