Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The four UN peace missions' focal points in West Africa are expected to convene here Monday to identify practical measures and recommendations for the effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The meeting, to be held under the aegis of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), will bring together focal points representing the peace missions in Liberia (UNMIL), Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI) and Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).
Participants are expected to raise the gender issue with representatives of various UN regional agencies, the civil society and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of Western African States).
Delegates will have three days to discuss strategies to optimise efforts made so far, as well as reinforce cooperation for a better mainstreaming of gender in efforts aimed at the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts.
Adopted on 31 October 2000, Security Council resolution 1325 urges Member States "to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, management, and resolution of conflict.
" It also urges the UN Secretary-General "to appoint more women as special representatives and envoys to pursue good offices on his behalf", and in this regard, "calls on Member States to provide candidates to the Secretary-General, for inclusion in a regularly updated centralised roster".
The resolution moreover calls upon all parties to armed conflict "to respect fully international law applicable to the rights and protection of women and girls, especially as civilians".
These obligations, in terms of protection for women and girls, are enshrined in international legal instruments, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, the Refugee Convention of 1951 and the Protocol thereto of 1967.
They also relate to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979 and the Optional Protocol thereto of 1999 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 and the two Optional Protocols thereto of 25 May 2000, and to bear in mind the relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.