For the first time Namibia will be hosting the Global Focal Point Network’s third annual meeting on women, peace and security. Namibia will be the first African nation to host this international meeting from April 10 to 11 in Windhoek.
This was revealed by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. She confirmed that this is the first time this global meeting is taking place in Africa and it is Namibia’s hope that the outcome with further enhance the women, peace and security agenda.
She said, “The meeting is aimed at raising awareness and advocating for the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, by formulating national action plans. To date, the global network had the first meeting in Alicante, Spain and the second in Berlin, Germany, while the Windhoek meeting is its third. The minister said they are expecting over 150 participants from member states and regional and international organisations.”
She noted, “There will also be four working groups to focus on the sub-themes; including the women, peace and security agenda, disarmament and small arms and light weapons. The others will deal with national action plans (coordination, monitoring, evaluation and financing), women, peace and security agenda implementation and the role of sub-regional and regional organisations, as well as a peace lab for youth leaders.”
Namibia was elected by the UN General Assembly to serve and represent Africa on the UN Security Council from 1999 – 2000. In October 2000, Namibia assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council.
As part of Namibia’s obligation to organize an open meeting of all the UN member states to debate on an issue relevant to the maintenance of international peace and security, she noted, Namibia chose to organize this meeting on women, peace and security.
Nandi-Ndaitwah also said, “The choice of theme was informed by various factors. Among them were our liberation struggle history and the active role played by Namibian women and secondly, the projection of women in conflict situations as mere victims.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah further said, “The open meeting was preceded by a meeting of the UN Security Council with the civil society which contributed highly in demonstrating to the UN member states the participation in and contribution of women to conflict resolution and peace building.”
Subsequently, she added, the open meeting of the UN Security was successfully convened and the outcome was the adoption in October 2000 of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Some of the main elements of Resolution 1325 are the inclusion of women in UN peace-keeping operations, peace-building missions as well as addressing sexual violence in conflict situations.