Address delivered on behalf of Special Envoy Said Djinnit at the UNWOMEN East and Southern Regional Symposium on Women Peace and Security

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018

Distinguished Guests

Colleagues

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here today to address you and speak on behalf of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Mr. Said Djinnit, who wished he could have been here at the opening of this Symposium, but could not, due to prior commitments with a parallel event that is taking place with the UN Youth Special Envoy. 

I would like on his behalf, to take this opportunity to commend UNWOMEN for convening this important symposium involving a number of guests, including representatives from UN Women Regional offices for East and Southern Africa, representatives of Governments and regional bodies. All of these entities are key to advancing partnership in order to identify common priorities for WPS and lay the groundwork for effective implementation, monitoring and reporting.

The symposium also comes at a time when there is an increased focus on women, peace and security, as it follows a number of key events, including the Annual Open Debate of the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) held last October, during which member States collectively agreed that sufficient frameworks on WPS were already in place, but that effective implementation too often lagged behind. We should also recognise that council members suggested the need to strengthen partnerships and to step up monitoring.

I am therefore pleased to share with you that the office of the Special Envoy convened a meeting of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Platform of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework that involved UN WOMEN, ICGLR, the African Union, and for the first time representatives of AU FEM Wise, as well as scholars and representatives of Pan African women networks.

The Advisory Board commended the collaboration between the OSESG-GL and the Executive Secretariat of the ICGLR to develop a Regional Plan of Action to implement UNSCR 1325 (2000), as requested by the Eighth High-level Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework, in the Republic of the Congo in October 2017.  The Advisory Board stressed the need for the rapid finalization and swift implementation of the plan, and also noted that out of thirteen signatory countries of the PSC Framework, nine National Action Plans had been completed.  On this point, the Board urged the remaining countries to finalize their National Action Plans.

We wish to recognize that there has been impressive progress in the implementation of many areas covered in the Resolution.  However, it would be wrong not to equally recognize that a key challenge remains the lack of effective monitoring framework. 

Another key point that was discussed is the shrinking political space for women.  In view of this, the Advisory Board agreed to pursue collective efforts to better support and advise the leaders across the Region on the centrality of women's participation in all policy and decision-making processes and, stressed the accountability of the leaders to implement these commitments.

We therefore wish to welcome the African Union initiative to develop the Continental Results Framework for Monitoring and Reporting on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa.  This will provide a platform to measure quantitative and qualitative progress of achievements, identify gaps, in promoting the role of Women in Peace and Security. It is important for all of us to support and embrace this important initiative.

The Office of the Special Envoy also wishes to highlight that it is particularly pleased with its close collaboration with UN WOMEN in promoting coherence and synergy.  This also extends to all relevant actors in the eastern and southern region, including ICGLR member States.

 I would close by recognizing the wealth of experience and talent we have gathered here and look forward to useful interaction and fruitful deliberations over the next two days.

THANK YOU!