Alemayehu Fentaw was Fellow of Session 455, "Peace-Making and Peace-Building: Securing the Contributions of Women and Civil Society," which was organized by the Salzburg Global Seminar from 7-12 September 2008, at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria. Below is the full-text of the recommendations made by the participants with a view to securing equal contributions of women and civil society in peace processes.
PEACE-MAKING AND PEACE-BUILDING:
SECURING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF WOMEN AND CIVIL SOCIETY
The Salzburg Global Seminar, in collaboration with the Initiative for Inclusive Security, gathered more than 60 leading thinkers from policy, practice and research to identify actions to be taken by key stakeholders to enact inclusive peace-building processes. The participants, from more than 30 countries, representing the UN system, additional
multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector
met to identify critical gaps in policy and implementation related to the full and equal
participation of women and civil society in peace processes and to articulate strategies to
close those gaps.
Participants examined progress in implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 and in securing the contributions of civil society as a whole in peace building processes. They recognized that parties to the resolution have depended for too long on “calls to action”, many of which have been ignored, without sufficient attention to “action itself”.
Many of the recommendations are, therefore, focused on how all the actors, from the highest levels of the United Nations to the grassroots, can design and implement concrete mechanisms and actions to give life to SCR 1325 and related resolutions. Recommendations are aimed at the UN system and other key international organizations; at governments, whether donors or countries affected by crisis, or in their capacity as member states of the UN; at non-governmental organizations, both local and international, working individually or in networks as well as other non-governmental entities such as media and the private sector. The recommendations are also relevant to conflict prevention.
As a concerned and engaged stakeholder, we urge you to review the recommendations and
help put them into action.
1. Adopt the 40-40 approach, under which men and women are guaranteed a minimum of 40 percent representation in all peace making and peace building decision-making fora.
2. Activate and update data banks of qualified women for senior decision-making posts
and professional specialties related to peace processes, including peace accord implementation.
3. Draw on civil society expertise on the conflict and/or country(ies) in question during peace processes and when seeking to prevent conflict.To the United Nations System:
To the UN Security Council, UN Secretary General, and Heads of Operational
1. Include in the next “Report of the Secretary General on Women, Peace, and Security”,
proposals for specific mechanisms, including financing, to ensure full implementation of
the recommendations of SCR 1325 and SCR 1820, and the putting in place of national action plans and compliance from governments. Following receipt of the next “Report of the Secretary General on Women, Peace, and Security”, issue a follow-on resolution to SCR1325, comparable to SCRs 1379 and 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict, which provide mechanisms for follow-up, funding, and the option of sanctions.
To Member States:
2. Provide greater numbers of female troops and police, including commanders. Troop
contributing countries must train their troops prior to deployment to prevent proliferation
of sexual exploitation and abuse, and promote understanding of SCR 1325.
To the UN Secretary General, Heads of Operational Departments, and Member States:
3. Implement the recommendation of SCR 1325 to appoint women Special Representatives
to the Secretary General and special envoys and continue to appoint senior women to UN
Secretariat positions and to senior peace and security positions. Establish quotas for balanced representation of women in UN-mediated negotiations and peace-making processes.
4. Consider the needs of women associated with armed groups while designing, planning,
and implementing UN-supervised disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration
programs, including recognition of their positions in armed groups, their need for training,
including nontraditional training, and their special reintegration needs.
identify activities, timelines, and benchmarks involving all levels of government and all
sectors of society.
2. Increase the number of women professionals in ministries and security institutions
through targeted recruitment, and feeder programs consistent with the 40-40 approach.
3. Create formal venues for linking government, civil society, and women’s organizations,
particularly building on existing professional associations in order to increase inter-sector dialogue.
4. Provide to local women’s organisations and their partners adequate human and financial
resources to ensure full implementation of 1325 and hold them accountable for results.
Donor funding of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security and concerns. Create facilities and conditions that enable both women and men to participate in peace operations, including the implementation of codes and conduct and oversight mechanisms.
To Non-Governmental Organizations, Corporations, Academia, and Media Organizations:
1. Engage in coalition building. Local non-governmental organizations should reach out
to relevant partners, including media, private sector, trade unions, and political parties.
2. Initiate the creation of a contextually-appropriate group that will assist in decision making for progressive actions in the community. Local actors might approach or establish a neutral and respected “council of elders” to support and assist women’s organizations as well as other civil society organizations and their partners in peace making, peacekeeping,and peace building.
3. Support and fund local initiatives of existing civil society organizations and women’s
groups to develop women’s charters and other tools pre-negotiations, during the conflict,
throughout the peace process, and post-conflict.
4. Establish and promote economic reintegration programs to the benefit of women,
including micro-finance, which supports refugees, returnees, those who stayed behind, ex-combatants, service providers, and all families and others affected by conflict.
Note: The above stated recommendations are the result of multiple days of debate and discussion concerning many complex and nuanced issues. A report from the program, Peace-making and Peace-building: Securing the Contributions of Women and Civil Society, held September 7 – 12, 2008 in Salzburg, Austria, providing additional context, provocative ideas and more complete description of key points will be disseminated and made available through the organizing institutions web sites (indicated below).
The Salzburg Global Seminar is a unique international institution, a place dedicated to candid dialogue, fresh thinking and the search for solutions to global issues. Founded in 1947, the
organization has brought more than 25,000 participants from 150 countries and regions to its
programs. The Salzburg Global Seminar challenges current and future leaders to develop creative ideas for solving global problems. It is an institution focused on global change – a place where innovative ideas lead to practical solutions. www.SalzburgGlobal.org
The Initiative for Inclusive Security advocates for the full participation of all stakeholders,
especially women, in peace processes. Since 1999, Inclusive Security has connected more than
800 women experts with over 5,000 policy shapers to collaborate on fresh, workable solutions to long-standing conflicts across the globe. www.HuntAlternatives.org