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Senior Officials to Meet on Women, Peace and Security

Senior Officials to Meet on Women, Peace and Security at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting

02 September 2011

[Auckland, September 2] In the Pacific, despite women’s leadership in peace building, organizing dialogue, providing inputs to defence reviews, mediating between conflicting parties, ending violence against women and defending human rights, women’s participation in peacebuilding is still a matter for debate. Women struggle to be heard and are not given sufficient recognition and resources to up-scale their work.

However, there has been significant groundwork at the regional and national level that has created an opportunity and momentum to strengthen regional efforts and stimulate national action.

Pacific government officials, non government organisations and development partners will meet in Auckland at a side event at the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting to provide advice and offer guidance on the development of a Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. The Regional Action Plan will provide a broad framework to assist Pacific Island Countries to develop relevant national programmes and strategies on women, peace and security and to accelerate implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325.

Deputy Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community Fekita ‘Utoikamanu and co-chair of the Pacific Regional Working Group on Women, Peace and Security will speak about the relevance and necessity of involving women in peace and security decision making. Co-chair, Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Executive Director, FemLINKPACIFIC will present on the establishment of a regional media and policy network on the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325. The UN SCR 1325 is the first resolution ever passed by the UN Security Council that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women's contributions to conflict prevention and sustainable peace.

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Tracy Vienings, Senior Adviser and Team Leader of the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Unit at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Centre will present the strategy on developing a Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Joy Kere, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace in Solomon Islands will explain how the Regional Action Plan is linked with national initiatives, and share the experience of her country in developing a National Action Plan. Minister Rose Pihei, Autonomous Bougainville Government, (via audio recording) and Helen Hakena, Executive Director, Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency and Member of Asia-Pacific High Level Advisory Group on 1325, will share their experiences on similar efforts in the Autonomous Bougainville Region, Papua New Guinea.

The side event is a key part of the strategy to develop the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security by seeking inputs from senior officials on content and process and preparing the ground for country level initiatives in 2012 – 2013. It is organised by Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat with assistance from UNDP Pacific Centre as secretariat of the Pacific Regional Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.

ENDS

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