The impact of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
Olupot, Rose Theru.
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The changing nature of today’s wars, shows that civilians have been involved in these wars as both victims and perpetrators. Since these are internal wars, many civilians are often displaced, and they end up becoming refugees. In the midst of all this, women and children suffer most in this transition, with women suffering from sexual violence. In this context of armed conflict, it is observed that women, men, girls and boys experience conflict differently and they also respond differently in times of peacekeeping, peacebuilding and also in post-conflict reconstruction. Women are not only the victims of war; they are also denied full participation in decision-making in areas of peace and security. Furthermore, their vital roles in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding are rarely acknowledged. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 in October 2000, with the theme “Women, Peace and Security”. Although there are other forums that have addressed women in peace and security, there is none that has been more vocal, unanimous and holistic than Resolution 1325. The Resolution recognizes the need for women to be involved in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. It also calls for the participation of women in decision making and peace processes. It further calls for the integration of gender perspectives in peacekeeping operations and the protection of women and girls from gender based violence in conflict zones. Resolution 1325 refers to other various previously adopted resolutions and other policies and gives mandates to the different role players like the United Nations, member countries and all parties involved in conflicts. In its efforts to implement the Resolution, the United Nations developed a System-Wide Action Plan for 2005- 2006 which was later reviewed and updated for 2008-2009 with performance indicators, monitoring and accountability procedures. The member states are under the obligation to ensure that the policy on peace and security is incorporated in their national policies. This study has cited Liberia being a country that has emerged from civil war and how the Resolution has been applicable in the reconstruction of that country. Though progress has been recorded in the implementation of the Resolution, there are still gaps and great challenges in the use of the action plans. However, the United Nations entities are working on the revised action plans and their report will only be given in 2010. This study has compared Resolution 1325 with the landmines campaign which has been referred to as the most successful humanitarian advocacy ever in history. There are various lessons learnt from the landmines campaign which could be used for the successful implementation of Resolution 1325. This study has assessed the impact of Resolution 1325 since its adoption to date and found out that there has been little progress. The gender perspective in preventing armed conflict has not made it any easier for women to participate in decision making and peace processes.