UN Security Council marks 20 years of Women, Peace and Security

On 29 October 2020, the UN Security Council will mark 20 years since the historic vote that recognized, for the first time, the unique impact conflict has on women and the critical role they play in conflict prevention and resolution. The unanimously adopted Security Council resolution 1325 set a new basis for women’s leadership, gender equality, justice and accountability in all aspects of peace.

Since then, nine supporting UN Security Council resolutions have passed, and nearly 90 countries have adopted their own national plans to translate these resolutions into action. Women’s organizations and activists around the world have made their mark in advancing women’s representation, demanding women’s participation in peace tables and in reconstruction efforts post conflict agreements implementations: have led peaceful democratic elections and war crimes prosecutions. They have served as peacekeepers and role models and recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. However, progress has also been maddeningly slow and met with backlash.

Despite strong support from Member States and the women’s movement, in a world where 2 billion people live in countries affected by conflict, persistent gaps in implementation are limiting the women peace and security agenda at a crucial time. Today, as the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, the need to prioritize peace is as urgent as ever. As of 2019, peace agreements with gender equality provisions have increased from 14 to 22 per cent only since 1995, and on average, women were only 13 per cent of negotiators, 6 per cent of mediators, and 6 per cent of signatories in major peace processes between 1992 and 2019.

WHAT: The UN Security Council will convene its annual Open Debate on Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. The meeting is an opportunity for Member States to demonstrate the political will and leadership to ensure a COVID-19 response that is truly inclusive and rooted in the power of women-led peace, as a transformative opportunity towards a more peaceful, sustainable and equitable world.

WHEN: 29 October 2020, 10:00 a.m. EDT

The Security Council will be briefed by:

  • António Guterres, UN Secretary-General;
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director;
  • Danai Gurira, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, award-winning playwright and actor
  • Zarqa Yaftali, Afghan Activist and Executive Director of Women and Children Legal Research Foundation;
  • Nataliia Emelianova, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Adviser in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei.

WHERE: Online. Live webcast on UN Web TV

To request interviews, please email media.team[at]unwomen.org, or Alexis Fessatidis afessatidis[at]womenpeacesecurity.org for Zarqa Yaftali.

For a full list of events around the world in the context of the Open Debate and the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council resolution 1325, click here.

For more information, stories of women peace leaders and new data on Women, Peace and Security visit: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/women-peace-security

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