The IGAD Women Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF) concluded the relaunching of the IWPSF from 15-16, August 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop was opened by H.E Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), IGAD Executive Secretary. Mr. Osman Djama Ousman, representing the Republic of Djibouti as IGAD Chair and the IWPSF president, and Ms. Emily Opati read remarks on behalf of Principal Secretary State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action Ms. Veronica Nduva, representing the host country, the Republic of Kenya. In attendance was H.E Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD), IGAD Executive Secretary, Hon. Siraj Fegessa the IGAD Peace Security director, and Ms. Amina Farah, IGAD’s program manager for Gender department. Members of the national chapters of IGAD Member States, board members of IWPSF and other panelists attended the conference.
During the official launching, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu underlined the importance of using such a forum to condemn the heinous acts perpetrated against women and children during violent conflicts, exemplified by Sudan’s active conflict. He made a plea to all conflict parties to uphold and ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law in all situations. He also urged IWPSF members to strongly advocate for effective policy implementation on UNSCR1325 and continue looking for methods to alleviate the suffering of women and children as a result of violent conflicts in Sudan and other parts of the region.
The conference was convened to build an inclusive platform for gender and social transformation in which informed, inspired and committed women and men are engaged in confronting, challenging and creating solutions to the women peace and security challenges in the IGAD Region.
The conference was facilitated by senior experts and was organized around five concepts such as an overview of IWPSF objectives and frameworks; IGAD’s role in promoting women’s roles in peace; the process of Regional Plan of Actions (RAPs), National Plan of Actions (NAPs), and the assessment made on UNSC Resolution 1325; and Women in peace in general and in the IGAD region in particular, which examined the experiences of IGAD member states focusing on the role of women in peace processes. Following its deliberation the forum:
- Appreciates IGAD’s relentless effort and commitment towards the full operationalization of the IWPSF;
- Acknowledges the importance of NAPs and RAPs to sustain and support the role of IWPSF in following up the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions in the region;
- Applauds the progress made to implement the UNSCR 1325 and subsequent resolutions through RAPs and NAPs by IGAD and its Member states; and Encourages IGAD and other member states to continue the work towards developing the next generation RAP and NAPs;
- Strongly condemns the war in Sudan , the spike in sexual violence against women and girls, use of child soldiers ,human rights violations and urge thewarring parties to call for immediate cessation of hostilities and open channels of communication to enable dialogue and safe passage for humanitarian support;
- Calls for continued joint efforts by Local, National, Regional and International stakeholders to empower women towards their full and meaningful participation in conflict Prevention, Management and resolution (CPMR), peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict reconstruction and peace processes, for a more Just, Peaceful, and sustainable future;
- Further stresses the need for gender perspectives to be integrated in all peace and security aspects of IGAD including its engagement in CPMR with the Member States;
- Recognizes the significance of the role of men and women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes and emphasized the necessity of protecting women and children against any threats during conflicts; Stresses the need to double efforts to promote and protect the rights of women in conflict and post-conflict situations;
- Commits to prioritize, align, and raise critical regional issues related to women peace and security agenda in a more comprehensive unified manner using the available frameworks and instruments;
- Agrees to convene this forum regularly to discuss the progress made on recommended actions, the frameworks, and to decide on its next engagements;
- Affirms its commitment to advancing the Women Peace and Security Agenda within IGAD Region as per its mandate;
- Appreciates the financial assistance provided by the European Union through the IPPSHAR programme towards making this forum a reality and further calls for other partners to put their efforts together in support the full implementation of the mandates of the forum;
11. Thanks the people and Government of the Republic of Kenya for their warm hospitality;
12. Commits to remain actively seized of the matter.
Done on 16th August 2023.
Download the Attached Communique in PDF below:
Download the Outcome statement by the IWPSF
Download attached French Versions of the Communique in PDF below.