“Women, peace and security” is one of the focuses of Germany’s Security Council membership in 2019 and 2020. Together with Peru, Germany is assuming the co chairmanship of the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security. During his first trip to the United Nations since the start of Germany’s Security Council membership in January 2019, Foreign Minister Maas will chair an exchange with experts and member states on national action plans on “Women, peace and security” in the Middle East. During the German Security Council presidency in April, a session on protection against sexual violence in conflicts is planned.
The United Nations Security Council already regularly considers the role of women in peacekeeping and in conflicts. Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and its subsequent resolutions are primarily aimed at promoting the active involvement of women in all phases of conflict prevention and conflict management as well as protecting women and girls from sexual violence and rape in situations of armed conflict.
The German Government supports this work and is committed in the international context to strengthening the role of women in peacekeeping and conflict prevention.
Important cross-cutting dimension of foreign, security and development policy
In the United Nations Germany is a member of the “Friends of 1325” group, a forum for exchanging information about the status of the Resolution’s implementation and for coordinating joint positions and initiatives. Germany participates in the Security Council’s open debates on the implementation of Resolution 1325 and in all UN bodies it stresses the importance of taking the demands formulated in the Resolution into account.
The German Government regards the implementation of Resolution 1325 as a cross-cutting theme, which needs to be taken into account in all its decisions, activities and projects in the realm of foreign, security and development policy.
Federal Government’s National Action Plan
Germany contributes in various ways to the implementation of Resolution 1325 (2000). On 11 January 2017, the the Cabinet adopted the second Federal Government Action Plan to implement the Resolution for the period 2017–2020.The Action Plan contains measures and projects to foster the greater involvement of women in crisis prevention, conflict management and post-conflict peacebuilding and to protect women and girls against violence in armed conflicts. Cooperation with civil society on this issue is to be further expanded. Topics and impressions from civil society work can be taken up in various formats for exchange so as to improve the implementation of Agenda 1325.
Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network
The supraregional Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network (FPN) was established in 2016 on the fringes of the UN General Assembly to promote exchange on best practices on the implementation of the principles anchored in Resolution 1325. The Network, comprising over 80 states and regional organisations such as the EU or African Union, meets twice yearly – on the fringes of the General Assembly in September and in the capital of the country holding the chair. Germany chaired the Network in 2018, the second country to do so since its foundation, handing over to Namibia in 2019.
The EU’s Women, Peace and Security Task Force
At European level Resolution 1325 is implemented in the context of the European Security and Defence Policy.
Among the EU’s main considerations are women’s political participation and involvement in decision-making as well as support for women’s economic empowerment. In addition, the EU member states are to be supported in drawing up and implementing national action plans to implement Resolution 1325. As a regular participant in the EU’s Women, Peace and Security Task Force, Germany is involved in EU decisions and activities relating to the implementation of Resolution 1325. The Task Force members are representatives of the European Commission, the Council Secretariat and a number of member states. An EU English-language website gives an overview of the Task Force’s activities and access to relevant documents (last updated in 2014).
Empowering women specifically: African Women Leaders Network
Work to implement Resolution 1325 is going on outside the usual frameworks, too. One example is the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), set up in 2017 on the initiative of the African Union and UN Women. The Network aims specifically to strengthen women’s leadership role in Africa’s transition, particularly in the fields of governance, peace and stability. The German Government supports AWLN’s work, for instance by providing funding for AWLN-run projects to promote women’s participation in peace processes or to develop the Network’s institutional capacities.