UNOAU supports the 3rd Africa Forum on Women, Peace, and Security
From 14 to 15 December, UNOAU together with the AU Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security co-organised the 3rd Africa Forum on Women, Peace, and Security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of this year’s Forum was: “Leveraging on Women, Peace and Security Monitoring to Enhance Women’s Participation and Leadership in Peace Processes in Africa". The Forum was addressed by UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Hanna Tetteh, who acknowledged the need to embrace diversity in Africa as well as the common objective of “advancing the women, peace and security agenda and silencing the guns in Africa towards the attainment of Agenda 2063”.
The event was also addressed by the President of Ethiopia, H.E Sahle-Work Zewde, who applauded the AU Office of the Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security for working together with different partners, including the UN to convene the event. The Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia, H.E Nicola Brennan, presented a technical paper on “the experience of women in Ireland’s approach to mobilizing around the Black Friday Agreement”. This presentation provided an opportunity for experience sharing on some of the good practices African women peace builders and mediators may want to build on in their strategic approaches in conflict situations and in the implementation of peace agreements at country level and in the area of early warning.
The Forum was also attended by former President of Liberia (the first female President in Africa, and Nobel Prize winner), H.E Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; former President of Malawi, H.E Joyce Banda; former President of the Central African Republic, H.E Catherine Samba-Panza; former Vice President of South Africa and former Executive Director of UN Women, H.E Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; former Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Ambassador Liberata Mulamula; former Mediator in the Northern Uganda conflict, and currently the Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to Malaysia, Madame Betty Bigombe. The Forum was attended by over 150 participants, in person and 155 attended online.
The meeting issued a draft outcome document, which, inter alia, called for the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls in humanitarian situations, as well as ensuring their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services. The document also underscored the importance of enhancing the visibility and meaningful participation of women in relief and recovery processes, and of mainstreaming the Women, Peace and Security Agenda into the revised AU Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy and Transitional Justice Policy.