Women Peace and Security (WPS) Working Group for Arab States Prepares for 25th Anniversary of WPS Agenda


[Press release]

Amman, Jordan – June 7, 2024 – As the global community prepares to mark the 25th anniversary of the landmark Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda in 2025, the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa hosted the inaugural meeting of the WPS Working Group for the Arab States in Amman on 5-6 June. This meeting marks the commencement of a series of consultations and dialogues aimed at analyzing existing WPS frameworks, identifying gaps and challenges, and developing concrete recommendations for better implementation of the WPS agenda in the Arab States region.

The working group consists of WPS practitioners, policy experts, academics, members of the private sector, and peacebuilders to ensure that women’s diverse voices from the region are mainstreamed in peace and security policy discourse at all levels, particularly at the highest decision-making levels. The WPS Working Group aims to establish an effective regional mechanism to influence and inform WPS policy spaces, particularly in preparation for the 25th anniversary of the agenda next year.

“This meeting presents an important occasion for peace practitioners from the Arab region to come together for dialogue and experience sharing, with a view to develop ideas for a more effective implementation of the WPS agenda.” – Ambassador Charlotta Sparre, Swedish Dialogue Institute for Middle East and North Africa

The WPS Regional Hub at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut will lead the Working Group in partnership with the UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Reform Initiative, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung MENA, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, Inclusive Peace, and the Embassy of Switzerland to Lebanon and Syria.

“The WPS working group is a proactive attempt to keep the agenda relevant and effective during these unprecedented challenging times in our region.” – Karma Ekmekji, Lead Advisor WPS Regional Hub at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs

About the WPS Working Group for the Arab States: 

The WPS Working Group is committed to advancing gender equality, peace, and security in the Arab Region, as enshrined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions. These resolutions form the foundation of the WPS agenda, emphasizing the vital role of women in peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and protection from conflict-related violence.

Women and girls in the Arab region, often ranked as the least peaceful globally, are disproportionately affected by armed conflicts and political instability. They face challenges such as marginalization, violence, and significant hardships in accessing essential resources. Yet, evidence shows that women across the region have been making significant contributions to the stability and security of their communities through their leadership in mediating and preventing conflict.

By fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders and advocating for policy change, the Working Group for the Arab States aims to create a more inclusive and equitable environment where women’s voices are heard, their rights are protected, and their contributions to peace are valued.

This initiative is supported by UN Women as part of the programme “Enhancing Women’s Leadership for Sustainable Peace in Fragile Contexts in the MENA Region”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

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