Eleven years after the landmark UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women in conflict and peace, the gap between policy and practice remains huge. While government and rebels in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 have women represented on their peace panels, there is a lot more that can be done to have women’s voices and expertise heard at the peace talks and in the post-agreement implementation.
In Mindanao there is a special need to develop culturally sensitive approaches and indicators. Conciliation Resources suggests an innovative joint approach by international actors to support specific progress in this field.
Partnerships for peace
We recently worked with the Norwegian embassy in Manila to convene a second Dialogue on Philippine and International Responses to the global debate on Women, Peace and Security. The meeting, a follow up to the Dialogue initiated last October at the British embassy, provided a unique opportunity to share information between government, civil society and the international community, as well as for nurturing information sharing between the International Contact Group, International Monitoring Team and other internationals.
The core drivers behind this Dialogue initiative are:
- The common challenge of embassies, donors and NGOs alike to move from policy to practice when implementing National Action Plans and similar guidelines on Women Peace and Security.
- The suggestion for the international community to develop some sort of common frame (an ‘International Action Plan’) that strengthens and supports the Philippines National Action Plan, and that is guided by, and relevant to, local actors.
Participants in the forum emphasised that developing an International Action Plan would enable stakeholders to have a common voice advocating for the inclusion of women in the peace process and to foster interaction between the peace panels and other actors (especially at the grassroots level).
Building on women's insight and experience
Conciliation Resources is currently conducting a mapping of Moro and indigenous women’s peace initiatives so we can assess and help support local activities that are already in place.
As part of the International Contact Group, we help bridge relations between the formal peace talks and parallel tracks of civil society participation. Together with our partner Sulong CARHRIHL we are supporting dialogue and joint action between women from different social and political backgrounds; the mainstreaming of women peace and security issues by the Women Engaged in 1325 network; the initiative of a Women’s Peace Table; and the intra-Moro dialogue on enhancing women´s role in the peace process.
The process leading to an International Action Plan is a collective effort that will promote collaboration, learning, transparency and accountability of the international community supporting peace in the Philippines. It is also an innovative approach that may inspire similar processes elsewhere.