The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Focal Points Network, led by UN Women and South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation, in partnership with ACCORD, convened a two-day Inter-Regional Focal Points Network Meeting on “Taking Practical Action to Implement the WPS Agenda through Inter-Regional Cooperation”. ACCORD facilitated a session at the meeting that built on the priorities of full, equal and meaningful participation of women in peace processes and the protection of women’s rights. The meeting shared innovative and transformative actions, and strategies derived from the 4th Capital-Level Meeting, with a view to achieve the overall goal of advancing the women, peace and security agenda. The meeting took place in Pretoria, South Africa from 06 – 07 December 2022.
On the margins of the Inter-Regional meeting, ACCORD organised a Civil Society Side-Event on “Improving the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda through Strengthened Partnerships between Governments and Civil Society and Greater Inter-Regional Cooperation”. This event took place on 05 December 2022, where ACCORD brought together key speakers to share insights on the collaborative efforts between the South African Government and its civil society counterparts towards the development and implementation of South Africa’s National Action Plans. In addition, key speakers representing the various Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms contributed to the discussions that support the role of women in peace processes that include, but are not limited to, the establishment of women mediation networks. The speakers included, Ms Marie – Madeleine Kalala – Ngoy on behalf of Commissioner Yvette Ngandu, ECCAS Commissioner on Gender, Human and Social Development, Economic Community of Central African States; Adv. Flaviana Charles, Director, Gender, Women and Children (ICGLR); Ms Kealeboga Kelly Dambuza Gender Programme Officer, SADC Secretariat; and Dr Onyinye Onwuka, Head of Division, Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs at ECOWAS Commission.
Noting that this was the first time a civil society event took place on the margins of the Network meeting, the recommendations that emanated will guide as well as encourage member states to engage with key civil society organisations and other institutions who are undertaking efforts in the WPS agenda. A key outcome of both the civil society side event, as well as the Network meeting was the lessons learning and experience sharing between and amongst the global North and global South on the implementation of global and national frameworks for the impactful role of women in peace and decision making processes.
As a Board Member of the Compact on Women, Peace and Security – Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA), led by UN Women, ACCORD met with fellow Board Members following the Focal Points Network meeting to discuss and engage strategically on the Compacts goals and objectives.
ACCORD will continue to engage key actors and organisations to provide the support needed for the advancement in efforts towards the WPS agenda.