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Peaceful and Inclusive Societies: The Peace, Development and Humanitarian Nexus Approach

For us all, this year’s anniversaries of Beijing+25 and of resolution 1325 must push us further and faster towards progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment

We have less than 10 years to ensure that Agenda 2030 enables a shift in the focus from reaction to prevention and assist in the realisation of peaceful and inclusive societies.

Do we need more commitments and affirmations or is it time to just get on with the job of transforming commitments to actions in collaboration with young women - as part of succession planning that draws on the wisdom of women who have paved the way and drawing on the innovation and ideas of young women to ensure sustainability of our Feminist and Women's Rights Movement.

Prevention saves lives and money, yet, the OECD States of Fragility Report of 2018 points out that only 2% of official development assistance (ODA) was directed specifically to conflict prevention in 2016 to tackle underlying drivers of conflict and fragility.[1] In 2018, only 4.2% of total ODA funding in extremely fragile and 4.2% of ODA funding in the other fragile countries went towards core government functions.5 


In addition, the UNDP-World Bank Report ‘Pathways to Peace’ report suggests that, over the medium to long term, development partners would save anywhere between US$2 and US$7 for each US$1 invested in prevention-related activities. The cost-effectiveness of prevention is even clearer for conflict-affected countries, where the cost-effectiveness ratio of peacebuilding could be as high as 1:16—that is for every US$1 invested in efforts to build peace and prevent the recurrence saves US$16 in costs of potential conflict.


Clearly there is an urgent need to move away from simply addressing outbreaks and escalation of violence and conflict and move towards greater measures for prevention:



In the Pacific Island region, my region we know gender equality and human rights are integral to achieving sustainable peace.

The localisation and implementation of UNSCR1325 by women peacebuilders is a key reminder of why the participation of women at all levels is essential for the operational eectiveness, success and sustainability of peace processes and peacebuilding eorts[1]

Resources for women’s activism from the local to the global level, including improving women’s political agency to contribute to governance structures is essential for the implementation of UNSCR1325. 

The efforts and role of the community-based women’s movements in bringing about long-term prevention and social transformation need recognition and support so that all women and girls can claim their right to peace and security.


However the Global Study on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 (2015) identified that while resources have gone into formulating state centric national action plans and increasing women in parliament and the military, women’s needs at local level have largely gone unmet.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Pacific network – represented by diverse Pacific women and women’s organisations from Fiji, Papua New Guinea including Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Tonga, and Vanuatu have been at the helm of peacebuilding whether as mediators or as part of groups working to improve conditions in local communities, or as providers of safe havens for women and children affected by violence and demanding accountability and respect for human rights.[2]

Additionally, through the Pacific Conference of Churches, also a member of GPPAC Pacific, women continue to work with indigenous and faith leaders to confront real, growing and interconnected issues affecting indigenous communities including environmental degradation, weak political governance systems and high levels of social injustice.

Despite such efforts in Pacific Island countries and territories women’s participation in formal conflict prevention and management and post-conflict recovery efforts, as well as oversight and accountability mechanisms for the peace and security sector is still not fully realized.

Women still struggle to be heard at the negotiating table in leadership roles and are not given sufficient recognition and resources to do their work. This is symptomatic of a broader problem in the region related to women’s absence from political decision-making at all levels of society and continued high levels of sexual and gender based violence.


SO - While 2020 includes the 20th anniversary of UNSCR1325, those of us engaging in this process need to be ensuring that the members of the UNSC scale up their commitment to building peace and human security not scaling up the militarisation of peace and security;

We need to scale up the accountability of member states when reporting on CEDAW and UPR processes including ensuring feminist coalitions and peacebuilding networks have the flexible resources to organise and provide the evidence on how member states are contributing to their treaty commitments.    

Funding for women’s rights organisations is vital to deliver outcomes by being firmly rooted in local communities, contexts, needs and experiences, reaching women in marginalized communities, and enabling those without power and status to have a voice and to advocate for basic rights. In conflict-affected countries, engaging with local women’s organisations and networks and ensuring that women participate in democratization, peacebuilding and development processes is key to the success of those processes and with them, to the whole of the women, peace and security agenda.


A feminist approach requires us to take the recommendations into very distinct spaces – our governments, regional inter-governmental organisations as well as strategically influence UNSC, Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

We need to carry the message demanding a gender transformative approach and amplify the linkages between each of the goals of Agenda 2030 – hence the call for a Peace, Development and Humanitarian Nexus Approach – it is not difficult because we live the interlinkages of all the goals; what is needed is UN and inter-governmental processes to redesign of table and shift the power to women sustaining peace in their communities



[1] The Global Study on the Implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 available at

[2] Pacific Regional Action Plan: Women, Peace and Security 2012 - 2015

Asia Pacific
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