Press Release: Government of Finland, UN Women Renew Partnership to Advance The Women, Peace and Security Agenda in The Arab Region

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019

UN Women and the Government of Finland will continue their partnership to advance the role of women in the peace and security agenda in the Arab region. Photo: UN Women/Emad Karim.

Cairo, Egypt. The Government of Finland and UN Women announced today continued support of its ongoing partnership for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in the Arab region. Through a contribution of EUR 3,900,000, this additional support will oversee and support the effective resourcing, monitoring and implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs) on UNSCR 1325 in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia. In addition, UN Women will continue supporting the League of Arab States and regional civil society bodies to address the needs and priorities of women and girls affected by conflict in the region.

“Empowering women politically, economically and socially is a priority in Finnish foreign and development policy. Women need to participate fully in order for societies to benefit from all their capacity. Finland has been actively engaged in promoting the 1325-agenda, and we are very pleased to continue our support to UN Women’s regional project enhancing the women, peace and security theme in the Middle East and North Africa” said H.E. Mrs. Laura Kansikas-Debraise, Ambassador of Finland to Egypt.

The political challenges hampering the region have resulted in the displacement of roughly 17.7million people in the past five years. To address the impact of conflict, large-scale humanitarian responses operate within and around various countries to meet the immediate needs of affected populations including in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. To resolve them, mediation and political processes remain ongoing. Women’s engagement in these is critical to their effectiveness, as demonstrated through the 2015 UN Global Study on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325, and yet their role in peace-building processes, mediation and overall representation in the decision-making remains limited.

In 2016, the Government of Finland and UN Women joined forces to address this. The programme, Women, Peace and Security in the Arab Region, supports governments, security sector forces and civil society organizations in the region to develop comprehensive National Action Plans (NAPs) on Women, Peace and Security, through inclusive and participatory consultation processes led by dedicated national coalitions. This resulted in the successful adoption of NAPs in Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, and with the NAP in Lebanon being currently under finalization. While NAPs must be implemented to be effective, they serve as key policy tools for accountability and implementation.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented momentum for the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Arab region. Governments made ambitious commitments to enhance the participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacemaking and peacebuilding. Moving forward, there is a need to ensure that those commitments translate into concreate action, through sustained financing modalities to the NAPs priorities,” affirmed Mr. Mohammad Naciri, UN Women Regional Direction for the Arab States.

Global evidence suggests that the failure to allocate sufficient resources and funds has been the most serious and persistent obstacle to implementation of women, peace and security commitments and NAPs over the past 15 years. As such, the new programme funding will help to significantly scale up NAPs implementation, including fostering gender mainstreaming in security sector reform processes, enhance the representation of women in peacekeeping forces, and build the capacity of civil society and grass-root organizations to deliver humanitarian services that are responsive to the unique needs of women and girls affected by conflict and displacement.

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For all media inquiries, please contact:

Diego De La Rosa

Regional Communications Consultant, UN Women Regional Office for Arab States

E-mail: diego.delarosa@unwomen.org 

Mobile: +971 (50) 6862 312