New strategic plan on women, peace and security

On January 20, the Government launched a new plan for efforts in the area of women, peace and security. The purpose of the plan is to promote women’s participation and enhance the protection of women in conflict-affected countries.

UN Security Council resolution 1325 was adopted in 2000. It urges Member States to ensure that women participate to a far greater extent in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and calls on all actors involved to ensure that women are better protected in armed conflicts. Ten years after the resolution was adopted, the UN Secretary-General noted that efforts to address the issues faced by women and girls during and after conflict had not come close to meeting our expectations. The Government is responding to the UN’s call to intensify efforts in this area by drawing up this strategic plan, which is binding and specific.

“UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security is particularly important for the Armed Forces. It deals with mainstreaming a gender perspective in operations in the field. We must make sure at all times that we involve women, and we must focus specifically on the protection of women. This may be a new idea for us, but really it is just common sense,” commented Minister of Defense Grete Faremo.

“In far too many conflicts, it is armed men who dictate the terms of peace. Despite women’s broad involvement in peace initiatives in many conflict-affected countries, they are excluded from negotiations. This is not just a democratic problem, it also undermines long-term peace efforts. We will therefore intensify our efforts to include more women in peace processes and peace negotiations,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

“Mass rape is once again widespread in eastern Congo. Hundreds of thousands of women in conflicts all over the world are affected by sexual violence.  It is unacceptable that the international community does not react in the same way to sexual violence as it does to other threats to peace and security. We are now strengthening our efforts to combat impunity, and to provide better services for victims of sexual violence in conflict,” commented Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

The new plan strengthens the Government’s ongoing efforts to implement UN Security Council resolution 1325, and it will remain in effect until the end of 2013. The strategic plan involves the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Justice and the Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The plan focuses on five areas: peace processes and peace negotiations; international operations; post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding; sexual violence in conflict; and increased accountability and results orientation.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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