On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2016, the Director of UNREC, Ms. Olatokunbo IGE, visited the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) to promote the role of women in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control at a meeting of the KAIPTC Women Peace and Security Institute’s (WPSI) Communication Network.
The Communication Network, celebrating its first anniversary in March 2016, was established to explore ways of promoting women’s participation in security matters, particularly focusing on implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000). For UNREC, the meeting constituted a platform to introduce and remind network members of the global United Nations agenda on women and security which comprises not only UNSCR 1325, but also United Nations General Assembly Resolution 65/69 and subsequent resolutions on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control as well as the Arms Trade Treaty. Ms.Ige emphasised that without effective arms control, for which women’s empowerment is crucial, concerned States will remain fragile and sustainable development cannot take place.
The meeting was an opportunity to reflect on three distinct roles of women, namely as agents of change to foster progress in disarmament and non-proliferation, victims of armed violence and conflict, as well as tools to perpetrate terrorist acts.
Jointly, network members and UNREC representatives discussed ways to foster implementation of the existing instruments and to link them to the global and regional development agendas, including goal 16 targets 1 and 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals on reducing violence and the illicit traffic of arms and the African Union’s aspiration of ‘Silencing the Guns’ by 2020''.
Among others, discussions in that regard focused on the establishment of community watch mechanisms in border villages to help prevent and address the illicit trafficking of arms, and on ways to change attitudes of members of the society at all levels and in particular the youth towards socially accepted proliferation and illicit trafficking of arms. Moreover, the need to enhance civil-military relationships and to conduct research and disseminate information on the exploitation of culture and traditional thinking to facilitate armed violence and terrorist attacks were addressed.
Ms. Ige also seized the opportunity to exchange with the Commandant of KAIPTC and to explore ways for continued cooperation and collaboration between the respective institutions.
Click here to read the message of the United Nations Secretary-General on the International Women's Day