Women, Peace and Security agenda: Switzerland committed to bolstered implementation
Bern, 19.05.2022 - FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu has opened yesterday, Wednesday 18 May 2022, in Geneva the fourth capital-level meeting within the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network. About 200 participants – representing governments and international and regional organisations, and members of civil society – are coming together with a common goal at the two-day event: furthering the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The aim is to develop innovative strategies to better include women in peace processes and to protect their rights. The event was organised by the FDFA, as part of Switzerland's co-chairing of the network, together with South Africa.
Around the world, many women are taking on key roles in peacebuilding, mediation and humanitarian assistance. Yet their inclusion in these various areas – especially when it comes to decision-making – is far from being achieved. As an integral part of the work of the UN Security Council, the Women, Peace and Security agenda recognises and strengthens the role of women in all efforts to achieve sustainable peace.
The theme of the Swiss and South African co-chairs of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Point Network (WPS FPN) for 2022 is Partnering for Change–Translating the Women, Peace and Security Agenda into Action. The meeting in Geneva is in line with this theme. It aims to identify measures that the network's 91 members (governments' and international and regional organisations' representatives) can jointly push for, both at national and multilateral levels.
Collective responsibility for sustainable peace
In her opening speech Livia Leu, State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), recalled the fragile progress made since the Security Council's political recognition of the Women, Peace and Security agenda 20 years ago. She also stressed the urgency of implementing the agenda in the face of current crises and conflicts, such as those in Syria, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and, more recently, Ukraine. "It is our collective responsibility to bolster the foundations for lasting peace," said Ms Leu, who added: "However, there is no lasting peace without women. This meeting in Geneva underscores a common will to move beyond the results of the last 20 years and to lend new impetus to the agenda's implementation."
Switzerland's co-chairing of the WPS FPN in 2022 is a logical follow-up on the work accomplished so far in this area. Through its fourth National Action Plan, Switzerland is translating the commitments arising from the ten Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security into action. It is committed to ensuring that women are fully included in local, national and international decision-making processes. With the elections for a seat on the UN Security Council just weeks away, Switzerland reaffirms its commitment to furthering the agenda's implementation.
This commitment in translated into action in ways that include Switzerland's support for civil society and women peace builders, its acknowledgement of women human rights defenders, and its targeted projects and inclusive dialogues in specific contexts. Switzerland works at multilateral level to promote women's rights and respect for them. Lastly, it provides ongoing financial support to UN Women and is a signatory to the Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action Compact.
Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network
Created in 2016, the network aims to support UN member states and regional and international organisations in implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. With currently 83 member states and 8 regional and international organisations, the network provides an interregional platform for sharing best practice and experience.
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