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Working Paper: Implementing Locally, Inspiring Globally: Localizing UNSCR 1325 in Colombia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Uganda

Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325 in 2000, progress on implementing women and peace and security (WPS) resolutions has been remarkably slow and inconsistent. Year after year, civil society organizations (CSOs) continue to identify a lack of political will at national levels, a lack of sufficient and transparent funding and a lack of systematic monitoring all hindering effective implementation of Resolution 1325 in their respective countries.[1][1] While finding concrete ways to remove or overcome these barriers, it is important to rethink the dominant implementation strategy itself.


The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) offers a new approach to finding effective ways to implement UNSCR 1325 and the supporting resolutions. The Localization program of GNWP, which directly engages local authorities, traditional leaders and local women in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in local communities, complements the efforts of governments, civil society and other national actors and ensures that the WPS resolutions—and National Action Plans (NAPs)—are owned and carried out at the local level.[2][2] It is a people-based, bottom-up approach to policy-making that goes beyond the local adoption of a law, as it guarantees the alignment and harmonization of local, national, regional and international policies and community-driven strategies to ensure local ownership, participation and links among local communities, civil society organizations and government. It is not designed to increase bureaucratic functions or add more work for local officials. Rather, the program allows local communities to analyze their everyday government functions and policies to see what is promoting or hindering the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820. In this way, the Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 program creates channels for better coordination, cooperation and coherence among national and local stakeholders in the work around the WPS resolutions.


As good practices from the implementation of the Localization program in Colombia reveal, the success of localization as an implementation strategy is not contingent on the existence of National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and 1820. In countries that have yet to adopt NAPs, localization becomes an important alternative mechanism for implementing the WPS resolutions in local communities. Effective local action planning on the resolutions may even prompt national governments to reconsider their position on the adoption of a NAP. For countries that have developed and adopted NAPs, the Localization program has proven to be a critical complementary tool that strengthens the implementation of NAPs in local communities. The Localization program has also provided a much-needed boost in implementation in countries where attention on NAPs has waned after their adoption.


Localization as an implementation strategy is based on the premise that local ownership and participation leads to more effective policy implementation in local communities. For women and girls, better implementation means greater participation in decision-making, enhanced prevention and protection from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as well as greater realization of their human rights. For everyone, it means more sustainable peace and development at subnational, national and global levels.

[1][1] Women Count: Security Council Resolution 1325: Civil Society Monitoring Report is the first NGO initiative that monitors the implementation of the WPS resolutions. The outcomes are powerful advocacy tools that provide women peace activists with an evidence-based instrument to advocate for better implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820. GNWP members from Afghanistan, Armenia, Canada, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiji, Liberia, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Uganda have participated in this monitoring project from 2010–2013. See Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (2012), Women Count: Security Council Resolution 1325: Civil Society Monitoring Report, accessible on http://www.gnwp.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/in-country-and-global-monitoring-of-united-nations-security-council-resolution-1325


[2][2] The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), a program partner of the International Civil society Action Network (ICAN), is a coalition of women’s groups and other civil society organizations from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, South Asia, West Asia, Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe. Our work entails advocacy and action for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 on women and peace and security including the supporting resolutions 1888, 1889 and 1960 at the local, national, regional and international levels.