Women, Peace and Security
Adopted in 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 marked a watershed moment when the international community recognised the particular impact of conflict on women and girls. Since then, nine further resolutions on this issue have been adopted by the UN Security Council and together form the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. This Agenda recognises both the particularly adverse effect of conflict on women and girls, as well as their critical role in conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, mediation, and governance.
The WPS Agenda has a powerful resonance in Ireland as we have witnessed first-hand the transformative impact women have had on the Northern Ireland peace process, both in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement and continuing the essential work of peacebuilding today.
Advancing the WPS Agenda has been a top priority for Ireland’s 2021-2022 term on the UN Security Council. Our focus has been on ensuring the commitments made in the WPS resolutions are implemented on the ground, and that a gender focus is mainstreamed across all work done by the Security Council.
Together with Mexico, Ireland took on the role of co-chair of the Security Council’s Informal Expert Group on WPS. During our two-year term, we facilitated a record number of briefings on the situation of women and girls from Afghanistan to Sudan to Haiti. In June 2022, Ireland and Mexico led the first ever field visit of the group, to Lebanon.
In order to better mainstream WPS across the Security Council, Ireland, Kenya and Mexico joined together in 2021 to form a “WPS Presidency Trio” for WPS. This involved developing and committing to a set of actions, including pursuing gender parity across the briefers invited to the Council, and ensuring that WPS was incorporated into country-specific discussions, for example on Somalia. A new record was set during Ireland’s Presidency of the Council, with 16 of the 17 civil society briefers being women. A summary report outlining how this initiative better integrated WPS into the work of the Security Council is available here.
Since the Trio of 2021, the WPS Shared Commitments has been built upon and adopted by many subsequent Council members, and we encourage all future presidencies to adopt them.