UN Women and the Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen on the 20th anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution SCR 1325 and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

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29 October 2020 – The Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY) and UN Women Yemen renewed their commitment to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and to advancing women’s meaningful participation and gender inclusion in the peace process during a virtual event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

Under the title “Stronger Together: Advancing Yemeni Women’s Meaningful Engagement in Building Peace”, over 50 representatives from Yemeni women’s organizations, mediation support organizations, Track II partners, and diplomatic missions called for embedding and implementing the resolution into the peace process in Yemen.

UN Women Representative for Iraq and Yemen, Dina Zorba highlighted “The evidence is clear: having women at the peace table strengthens accountability for implementation. Women’s participation also makes peace more inclusive and sustainable, because with their input, agreements will include all perspectives of society which has a long-lasting impact”. She also added “While it is imperative that the international community continues to join forces for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Yemen, it is also essential that we keep providing Yemeni women with platforms to share their views and perspectives regarding their participation in the peacebuilding process. By crafting a peacebuilding process that is truly inclusive, we will have a transformative opportunity to establish a more sustainable and durable peace in Yemen. We must focus on real results, take ownership and join forces for implementation.”

UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths affirmed his full focus on women’s representation in any formal talks and the importance of gender perspectives across all policy issues. He noted “Yemeni women’s activism, persistent efforts and initiatives to end this war provide hope and inspiration. My Office continues to engage the parties on the need to represent all Yemenis and include women in their delegations and gender concerns in their deliberations”. The Envoy’s Office continues to explore ways in which women’s perspectives are more actively considered by the conflict parties and is committed to actively consulting women including through forthcoming digital discussions.

Thirty Yemeni women represented ten different civil society and various women groups and networks, including the Group of Nine Coalition, the Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security (Tawafuq), the Yemeni women’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the Women’s Solidarity Network (WSN). Representatives of mediation support organizations and Track II partners also joint the virtual meetings Representatives shared their visions and views of how UNSCR 1325 and the WPS Agenda can be better implemented in Yemen today despite the challenges due to the ongoing conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting put forward a number of recommendations that focused on accountability mechanisms for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 including release of female detainees, ensuring well-balanced delegations in the peacebuilding process and in (technical) committees, the effective participation of youth, and the development of peace programs specially on care and gender-based violence. One of the women stated: “We need sustained commitment and, therefore, call on all UN Member-States and relevant actors to join us and work together to promote all aspects of the WPS agenda and ensure its full and lasting implementation in Yemen, not just today, but every day of the year.”

OSESGY and UN Women expressed their commitment to increased collaboration with Yemeni women’s organizations and civil society to further the engagement of women in the peace process.