Brussels The International Crisis Group is pleased to announce that Board members Lakhdar Brahimi and Swanee Hunt and Deputy President Donald Steinberg have been named to the United Nations Civil Society Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security.

The 14-person global panel will advise UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro, and other senior UN officials on practical steps to transform Security Council resolutions and agency action plans into effective actions to protect women in armed conflict and empower them to play their vital role in peacemaking and post-conflict reconstruction and governance.

The panel is co-chaired by former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and now President of Realizing Rights, Mary Robinson, and executive director of Femmes Africa Solidarite Bineta Diop.

More than nine years after the adoption of the ground-breaking Security Council Resolution 1325 on women in armed conflict, the promise of that resolution remains a dream deferred.  The Panel’s efforts will highlight not only the personal costs of violence against women, but the costs that abuse and disempowerment of women imposes on us in failing to build peace, pursue development, and reconstruct post-conflict societies.

Ambassador Swanee Hunt, chair of The Institute for Inclusive Security, added: “Women’s leadership in stopping conflict is neither optional nor marginal.  Their systematic exclusion from peace processes results in agreements disconnected from realities on the ground and unlikely to endure.  Such agreements regularly fail to recognize the essential roles of women in reconstruction and reconciliation; without their active input, key concerns such as honest governance, education, healthcare, and sexual violence are given short shrift.”

Donald Steinberg said: “The flood of resolutions, action plans and speeches in New York and world capitals must be felt on the ground in saving women in eastern Congo from being sexual abuse and preventing girls in Afghanistan from having avid thrown in their faces for daring to return to school.  The tenth anniversary of Resolution 1325 this October should not be a cause for celebration or even a stock-taking exercise, but a milepost by which time we must be able to achieve real results.”  Ambassador Steinberg will focus in particular on efforts to protect women from sexual violence in the context of population displacement.   

The Civil Society Advisory Group will have five related goals.  It will assess the status of UN efforts to implement Security Council resolution 1325; identify time-bound targets, along with measurement and accountability mechanisms, to inform and guide the work of UN agencies; recommend and help implement structural changes and specific projects to translate UN resolutions and action plans into protection and empowerment for women in conflict situations; recommend and promote new funding sources for effective projects; and serve as a link between the UN senior officials and the wide circle of civil society networks and organisations concerned with women, peace and security around the world.

The full membership of the advisory group is: Mary Robinson (Ireland), Bineta Diop (Senegal), Sanam Anderlini (Iran/UK), Thelma Awori (Liberia/Uganda), Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls (Fiji), Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria), Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda (Zimbabwe), Swanee Hunt (US), Hina Jilani (Pakistan), Elisabeth Rehn (Finland), Zainab Salbi (Iraq/US), Salim Ahmed Salim (Tanzania), Donald Steinberg (US) and Susana Villaran de la Puente (Peru).

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