Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, explores the recent shifts in the international peace and security landscape from a gender perspective, and makes recommendations for Commonwealth nations working to implement the women, peace and security agenda.
As atrocities escalate around the world, from Syria to South Sudan, it is clear that global leaders must refocus attention on ending conflict and building sustaining peace. Women’s rights are an essential – and far too often missing – ingredient in this effort. A set of new policy recommendations and commitments related to gender equality, women’s human rights and women’s empowerment has emerged in recent months: from the three peace and security reviews in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the World Humanitarian Summit, and the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions on ‘sustaining peace’ in 2016. All outcomes affirmed that women’s rights and gender equality are crucial to efforts to prevent conflict and shape more effective responses to today’s complex crises.
The three high-level reviews of peace and security that the United Nations carried out in 2015 – of the women, peace and security agenda, UN peace operations and UN peacebuilding architecture – each underscored that more inclusive processes lead to more sustainable peace, with a lower likelihood of relapse into conflict. Women’s meaningful participation, in particular, enhances the effectiveness of efforts to prevent and respond to conflict. The Global Study on the Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 – an independent report launched at the high-level review of the women, peace and security agenda in October 2015 – showed that when women are able to exert influence, their participation contributes decisively to peace processes, justice and security, economic recovery and humanitarian assistance…
UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women