New York, December 15, 201
"Civil society can and should monitor and evaluate the implementation of the resolution on the national level as well as the consistency with which the Security Council applies the language of 1325 in country or conflict-specific Council Resolutions." This was the statement made by former UN Under-Secretary General Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury at the launch of Women Count - Security Council Resolution 1325: Civil Society Monitoring Report, co-sponsored by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) and the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York during the 10th Anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on women and peace and security in October.
During its open debate on UNSCR 1325 in October, the Security Council did not officially endorse the indicators developed by UN Technical Working Group to track implementation of the resolution. One reason may be that some Member States still remain apprehensive of mechanisms that evaluate development or lack thereof in their respective countries.
One of the major challenges in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 is the 'accountability gap' which includes the absence of concrete and effective monitoring mechanisms to measure progress. This was stressed at the launch of GNWP's 1325 in-country monitoring report. The report presents the outcomes and recommendations from a 1325 monitoring project at the country level. The goal of the project, which was undertaken by members and partners of GNWP, was to conduct in-country monitoring from the perspectives of women's groups and civil society, and to bring together these monitoring efforts into a global snapshot of the progress and gaps in 1325 implementation. GNWP members identified a set of 15 indicators, after which they undertook a process of data collection and analysis. The global monitoring report comprises a synthesis of the data analysis from eleven GNWP in-country reports - Afghanistan, Burundi, Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda - and presents seven general findings with corresponding recommendations. The findings range from a limited understanding of the gender dimensions of conflict to the lack of adequate funding for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 by governments and especially by CSOs. Some of the recommendations include integrating gender and peace modules into formal and informal education curricula; allocating adequate financial resources for NAPs and WPS; and making reporting on UNSCR 1325 a requirement for Member States.
NGO representatives from participating countries like Nepal, Sierra Leone Uganda, and the Philippines were present at the launch. "Having the data allowed me to know where we are and where we are headed, and helped me become more confident in my lobbying and advocacy work," said Jasmin Galace from the Center for Peace Education at Miriam College in the Philippines. Reflecting on the relevance of the study to the situation in Uganda, Robinah Rubimbwa from Center for Women in Governance explained that, "the monitoring project has provided Uganda with baseline information for measuring progress on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and helped to build the research capacity of the Uganda 1325 CSO Task Force."
The need to use the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to strengthen the work on 1325 was also brought up in this regard, highlighting the need for guidelines to help integrate 1325 and 1820 implementation into CEDAW reporting.
GNWP is committed to carrying out the monitoring project again in 2011 in the same countries. This process will assess progress made and identify persisting gaps one year after the 10th anniversary, and will determine whether the commitments that the United Nations, Member States, and other key stakeholders made during the 10th anniversary were actually pursued and implemented. Additionally, GNWP will add countries in which members have expressed keen interest to take part in the monitoring exercise, but were unable to in the first phase due to lack of funding and/or human resources. Based on received input from members and other relevant stakeholders, GNWP will review and if necessary, revise the existing indicators to reflect a broader range of issues that impact 1325 implementation.
Saathi conducted and coordinated the Nepal InCountry Monitoring Report.