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Events calender - Friday, 31/10/2008
On the 8th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) Pacific Peacewomen Offer Policy Responses and Solutions for our Pacific Region

Seldom does the Security Council have a Women’s Peace and Security
network that celebrates, advertises and promotes its resolutions. However,
when the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1325 on Women,
Peace and Security, ON October 31st 2000, that’s just what it got.

Women from PNG/Bougainville, Fiji and Solomons have been involved in
peace building since before the adoption of UNSC resolution 1325
(however) we have taken it up for advocacy as a compliment to
international instruments like the Beijing Platform for Action, and CEDAW.
We are using 1325 to find broader political platforms for women’s
participation in making decisions that affect their lives and that particularly
prevent conflict or the resurgence of conflict”

Femlink

The Pacific Regional Women’s Media Network on UN Security Council resolution 1325

Pictured (standing) Regional Correspondents from Bougainville, Tonga and Solomon Islands:
Louise Anne Laris, Kalolaine Fifita and Lisa Horiwapu
(front row) Helen Hakena – Executive Director Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency,
Betty Blake – Founder Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili, Sharon Bhagwan Rolls – Founding Coordinator,
femLINKPACIFIC: Media Initiatives for Women, Josephine Teakeni – Executive Director, Vois
Blong Mere Solomons.

Since the 2006 Gender, Conflict, Peace and Security meeting convened by the Pacific
Islands Forum Secretariat, femLINKPACIFIC has worked to establish a regional
women’s media network to document and promote the work of Pacific Peacewomen
to advance the implementation of UNSCR1325 at national, regional as well as
international levels.

This network, has grown from the pilot projects initially supported by the UNIFEM
Pacific regional project on Women, Peace and Security, and opportunities to work
with international partners such as the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and
Security and its members including the International Women’s Tribune Centre, the
Peacewomen project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
(WILPF) and the Inclusive Security/Sustainable Peace: Women Waging Peace
network.

The regional women's media network on UNSC resolution 1325 is coordinated by
femLINKPACIFIC (based in Suva, Fiji) and includes Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili (Tonga),
Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency of Bougainville (PNG), Vois Blong Mere
Solomon (Honiara).

This year, the network is also focused on strengthening our policy advocacy at
national level, through the initial implementation of our Peace Talks programme with
our 3 partners.

Through our media and policy initiatives including dialogues and “Peace Talks” with
governments, and through our mentoring programme that brings in young women,
we are educating a new generation of policy makers and youth about how we can
build enduring peace in our societies:

“We are setting the table and inviting you (Pacific Peacewomen) to come to
the table and the officials to come to the table, so we don’t just stand from
the outside and try to talk, but create some space and opportunities for
ourselves”.

This year our network has launched a policy document which builds on a rich “herstory”
of Peacewomen in the Pacific, dating back to the early days of the Fiji Young
Women’s Christian Association which provided the early nurturing ground to the
Nuclear Free Independent Pacific movement.

After a very broad consultation process that has included engagement with Pacific
women, Pacific governments and security sector, the United Nations and
international experts contains our specific recommendations seek to breathe life into
the ideas and ideals set for the in resolution 1325 and are based on the following
foundations:

Resolution 1325 is a framework: It makes women – and a gender perspective –
relevant to all aspects of peace and security, including negotiating peace
agreements, planning refugee camps, peacekeeping operations and reconstructing
war-torn societies, including mine clearance, elections and security sector reform.

Resolution 1325 is a tool: Women in the Pacific and around the world have been
using resolution 1325 as a key to open doors into negotiations, as a loud hailer to
have their voices heard, as a pen to inscribe their issues onto the agenda, as a mirror to hold up to governments to remind them of policy and budget
commitments, and as a lens to help see security through women’s eyes.

Resolution 1325 has started to change security thinking: This resolution has
helped to change how security is discussed, organized and delivered by governments
and the United Nations. Recognizing that women have a huge role to play in
preventing conflict and building peace, ten governments have generated 1325
National Action Plans to help ensure that their foreign policy, financial contributions
and peacekeeping troops advance the principles and actions of resolution 1325.

Resolution 1325 has increased collaboration between governments and civil society: Women’s organisations and advocates have joined forces with governments
and UN agencies to translate the words of 1325 into action. In the Pacific there is
increasing recognition of both official and unofficial (Track I and Track II) dialogue at
the Forum Regional Security Committee meetings and on the national level.

Resolution 1325 is not yet implemented: The resolution has prompted a
quantum leap forward in understanding, yet women continue to be marginalized in
peace and security decision making, our world continues to make increasing
investments in war, weapons and militarism, and women continue to suffer terribly
in wars as well as during internal, political conflicts.

The policy document addresses the following critical areas of concern:
Transcending Violence and Transforming Conflict – Responses, Survival,
Healing, Women’s Budgets for Conflict Prevention & Economic Security,
Democratizing Security Decision Making, Disarmament and Reintegration –
more than weapons disposal, Security through Women’s Eyes, Women
Communicating a Culture of Peace.

We look forward to distributing this policy document to policy makers to not only
consider but implement these recommendations which we believe will help to
prevent conflict from occurring, resurging or escalating and also assist in advancing
implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 and other gender equality
commitments in our region.

“We are trying to achieve peace and promote good will amongst our fellow women, men and children towards a goal that we will all live in peace.”

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, femLINKPACIFIC - Coordinator, femLINKPACIFIC
Helen Hakena – Executive Director, Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency
Josephine Teakeni – Executive Director, Vois Blong Mere Solomons
Betty Blake – Coordinator, Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili
For more information log on to www.femlinkpacific.org.fj

A Media Initiative produced by the femLINKPACIFIC Regional Media Network on UN Security Council resolution 1325 with funding assistance from AUSAID.
 

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