October 18, 2012 - The convenors of a Pacific Regional Women’s Media and Policy Network dedicated to advancing implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) is looking forward to the implementation phase of the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security saying it is a step closer in enhancing and institutionalizing the formal recognition of the efforts of Pacific Peacewomen who have indeed paved the way in the resolution's implementation - from literal translations to the translation of the resolution in practical ways.

The collaboration among all stakeholders is a truly a pioneering initiative for the implementation of 1325 at the regional level and demonstrates Pacific leadership to advance commitments to conflict prevention says Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, the Executive Director of FemLINKPACIFIC, who was also a co-chair of the Regional Working Group which was responsible for drafting the Regional Action Plan:

“The 10th anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security in October 2010 was catalytic bringing together Member States, the United Nations, and civil society to work together to ensure that concrete, measurable, and positive action in advancing 1325 and in our region the opportunity to work with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community as well as UN agencies,”

“The process demonstrates the true spirit of the resolution – particularly civil society participation through the documentation and the Regional Action Plan is a tangible outcome of the documented leadership of Peacewomen who for too long have remained sidelined from official processes and builds on our efforts to integrate resolution 1325 into the regional peace and security agenda.”

The operationalization phase is key, and the “1325” network hopes that development partners will recognize the need to continue to support the various levels of activities including supporting women’s spaces to continue to mobilize and develop civil society strategies particular to enhance women’s participation in conflict prevention (including the prevention of the resurgence of conflict) which is an essential element of resolution 1325:

“We have always felt that a Pacific Regional Action Plan also has the potential to bring together a series of high level regional commitments into viable National Action Plans, and provide a broad framework to assist Pacific Governments to develop relevant national programme and strategies on women, peace and security and ways to accelerate implementation of UNSCR1325 and 1820. It is critical to strengthen and sustain regional and domestic efforts by women’s civil society networks working on peace and security and working to further advance the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325).”

“We also call for an annual high level Interactive Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security which would provide an opportunity for officials and Leaders to hear directly from Pacific Peacewomen, who are also leading conflict prevention and security activists.”

The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum and Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon. Henry Puna M.P.launched the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at an interactive event which brought together Forum member states, civil society organisations, UN agencies, and CROP agencies at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Fale on 18th October, 2012 ahead of the annual UN Security Council Open Debate on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in New York on October 31.

The Regional Action Plan was drafted by the Regional Working Group on Women, Peace and Security co-chaired by the UNDP, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and FemLINKPacific. The members of the Regional Working Group were selected based on existing work to implement SCR 1325 in the Pacific region. In recognition of the importance Leaders place on encouraging and ensuring national ownership of necessary regional processes, the Working Group included senior officials from two member governments, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The group also included all three UN Resident Coordinators in the region, members of the Asia-Pacific High Level Advisory Group on 1325, members of PIF Reference Group on SGBV, and representatives from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, regional UN agencies and civil society organizations. UNDP Pacific Centre provided the secretariat for the Group. Forum Leaders at their Retreat in Rarotonga this year noted the Regional Action Plan as the framework to strengthen the regional peace and security architecture through the practical integration of gender equality and women's rights commitments.


The launch event also featured presentations from Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Ms Fekitamoeloa Katoa 'Utoikamanu, Deputy Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The Resident Representative of the United Nations based in Suva, Mr Knut Otsby, handed the Regional Plan to the Forum Chair and Forum Secretary General in a gesture symbolising the Forum Secretariat’s undertaking to progress the work of the Regional Action Plan in collaboration with Forum Members, development partners and relevant civil society organisations.

A panel discussion facilitated by one of the Regional Working Group co-chairs, Ms Sharon Bhagwan Rolls of FemLINKPACIFIC, was held after the launch. The panel discussion will feature practitioners, Forum member representatives, and experts in regional peace and security from around the region. A planned performance by Pasifika Voices depicting the theme of Women, Peace and Security brought a dynamic atmosphere to the Launch.


Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls, Executive Director: FemLINKPacific (www.femlinkpacific.org.fj), M +6799244871; sharon@femlinkpacific.org.fj