Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on 31 October 2000. It was the first time that the Security Council addressed the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and also recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict resolution and peace-building. It also stressed the importance of women’s equal and full participation as active agents in peace and security. Resolution 1325 is binding upon the UN and all its member states and it encourages member states to create their own national action plan (NAP) for the implementation of 1325 at national level.
The main points of Resolution 1325 are:
- The participation of women at all levels of decision-making. This includes national, regional and international institutions, mechanisms for conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peace operations (as soldiers, police and civilians) and as Special Representativs of the UN Secretary-General.
- The protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence. This includes the training of peace operations personnel in women’s rights and effective protection measures.
- The prevention of violence against women through the promotion of women’s rights, accountability and law enforcement. An important part of this section is the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes – such as sexual violence – and that crimes of sexual violence always must be excluded from amnesty agreements. It also stresses the responsibility to strenghten women’s rights under national law.
- The mainstreaming of gender perspectives in peace operations, which includes appointing gender advisors to all UN peace operations, always take the specific needs of women into account when designing policies and letting the knowledge of women’s organizations permeate all policy and programme development.
However, the UN and its member states have so far not lived up to these promises. There are huge gaps in the implementation of Resolution 1325 and since there is no system of sanctions for the countries who don’t implement it, it has proven difficult to get things moving.
To strengthen the implementation and monitoring of Resolution 1325 and Resolution 1820 on conflict-related sexual violence, UN Security Council Resolution 1889 was adopted in October 5, 2009. It basicly re-establishes the committments of 1325 but concentrates on the involvement of women during the post-conflict and reconstruction periods and emphasizes the importance of an increase in the number of women among peacebuilding and peacekeeping personnel. It also requests the UN Secretary General to develop global indicators for tracking and reporting on the implementation of Resolution 1325.
A list of 26 indicators were subsequently presented to the Security Council in the Secretary General Report S/2010/498 and in October 2010 the Council held an open debate on women, peace and security. But the then adopted presidential statement was politically non-binding and expressed support for taking the indicators forward instead of endorsing them as recommended in the report. A reminder of the difficulty in getting things done within an agenda of political compromise. Still the statement was enough to get the UN and relevant actors started on an operationalization of the list.