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Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Women peacebuilders participate in consultations at the Official Residence of the Ambassador of Ireland in Pretoria

This week, the Embassy of Ireland commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.  The Embassy hosted an online launch of the Building Peace from the Grassroots report, sharing recommendations from local women working to build peace in their communities around the world.

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda recognises that conflict has unique impacts on women and girls, and that women have a vital role to play in resolving conflict and building peace.  UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, unanimously adopted on 31 October 2000, was the first of ten Resolutions that now make up the WPS Agenda.

Like South Africa, Ireland is a strong supporter of the WPS Agenda, and it will be a priority in our term on the UN Security Council, starting in January 2021.  Ireland was inspired to commission this report by South Africa’s UNSCR 2493, adopted in 2019.  This resolution calls for the full implementation of WPS Agenda, and challenges the global community to understand why, 20 years on, we still struggle to achieve its goals.

Infographic of recommendations from Building Peace from the Grassroots reportInfographic showing key recommendations from the "Building Peace from the Grassroots" report

So, to produce this report, Ireland and our partners UN Women and the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders decided to ask the women working every day for peace and human rights in their communities to tell us how we, and the whole international community, can do better.  We organised a series of consultations, in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Colombia and Uganda, to learn first-hand from those who are doing this difficult work.  Consultations were held before the COVID-19 pandemic reached South Africa, and again in August to learn about the impact of the pandemic on women peacebuilders. 

The insights, good practices and demands that this group of women peacebuilders shared at the consultation meetings are brought together in the Building Peace from the Grassroots report.  They show that despite coming from different contexts, many of the challenges these women face are universal.  As COVID-19 creates new problems in society, the need for their work to build peace in their communities and in their countries is greater than ever.  Our new context only makes the need for full implementation of the WPS Agenda even more urgent.

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