The Policy Center for the New South hosted its fifth edition of the African Peace and Security Conference, coming to terms with issues surrounding Women’s Peace and Security with a focus on African priorities with regards to the 3 priorities of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325: Participation, Prevention, and Protection. The event was aimed at providing an opportunity for knowledge and experience sharing with representatives from different international organizations, experts, politicians, and civil society actors to discuss the general performance in the implementation of the Women Peace and Security Agenda. The event also explored effective and innovative actions to improve the performance of countries to achieve the relevant impact of women being the main actors in the architecture of policies on security and peace and on their frontline implementation. Participating at the event, the Special Envoy congratulated the Centre for dedicating the event to the Women Peace and Security Agenda in Africa. The Envoy spoke on the progress made in adopting laws and policies on Women’s Peace and Security and regardless of these laws, women’s representation in peace processes is still low, and increase in gender-based violence.
The SE highlighted the challenges on the implementation of the WPS Agenda and measures in addressing these challenges. The SE commended African nations on their commitment to implement UNSCR 1325 through adopting laws, policies, strategies, National Action Plans, Regional Action Plans on WPS, and the Continental Result Framework which is a tool for reporting on government implementation of the WPS agenda. She went ahead to speak on the challenges associated with achieving the implementation of the WPS agenda in Africa as well as the measures that have been put in place including the annual AUC Chairpersons report on the status of implementation of the WPS Agenda by member states which are compiled by the office of the Special Envoy. This report is a tool used to measure the accountability of African Union Member states in delivering their commitments to the Women Peace and Security Agenda. The Special Envoy also discussed actions put in place by the African Union in enhancing women’s participation in conflict prevention, mediation, and resolution through Femwise (Networks of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation) and AWLN (African Women Leadership Network). The Special Envoy urged the Centre to continue its contributions to research and knowledge development particularly to fill major gaps in existing knowledge.