More than twenty years ago the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security reaffirmed the importance of the equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts for maintaining and promoting peace and security. UNSCR 1325 was the first resolution to link women’s experiences of conflict to the international peace and security agenda.
Despite these and other initiatives to implement WPS commitments and obligations, there is an urgent need to tackle implementation gaps and prevent any backsliding. The strong support for the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action, which was launched at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris on 2 July 2021, is a clear expression of this need to realize commitments. More than 150 signatories, including Member States, regional organizations, United Nations entities, the private sector, civil society and academia, endorsed the Compact’s preamble and framework actions by investing in at least one of the proposed actions.
Although Central Asian countries have made significant progress in implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in recent years, in order to achieve the goals and commitments they have set, the region still needs to take decisive steps to increase women's political leadership participation and promotion, fund relevant government programs, and ensure monitoring and accountability for results.
On 20 December 2021, a Regional Forum with the participation of with civil society women’s organizations was held in Tashkent under the auspices of Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus. The forum’s theme is "Implementation of UNSCR 1325 for Strengthening Women’s Role in Ensuring Peace and Security in Central Asia".
Representatives of civil society women’s organizations from across Central Asia, members of the Caucus, UN and international organizations, experts in the field of Women, Peace and Security Agenda participated in the event.
The Senate of Uzbekistan and UNDP together with UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and UN Women organized this forum.
During the forum, Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairperson of the Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus Tanzila Narbaeva noted that since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 back in 2000, this issue has not lost its urgency, as the world is undergoing many crisis situations and upheavals. "Today, more than 30 women representatives of civil society organizations from five Central Asian countries are participating in the event. Their active, constructive civil position is very important to promote women’s role and leadership. We will continue our efforts to implement the "Women, Peace and Security" Agenda at both national and regional levels in line with our international obligations for the prosperity, peace and security of our country and Central Asia as a whole," T.Narbaeva stressed.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman noted that progress on UNSCR 1325 over the past 20 years is primarily the merit of civil society. "This forum is an opportunity for civil society to convey their ideas to the members of the Caucus – women, who largely determine the policy of states in the sphere of gender equality in general and the role of women in peacebuilding in particular," N.Gherman stressed.
UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Alia El-Yassir noted that women's civil society organizations play a crucial role in preventing and resolving conflicts. "They strengthen social cohesion, promote reconciliation, and raise civic awareness for peaceful social relations. Civil society organizations are the heart and soul of progress toward gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Central Asia,"A.El-Yassir stressed.
The regional forum aimed to strengthen cooperation among the Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus, civil society organizations, government agencies and international organizations to advance the implementation of the global Women, Peace and Security Agenda at the national and regional levels.
The participants discussed common problems and priorities in the area of the global Women, Peace and Security Agenda, identified effective mechanisms to address them, and shared experience and best practices for implementing current and planned initiatives in the area of the aforementioned global agenda. The regional forum also hosted discussed on the development of specific mechanisms for partnership and joint work between civil society organizations and the Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus.
As a result of the forum, common positions on priorities for joint actions to promote the Women, Peace and Security Global Agenda in Central Asia were developed and agreed upon, including the possibility of developing a corresponding regional action plan.