African Forum on women Peace and Security


Tuesday 10th November 2020

Your Excellency Sahle Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

Your Excellency, Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa and Chairperson of the AU Executive Council.

Your Excellency, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Your Excellency, Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Your Excellency Netumbo Nandi Nadaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.

Your Excellency, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Republic of Kenya.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Partners,

Representatives from UN Agencies and Regional Economic Commissions;

Rep of different forces

Representatives from Civil Society Organizations,

Women Peace Builders

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

Permit me to begin by appreciating every one of you who has made time to be here today. I want to especially thank the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for his support towards this convening and his dedication to push the Women Peace and Security Agenda on the continent. Without your support, we will not have this meeting even virtually. I want to highly appreciate the presence of the President of Ethiopia who despite her tight schedule found time to be with us today. I salute her dedication to our cause.

May I recognise the leadership of the South African as the Chair of the African Union and extend our gratitude to Dr Naledi Pandor for being our voice at the Security Council, I would also like to appreciate UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka, for the continued support to the Office of the Special Envoy and the WPS Agenda.

Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi Nadaitwah and the Ambassador Raychelle Omamo Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Republic of Kenya, I thank you for your support thus far.  Our sister Amina Mohammed who we received a message of support from as she is on her way to Maiduguri, thank you.

We have spent 1 month to celebrate and identify our wins reflect and do more as we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325, a landmark resolution that reaffirms the important role women play in the prevention and resolution of conflict, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and post-conflict reconstruction. This forum presents an opportunity for us to collate and articulate the reflections from our different spaces.

To enrich our discussion today, we have had various consultations with different stakeholder in the past months. We have held many dialogue series with women refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, Women in peacekeeping forces, women peacebuilders in Mali, South Sudan, Youth Ambassadors, Centres of Excellence on the Continent. These consultations have helped us construct what this forum should represent. As part of the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the UNSCR 1325, my office further launched the #SheLeadsPeace Campaign as an outreach and mobilisation mechanism.

As the African Union commits to building sustained engagement on Silencing the Guns in Africa in 2020, we need to be clear on our message that we cannot Silence the Guns in Africa without meaningful engagement and participation of women in various peace processes. This year, therefore, presents us with an opportunity to further define and refine our approaches and strategies to fit with the existing implementation mechanisms on the continent.

It is within this context that I would like to congratulate Mr Chairperson on the launch of the report on the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa The report is based on the Continental Results Framework and we had the opportunity to present it to the  PSC under the leadership of Egypt.  As of 2019, we have had 25 National Actional Plans and an additional 5 National Action Plan was adopted in 2020 making it a total of 30 NAPs and six Regional Action Plans have been adopted. This puts Africa at the forefront of leading the world with the adoption of the National Action Plans. Despite this progress, we need to do more and do more urgently given the increased risks with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

In the coming days, we will have the opportunity to listen to our elders, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Her Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and His Excellency President Obasanjo and learn from their wealth of experience.

Finally, my sisters and brother, women peacebuilders

As we deliberate over the next three days let’s mobilize the wealth of your expertise and start building the continental WPS platform that will build action, solution and accountability on the WPS agenda in our continent.

I thank you.