High-Level Dialogue on Advancing the Women Peace and Security Agenda: Political Leadership, Partnership, and Concrete Action Beyond 2020


Thank you, mme Moderator, for giving me the floor

Your Excellency Mme Hanna Tetteh, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the African Union (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU,

Your Excellency Audun Halvorsen, State Secretary, Kingdom of Norway,

Your Excellency Ambassador Hans Henrick Lundquist, Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me start by expressing my gratitude to SRSG Hanna Tetteh for your kind invitation to this High-Level Dialogue and for your leadership in convening it to reflect together on advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

The dialogue offers another opportunity to continue our advocacy, within this auspicious year when we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the landmark resolution 1325, the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the Year of Silencing the Guns. The convergence of these foundational

The convergence of these marking dates calls on all actors of the WPS Agenda to come together, assess achievements, examine continuing barriers and define paths to accelerate our actions for responding to these gaps. Indeed, within the past few weeks, the African Union Commission through the various departments and offices convened several virtual dialogues in line with these considerations.

It is in this perspective that two weeks ago, the AUC, through my office, convened the first Africa Forum on Women, Peace and Security that examined critical areas of action for an acceleration of the delivery of the WPS Agenda in Africa. These included sexual and gender-based violence, the role of women refugees and IDPs in restoring peace in communities, the role of youth and media in building peace in Africa, women in mediation and preventive diplomacy, women in peace support operations, Capacity building and knowledge generation, Financing the WPS Agenda and the impact of COVID-19 on WPS Agenda in Africa. The Forum was preceded by consultations with different stakeholders, Member States, women peacebuilders, Youth Peace Ambassadors, Centers of Excellence, Women refugees and women peacekeepers. It also built on the “SheLeadesPeace campaign, launched on 1st October 2020.

The Forum issued a call to Action to federate our efforts and for a Peace Summit led by women, with the participation and support of Heads of State and Government to enhance the leadership of women in building sustainable peace in Africa.

I welcome this dialogue as another stone that we add to our concerted efforts and synergy of actions.

Excellencies, ladies and Gentlemen,

Africa has been at the forefront of enhancing accountability and delivery on the commitments for the WPS Agenda.  With the adoption of the Continental Results Framework (CRF) in 2018, the Member States and RECS committed to submitting annual reports that serve as the basis for the reports of the AUC Chairperson on the implementation of the WPS Agenda. Key findings of the 2019 report were submitted to the Peace and Security Council in the open session held on 5 October 2020.  They showed a stronger engagement of Member States to reporting, which constitutes a solid basis for delivery on the key pillars of the WPS Agenda.

This year, we have 30 Member States and 6 Regional Economic Communities that have adopted Action Plans.  We do anticipate that with the trends we see with the reporting using the CRF, and our continued support, Member States will escalate actions in the various pillars.   

We know that progress remains short of targets.  Nevertheless, various crises situations have shown that women are central to peace and reconstruction efforts and are resilient in the face of all the diversity.

Indeed, this year, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the courageous role taken by various women, like the women of Mali through AWLN and other women networks during the socio-political crisis in the country. Yet, when the Government of Transition was formed, only 4 women were included, showing again that what we have on papers, does not translate into concrete changes in the participation and leadership of women in peace and governance processes, a key pillar of the WPS Agenda. We, therefore, need more action by implementing what is in the frameworks.

We have also seen women, peacekeepers, in AMISOM at the frontline, playing their role towards the stabilization of Somalia. Their contribution has extended towards humanitarian activities and the enhancement of civil-military relations which in turn allows them to support national initiatives on women’s leadership for peace and elections. We need more women peacebuilders with meaningful participation.  

In conclusion, I wish you, Mme Tetteh and your entire team and reiterate our resolve to strengthen partnership with the United Nations, building on the various solidarity missions and reporting back to the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council to keep WPS high on the world agenda and together, contribute to a peaceful and inclusive Africa.

I wish you fruitful deliberations and thank you for your kind attention