ACCORD participated in the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) Open Session on the Role of women in conflict prevention and peace building at community level held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 19th October 2018. The Open Session was organised by the Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The Open Session was attended by AU member states, representatives of diplomatic missions in Ethiopia, United Nations (UN) agencies, development partners, academicians, civil society organizations, think-tanks and other relevant stakeholders. The session was addressed by women representatives from countries affected by conflict including Somalia, Namibia and also from the Lake Chad Basin.
The Open Session provided a platform for sharing good practices and lesson learned by women from countries affected by conflicts on their role in preventing conflict and building peace in their respective communities. It was also an opportunity to brief PSC on the High-Level joint AU-UN solidarity mission to Chad, Niger and South Sudan. The Open Session recognised the role of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding at community level and the impact on peacebuilding at higher levels. Further, the Open Session urged member states to fulfil commitments and to report regularly to PSC on progress towards the achievement of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa.
The adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in October 2000, marked a pivotal moment in peace and security undertakings with the recognition that the prevention of violence against women, their protection and their participation in decision-making at all levels, are at the core of strategies for addressing global peace and stability. Following this adoption, instruments, policies and strategies have been adopted at global, regional and national level. At continental level, the AU has adopted numerous strategies for the advancement of the women peace and security agenda in Africa.
As part of strengthening the pillars of the Africa Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the AU established in 2017, the Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Peace Mediation (FemWise-Africa). The Open Session highlighted the importance of the Network in enhancing the participation of women and inclusion of gender issues in peace processes.
The Open Session provided a platform for ACCORD to interact, share and learn from practitioners and women from the grass-roots on the role of women in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
ACCORD remains committed to supporting the women, peace and security agenda of the AU and the RECs/RMs towards realising sustainable peace in Africa.