The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has called for the reinforcement and promotion of the participation of women in conflict resolution and peace sustenance.
He made this call during the closing ceremony of a Training of Trainers Workshop on ‘Building Women’s Capacities for Conflict Analysis and Conflict Prevention in West Africa and the Sahel’ at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra on Friday.
Ibn Chambas said the only way to deepen understanding of the underlying causes and driver of conflict was to take on board “the expertise of half of our population”, otherwise complex global challenges like climate change, inequality and conflict would never be effectively address.
In this regard, he described as reassuring, the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (which was passed in 2000) and other resolutions on women, peace and security, which, he said, “are key instruments for enhancing the role and participation of women”.
He said that this was imperative in light of the increase in the spate of terrorist and armed groups’ attacks in places like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and the Lake Chad Basin, as well as the rampant clashes between cattle herders and farmers in the sub-region, which have claimed scores of lives.
He stated that as part of the 20th anniversary of the passage of Security Council Resolution 1325, UNOWAS and ECOWAS are planning a joint assessment of the progress of implementation of Resolution 1325 among member states.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ron Strikker, in his speech, said that women were indispensable to the peacekeeping and peace-building process. He called for concerted efforts to be made to support grassroots peacemaking and conflict resolution.
To this end, he promised continued support from the Dutch government towards peace building in the sub-region.
Head of Political Affairs and International Co-operation Division at the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Onyinye Onwuka declared that as part of ECOWAS’ steps to strengthen its institutional capacity to deliver on its peace and security mandate, it had established the Women Peace and Security Unit under the new Human Security and Advisory Committee within the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
This, she said, was part of efforts to address the gender gap in ECOWAS’ political and security interventions, with the commission “being more conscious of the fact that women are a veritable part of any sustainable conflict prevention, management and resolution initiative”.
Source: The Finder