A Trojan horse - and it is all of ours

14 November 2005


Have we ever stopped to consider where we would be without 1325? I know the existence of this one piece of paper has done little if anything for the IDP women in Darfur or even Colombia. And I'm not one to make excuses for the dearth of women SRSGs or lack of support for women peace activists in Somalia, Sudan or Iraq.  It is pathetic and shameful that the very same governments that endorsed 1325 whole heartedly and whose representatives are thrilled to be showered with accolades and thanks of the women's movement, have done so very little to set the example in their own back yard and institutions. And, quite frankly, it's even more shameful that we even had to go to the lengths we did, to get a resolution in the name of women, peace and security.  After all, if the UN and its bits, the member states and their bits - were doing their job - just doing their job - we wouldn't need a resolution about women. But they don't do their job, and they don't set the examples. So we needed a resolution to make the issues mandatory, and to give us all a hook, a frame, a blueprint for what we wanted to achieve... 1325 implementation has been slow and frustrating - but without this framework, without the mandatory nature of the resolution, we would be even more invisible, even more confined to the margins, and still shouting into the wind.
Someone asked me the other day, why the focus on women? why so exclusive? why not include human rights groups and others? My answer was simple... I don't think we would have ever had a hope of getting a resolution passed on the mandatory participation of civil society or human rights groups in peace processes. They are perceived as being too threatening. Women on the other hand...are not so threatening, not so serious, not something to quibble about (except if you are Russia).  But as usual, we turned our weakness into our strength. The result is that the women's resolution gets through - but broader civil society is still pressing its nose against the window... those of you at the July conflict prevention conference in New York, could not have failed to notice that Kofi Annan couldn't even make a 5 minute opening speech.
1325 is a trojan horse. The council passed it, without (or maybe some did) recognising its revolutionary nature...  if and when it is implemented  is the gateway for major transformation in peace and security dealings.It does after all call not only for support to women, but also 'indigenous conflict resolution processes' -  It opens the door to participatory processes and places human security firmly at the core of post conflict reconstruction.  Surely that agenda isn't just a women's agenda.

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