Saturday, March 15, 2014

National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 - Financing their implementation

UN Women’s Natalia Zakharova’s opening speech set the stage: Many countries have NAPs, which are not funded. To develop action plans is the first step, but how real is the commitment when an action plan is not resourced? The NAPs 1325 Global Review, coördinated by UN Women together with civil society and financed a.o. by the Dutch government, shows that the issue of financing particularly has been a concern. “Without money it is impossible to implement and generate change on the ground. An allocated budget is a signal of real political commitment. We are still not very succesful to get this done.”

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza – International Coördinator for the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP - chair of the event) said that the report of UN Secretary General of 2010 identified two issues: lack of political will and lack of dedicated funding for national level implementation. How to deal with these challenges is the subject of today’s session.

Cordaid’s Dewi Suralaga presented the findings from a “Costing and Financing Study” (2011) by Cordaid and GNWP. Key findings are that financing for NAPs 1325 is mostly unearmarked; that many governments finance NAP1325 implementation based on (shifting) national priorities and do not fund all pillars equally or adequately; and that the critical role of women’s human rights organizations, networks and movements are not adequately supported financially nor recognized fully in practice. Cordaid and GNWP are facilitating a discussion for setting up two of the main recommendations:
  1. A Women, Peace and Security Financing Discussion Group
  2. A Global Acceleration Fund for Women, Peace and Security

Dewi Suralaga: “Currently the space is lacking to bring all the initiatives and good practices together. The time is ripe: UN Women’s Global Study will take this year. Next year there will be a High Level review process. And of course the Post-2015 agenda development. […] Membership has to be multi-stakeholder. Individuals of both technical background on financing and political background in Women, Peace and Security should participate. Representation must be diverse and balanced, with intersecting identities taking part. Cordaid is willing to facilitate the initial phase to start up this group.”

The next speakers in the panel highlighted some of the challenges and achievements they have witnessed in developing and implementing NAP1325.
  • South Sudan had national consultations and a NAP was developed, but just 2 weeks after validating the NAP the crisis hit in. Peace is not there and women’s rights are violated. The country faces huge challenges.
  • In the NAP of Sierra Leone they have moved from a state security to a human security approach. Besides UNSCR 1325 the NAP includes 1820 on (sexual) violence against women. Financing priorities include working together with private sector actors. To coordinate coopration across regions in the country, there is a coordination pillar. Sierra Leone is prepared to be “a very, very active member of the financing working group” said Charles Vandi  - Director of Gender Affairs.
  • Nepal is the first in South Asia to have a NAP, and second in Asia-Pacific (Philippines being the first one). Unique about Nepal is that it is one of very few countries that has dedicated funds to the NAP. Its NAP is administrered by the country itself and not by UNDP like most others.
  • Irma van Dueren from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained how The Netherlands is currently working on its second NAP, together with three ministries and over 40 NGOs, including diaspora organizations. Thematic focus is on women’s political participation, with projects carried out in 6 countries: Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, DRC, Colombia, Afghanistan – as well as in the MENA region. “We do innovative projects that are not already done by others.  Big money is not everything, we also need to work on political commitment in those countries. We also work on peacekeeping missions with police on gender-sensitivity. And with the Spanish government to get women, peace and security into NATO policies. Recently we worked with Syrian women to get them into the peace process in Geneva. It involved funding but also a lot of political work with countries and the UN.
  • Ursula Keller from the SWISS Agency for Development Cooperation: In view of Post2015 agenda, Switserland and The Netherlands advocate for a stand-alone goal on peace and security. As well as a gender-mainstreaming approach accross all goals, with targets and indicators.
  • Lee Webster from WomanKind Worldwide UK. It is high time we have high-level discussions on financing for women, peace and secrity. One thing that all WPS organizations have in common, is that while most of the time they work on innovative projects and strategies – they all struggle with funding. Do we need another fund? In those countries where there are no funds, yes!
Mavic rounded off the presentations by looking ahead: Cordaid and GNWP will develop a concept note for a women, peace and security financing group. It will be put online and send to the ones present in the room. “We want you to be part of this discussion. Deciding on the criteria for membership of the group.” Cordaid is leading this process, in collaboration with GNWP and UN Women. 

= Joni van de Sand, WO=MEN =