RESDAL participates at the International Forum “Women, Peace and Security: challenges to progress with United Nations Resolution 1325
RESDAL participated in the International Forum “Women, Peace and Security: challenges to progress with United Nations Resolution 1325 in Guatemala”, held in Guatemala City and organized by the Alliance for the Strengthening and Empowerment of Women, aiming to promote an exchange of experiences regarding national level implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and post-1325.
On the 20th of November 2014, RESDAL, represented by researcher Chiara Oriti Niosi, contributed as a panelist at the International Forum “Women, Peace and Security: challenges to progress with United Nations Resolution 1325 in Guatemala”, organized by the Alliance for the Strengthening and Empowerment of Women in Guatemala City. RESDAL was invited to share its experiences in promoting the implementation of Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions (1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106 and 2122) on the regional agenda, as well as progress and obstacles in the elaboration and implementation of National Action Plans in the region, with a focus on Argentina.
The event was organized with the support of the Dutch Institute for Multipartite Democracy of Guatemala, the Project Counseling Service - PCS Latin, and CORDAID, and was framed within the efforts of Guatemalan civil society, represented by the three organizations of the Alliance – CONAVIGUA-National Coordination of Widows of Guatemala, MOLOJ-Political Association of Mayan Women, and MTM-Women Transforming the World – and worked towards the “Proposal to elaborate an Alternative Action Plan for UN Security Council Resolution 1325”; the aim was to present to the Guatemalan state the vision, demands and needs of women survivors of human rights violations suffered during the armed conflict and genocide, including sexual violence, and of all women that continue to be victims of violence in the country.
The Forum was attended by organizations linked to human rights, justice, peasant and indigenous women, governmental institutions and international and UN organizations represented in Guatemala, in addition to panelists from Chile and Colombia as well as RESDAL, and also had the presence of about 130 participants. The “Proposal to elaborate an Alternative Action Plan for UN Security Council Resolution 1325” was remitted to Guatemalan state representatives, UN institutions, embassies and the panelists present at the event.
RESDAL’s presence as an organization invited to expose to the panel “Experiences on the implementation of Resolution Action Plans in Latin America and Argentina” follows RESDAL’s efforts to support Latin American states in the implementation of Resolution 1325. In this context, Guatemala represents for RESDAL a particularly important actor: indeed, the first regional event on the subject, the seminar “Gender and Peace Operations. National Action Plans” was organized by RESDAL and the Learning Institute for Sustainable Development (IEPADES) in Guatemala, Antigua, in October 2008. Since then, RESDAL has accompanied Guatemala’s efforts towards the adoption of a gender perspective and women’s participation. These efforts include setting up an inter-institutional working group boosted and supported by IEPADES. The event of the November 20th was in the framework of this work, but with the objective of proposing new inputs for progress towards a National Action Plan that takes into account the effective needs of women across the Guatemalan population.
The International Forum allowed for the exchange of experiences developed in different realities, such as those from Argentina, Chile and Colombia, which progressed – or are progressing – towards the adoption of National Action Plans for Resolution 1325, despite lacking effective implementation. Alternatively, as in the case of Argentina, the adopted Plan is limited to the defence sector. In Guatemala’s case, civil society decided to open a dialogue with governmental authorities about the aspects that are considered essential for a comprehensive and effective action plan: many elements of the proposal for the elaboration of an Alternative Action Plan presented by the Alliance are focused on the guarantee of non-repetition of the human rights violations that occurred during the armed conflict, on the right to health, life and integrity for all women, including indigenous women, access to justice, a full and dignified reparation for the violations and participation in the elaboration of policies on gender equality.
Guatemala is still walking the path towards democratic consolidation, in a context where violence against women and discriminations, most of all against indigenous persons – which represent about 60% of the population – is reported to be increasing (from 7,145 cases in 2010 to 7,412 cases reported in 2011, with a particular increase in femicides and rapes – RESDAL data 2014).
With the peace agreements still quite recent, and a high level of impunity remaining, Guatemala still appears to be in a very fragile stage, where all efforts towards gender equality are essential but never guaranteed, surrounded by continued threats against their sustainability.