31 October 2020 marked the 20th Anniversary of the United Nation Security Council’s (UNSC) landmark Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). Resolution 1325 was the first protocol adopted by the Security Council to focus in detail on the negative experiences that women face while executing an interventionist role as peacekeepers in conflict. It recognized that conflict affects women differently and that addressing the needs, views and participation of half of humanity would provide a positive peace dividend. UNSC Resolution 1325 emphasizes the protection of women, their meaningful participation in peace and security processes, and the need for an increased role of women in preventing and resolving conflict. As part of commemorating this very important day, the African Union (AU) with the support of the African Standby Capacity (ASC) Partners [ACCORD, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF)] implemented a UNSC Resolution 1325 commemorative social media campaign, from 26 October to 31 October 2020.
Through sharing various posts on all ASC social media platforms, the campaign provided a unique opportunity to educate the general public to have a better appreciation of the UNSCR 1325 and how the resolution is translated and reflected in the work of the ASC, and to send a message of encouragement to the next generation of African women to claim their rightful place in history and creating the ‘Africa they want’. This commemoration also raised awareness on the ASC and AU Peace Support Operations (PSO), in relation to issues of gender and UNSCR 1325, and also paid tribute to the extraordinary contributions women have made to peace and security in Africa in relation to PSO.
High level officials and senior level contributors in the peace and security landscape supported the campaign by sharing short video clips and/or written statements reflecting on challenges and achievements since the inception of UNSC Resolution 1325. These were posted on the ASC official Facebook and Twitter pages during the week of the commemoration. The high level officials supporting the campaign included Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: Former President of Liberia, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Tax: SADC Executive Secretary, and the senior level contributors included Dr Linda Darkwa: Secretariat of the Training for Peace (TfP) Programme, and Mr. Jeffrey Mapendere: Chief Security Arrangements Advisor, RJMEC, South Sudan.
The ASC is the civilian component of the African Standby Force and ACCORD is a technical implementation partner of the ASC through the TfP Programme. The TfP Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.