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African Union women peace and security seminar in Swakopmund

African Union women peace and security seminar in Swakopmund

By Adolf Kaure.

Over 160 delegates gathered for the African Union (AU) high-level seminar on women, peace and security that took place at Swakopmund on Saturday.

During his keynote address, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Hon. Peya Mushelenga said that more concerted efforts are needed to ensure that women are involved in peace and security on the African continent.

“Women’s unique perspectives, experiences and resilience are indispensable in building inclusive and enduring peace.” “We should demonstrate the will and zeal in our actions and bring women to play meaningful roles as titans in the front row of peace-making efforts and programmes,” said Mushelenga, who is also the Chairperson of the AU Women, Peace and Security Council for March 2024.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) was established in October 2000 to integrate women and their perspectives in peace and security through the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.

However, a lack of resources, political will and the lack of understanding about the true WPS principles have been cited as some of the main barriers in the resolution.

“The issue of women in peace and security has become a subject of debate, in respect of implementing the provisions in the UNSCR 1325. As governments and inter-governmental organisations, we should create an impetus for Resolution 1325 and allocate resources to programmes that address its provisions,” he said.

The seminar was held in tandem with the commemoration of the Council’s 20 years to take stock of Women’s participation in peace processes.

According to Mushelenga, despite existing barriers women face, Namibia has been at the forefront of supporting the Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda since its inception. “Namibia’s trajectory in the adoption of the historic UNSCR 1325 women, peace and security, which recognizes and affirms the crucial role women play in the prevention and management of conflict is well recognized.” “Namibia stands as a testament of the resilience and strength of its women, who have been instrumental in shaping the narrative of peace and reconciliation.”

The adoption of United Nations UNSCR 1325 was preceded by the Windhoek Declaration on Mainstreaming a Gender perspective in multi-dimensional peace processes that was adopted in May 2000.

In October 2020, the Namibia International Women’s Peace Centre was established which is a significant step to strengthen regional and international innovation to advance the full and effective implementation of the UNSCR 1325. This centre demonstrates the commitment of the Namibian Government to implement the provisions in the UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda can be meaningfully implemented into supporting women’s inclusion.

Delegates arrived for the African Union women peace and security seminar. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)


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