I am delighted to be part of the official launch of the Women, Peace and Security website for Nigeria, on this special occasion of the 2020 International Day of Peace, with a global theme: “Shaping Peace Together”.
This day also marks the commencement of activities to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, adopted on 31st of October 2000. It is the first of several Resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security”, which have contributed significantly to global, regional, and national peace initiatives. The Resolution was successfully domesticated in Nigeria, through the development and implementation of a National Action Plan (NAP), which have so far been domesticated in twelve (12) states of the federation.
In furtherance to our support to the Government of Nigeria in meeting its commitments to the provisions of UNSCR 1325, UN Women is currently implementing a 2-Year Programme on Women, Peace and Security, at national level and target areas of Bauchi and Benue states. The Programme was designed to increase women’s effective participation in peace and security processes, peace negotiations, conflict prevention and resolution; and to improve public perception on the role of women in peace and security, at all levels. The initiative is implemented by UN Women, in partnership with the Government of Nigeria, International Alert, and Partners West Africa-Nigeria, among others, with funding support from the Government of Norway. The development of functional website on Women, Peace and Security for Nigeria is one of the components of the Programme.
I encourage peacebuilding practitioners, partners, and other stakeholders to take advantage of this platform, which will undoubtedly enhance the implementation of Nigeria’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, including documentation, monitoring, and reporting
The WPS website is designed to serve as a collective repository and community of practice on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. It creates the platform for government institutions, security agencies, development partners, civil society organizations, women groups and networks, students, researchers and the media, among others, to access WPS resources, exchange best practices and lessons learnt, in different parts of Nigeria, and more broadly at international level. I encourage peacebuilding practitioners, partners, and other stakeholders to take advantage of this platform, which will undoubtedly enhance the implementation of Nigeria’s National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, including documentation, monitoring, and reporting.
The website contains innovative WPS short films, video documentaries, case studies, and community of women peacebuilding storytelling initiatives, as well as a variety of publications from previous and current Programmes and Projects implemented and supported by a wide range of stakeholders. These include the Federal and State Ministries of Women Affairs, UN Women and other UN Agencies, European Union, DFID, International Alert, Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme, and several civil society organizations in Nigeria. I call on other stakeholders to also share relevant resources needed to further enrich the content of the website.
Moreover, the need to also utilize the rich resources in the website to review the progress, challenges and lessons learnt in the domestication of UNSCR 1325 in Nigeria, since August 2013 till date cannot be over emphasized. As you may be aware, Nigeria’s 2nd National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security elapses this year, hence the need for the review and development of the 3rd Action Plan. It is anticipated that the new plan will integrate emerging peace and security issues, from a gender perspective, including climate change and its linkage to violent conflict in different parts of the country, as well as the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, local ownership and capacity development are vital for the sustainability of peace and security programmes. To this end, UN Women and International Alert are currently strengthening modalities required to sustain the WPS website, beyond the life span of the Norway funded Programme. The website will therefore be eventually handed over to a relevant government institution for continuous management. We remain committed to supporting the Nigerian government in achieving its obligations on the Women, Peace and Security agenda, which is anchored on the premise that local institutions will be strengthened and equipped to continue the process of engendering peace and security, on a sustainable basis.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, let me reiterate that ‘‘Shaping Peace Together’ is one of our key intervention strategies towards achieving a just, inclusive, and peaceful societies. There is no better time to shape peace together, especially under the current volatile security situation in the country, in addition to the devastating effects of the COVID-19, particularly on women and girls, and vulnerable groups across board. It is time for us to recognize and appreciate our diversity as a strength rather than weakness.
Once again, congratulations, and thank you of listening.