U.S. Civil Society Working Group Expert Statement on U.S. National Action Plan
November 28, 2011
Nearly half of all peace processes fail within the first decade of their signature. The result is societal fragmen-tation and often greater violence than before, with women bearing the burden. As civil society experts, we have seen first-hand that engaging women in peace proc-esses can provide a framework for more sustainable peace and security as in South Africa, Northern Ireland and Liberia. Evidence shows that peace processes are viewed as more credible and are more likely to succeed when they are inclusive. Research indicates that the failures of international peace processes frequently have a direct impact on U.S. national security and interests.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognizes the nefarious effects of violence against women and the importance of including women in peace processes. In October 2010, she stated ―The only way to…reduce the number of conflicts around the world, to eliminate rape as a weapon of war, to combat the culture of impunity for sexual violence, to build sustainable peace – is to draw on the full contributions of both women and men in every aspect of peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peace building.‖ She also announced that the U.S. was joining over 25 other countries that developed national action plans (NAPs) to integrate the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in their domestic and foreign policies in formulating a U.S. ―National Action Plan to accelerate the implementation of Resolution 1325 across our government and with our partners in civil society.
Tremendous opportunity exists with the U.S. NAP. In this Experts‘ Statement, the U.S. Civil Society Working Group provides a brief overview of UNSCR 1325, highlights key recommendations for making the U.S. NAP effective, and clarifies misconceptions about women, peace and security. This statement follows the Working Group‘s February 15, 2011 memo to the U.S. Administration on Recommendations for Benchmarks for the U.S. National Action Plan.