In December 2003, the Division for theAdvancement of Women, in collaboration with the Department ofPolitical Affairs and the Office of the Special Adviser on GenderIssues developed a framework of model provisions on promoting genderequality providing a set of standards for mediators, facilitators andfunding entities involved in preparing peace agreements. Indigenouswomen play a unique role in conflict resolution as mediators andpeace builders. The contribution of the indigenous women wasacknowledged by UN which advocated further to integrate the specialconcerns, priorities and contributions of indigenous women in allaspects of conflict prevention, peace-building and post-conflictreconstruction. The women’s movement has made major contributionsto building partnerships for peace.
In Azerbaijan, Colombia, theDemocratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Lakes Region, Liberia,the Middle East, Nepal, Northern Ireland and Somalia, women haveworked collaboratively across ethnic and religious lines to makevaluable contributions to peace processes. A lesson learned from thepeace negotiations in Liberia is that women need to receive earlysupport and training in order to facilitate their activeparticipation in the negotiation of peace agreements. There are alsoa number of regional and international efforts to support women aspeacemakers, for example the Mano River Women’s Peace Network,which was awarded the United Nations Prize in the Field of HumanRights in 2003 and the Women’s International League for Peace andFreedom. While the impact of the contribution of women to informalpeace processes is well known, obstacles to their participation andto the systematic incorporation of gender perspectives in formalpeace processes remain. The number of women who participate in formalpeace processes remains small. The leadership of parties in conflictis male-dominated and men are chosen to participate at the peacetable.
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The desire to bring peace at any cost may result in a failureto involve women and consider their needs and concerns. The mostsignificant progress in the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000)has been made in the peacekeeping arena. The Special Committee onPeacekeeping Operations has increasingly paid attention to issuesconcerning women, peace and security and has advocated forimplementation of the resolution.
In 2000, there was minimal mentionof gender issues in peacekeeping mandates and only two genderadvisers were assigned to peacekeeping operations.Today, gender concerns are raised inall new peacekeeping mandates and there are 10 full-time genderadviser positions in 17 peacekeeping operations, including those in:Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic ofthe Congo, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), Haiti, Liberia, SierraLeone and Timor-Leste as well as in the advance mission in the Sudan.Every new multidimensional peacekeeping operation created since 2000has included gender advisers. In 2003, the creation of a post ofgender adviser at the Headquarters level within the Department ofPeacekeeping Operations was approved by the Member States. The genderadvisers work primarily as a catalyst in supporting the mainstreamingof gender perspectives in all offices of the UN and provide on-goingsupport, policy and operational guidance to gender advisers in thefield and capture and disseminate lessons learned and best practicesrelated to gender and peacekeeping. Gender units and advisers inpeacekeeping operations work to provide technical guidance to theheads of operations, to ensure increased efforts to mainstream genderperspectives into all functional areas of peacekeeping and toincrease the participation of women leaders and organizations in theimplementation of the mandate of the operation. Therefore theincorporation of gender perspectives from the inception of a mandateis crucial.
Gender Advisers participation in the inter-agencyassessment missions before the development of the mandates ofoperations in Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti and Liberia, haveyielded in better reflection of gender issues prior to theestablishment of peacekeeping operations in these four countries. Training of military, civilian policeand civilian peacekeeping personnel on the protection, rights andparticular needs of women, as well as the importance of involvingwomen in all peacekeeping functions, has received considerableattention from Member States, the United Nations and civil society.Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irelandhave developed a gender training initiative for military and civilianpersonnel involved in peace support operations that educatespersonnel on the topic of gender issues. Several other countries,including Argentina, Australia, Germany and Switzerland have takenmeasures to incorporate gender perspectives in training for personnelinvolved in peace support operations.The Department of PeacekeepingOperations (DPKO) has focused on the training materials onmainstreaming gender perspectives into their daily work. In 2003,DPKO developed gender awareness training materials for use inpre-deployment and induction training for military and civilianpolice personnel. In 2004, “Gender Resource Package forPeacekeeping Operations”, providing guidance on gender issues inthe various functional areas covered by multidimensional peacekeepingoperations was developed by DPKO.
In addition, the United NationsInstitute for Training and Research (UNITAR) conducted training onwomen and children for civilian personnel in peacekeeping operationsin Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic ofthe Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro) andTimor-Leste.Canada and the UnitedKingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland have developed a gendertraining initiative for military and civilian personnel involved inpeace support operations that educates personnel on the topic ofgender issues- search for the material and seestudies of relevance and success in implementing the above