2017 Global Open Days event held in Goma, eastern DRC
Goma, 2 February 2017 – The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, with support from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and UN Women, organized in Goma from 31 January to 2 February 2017 the Global Open Days event on Women, Peace and Security in Africa’s Great Lakes region.
Open Days consultations aim to provide a platform for women and peace activists to highlight their experiences, including the challenges they face and their contributions to the promotion of peace and security worldwide. Open Days are intended to strengthen the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) and subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security. Resolution 1325 with its four pillars on prevention, participation, protection, and peacebuilding and recovery, has become the focal point for galvanizing worldwide efforts to deal with the many challenges that women face in situations of conflict.
In line with Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent provisions, the Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes undertook last year a fact-finding regional tour on women’s participation in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Consultations held with government officials, representatives from the international and donor community, as well as civil society organizations and women leaders revealed a discrepancy in the initiatives undertaken at national level to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework agreement. The Framework agreement outlines national, regional and international actions that aim at ending the cycles of violence and conflict in eastern DRC. The consultations also revealed a critical need for capacity building for women in leadership positions and for political participation.
The Women’s Platform of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework agreement established by the Office of the Special Envoy in January 2014 to empower and support women in the region as peacemakers and leaders, will pursue its efforts to ensure that voices of women from the Great Lakes region are effectively heard, heeded and included in peace processes. The 2017 Global Open Days event provided an opportunity to refocus the strategies on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, and to ensure that such efforts remain on track.