High-level Conference Marks the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security
Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
To mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) and the Public Security Directorate (PSD) held a high-level digital conference under the theme of “Leadership for Gender Responsive Security Sector Reform.” The event was organized in collaboration with the Jordanian National Commission for Women and UN Women, and with the support of the Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Underscoring Jordan’s continued efforts and commitment to increase the representation and participation of women in all aspects related to peace and security, the online conference brought together more than 100 participants to discuss progress and lessons learned from Jordan’s National Action Plan (JONAP) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325, which has been globally hailed as a successful example of progressive leadership of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
The event allowed key representatives from government, security sector agencies, civil society organizations, national and international partners to reflect on how strategic support and national ownership contributed to translating the principles of UNSCR 1325 into practice, in addition to providing a series of recommendations to accelerate efforts at the national level as well as to help other countries adapting the successful model within their own contexts.
Brigadier General Abdallah Shdifat, Assistant Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Manpower and Administration said “The General Command of the Jordanian Armed Forces has always been committed to the continuous development of its members — men and women alike. As such, raising awareness on gender issues and building the capacities of personnel to respond to them effectively has become an urgent need, especially as Jordan works toward accelerating the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on women in security and peacekeeping. The JAF is continuously working to entrench gender awareness through a series of training programmes and workshops geared toward cultivating a deeper understanding of the key role played by women in this sector, hoping to reach as many personnel as possible and to create a more progressive culture within our institutions”.
This has been a milestone year for advancing the JONAP objectives. Senior leaders in Jordan’s security institutions have championed the integration of a gender perspective into their operations and taken action to increase the number of women in the sector at all levels of the hierarchy and across operations, including international peace and security operations.
Brigadier General Dr. Mutasem Abu Shattal, the Assistant of Public Security Director for Management and Logistics said “The Public Security Directorate is committed to implementing the strategies and policies emanating from the Jordanian National Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 by building the capacities of the female members of the directorate, and thus empowering the female members to work for the internal security and serve in peacekeeping missions". Brigadier General Abu Shattal added “The PSD had also taken proactive steps to institutionalize the role of women in the security sector with the establishment of a Gender Department and the appointment of a Gender Advisor as a strategic role to foster an environment where equal and equitable opportunities are maintained and to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping missions”.
He also noted that “during COVID-19, a wide array of gender-sensitive measures were formulated in partnership with UN Women, together with several training courses that are designed to entrench these principles and empower women, whose role during the crisis has been invaluable in terms of providing psychosocial support and managing anxiety during the continuous operations in the field”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also vividly demonstrated the versatility of the JONAP and the extent of stakeholders’ collaboration to leverage this framework to assist the most vulnerable during the health crisis. By way of example, PSD and JAF quickly mobilized to expand protection and prevention services during the lockdown, especially to assist survivors of violence.
The Secretary-General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women’s Affairs, Salma Al Nims, commended the unwavering contribution of Jordanian women to numerous local sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the healthcare and security sectors. She underscored the vital role played by civil society in alleviating the impact of the pandemic on society and its most vulnerable segments, which further highlights the importance of the JONAP as a key element in the response to major crises and catastrophes, particularly with regards to incorporating a gender perspective into recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Endorsed by the Government in 2017, the JONAP finds its foundations in an extensive and inclusive 2-year national consultation process led by JNCW with the support of UN Women, which contributed to strengthen its holistic and coherent design, as well as to forge strategic partnerships at the local, national and international level. Such aspects substantially contributed to ensure its adaptability and relevance to respond to current and future challenges.
H.E. Ms. Tone Allers, the Ambassador of Norway to Jordan, also participated in the high-level conference on behalf of the donor consortium and said: “since its launch in March 2018, the JONAP has provided a solid framework for promoting a stronger participation of women at all levels of Jordanian society. The donors to the JONAP pooled fund are encouraged by the commitment shown by the Jordanian Government to ensure that women, peace and security commitments become reality through policy change and community-level action. As we are nearing the end of the first phase of the pooled fund, we look forward to hearing more about JONAP’s achievements especially towards women’s contribution to inclusive peace, and how we can build on these as we move forwards”.
The conference also provided a timely opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities ahead. This October, Member States – including Jordan- will convene at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security (New York, 29 October 2020), to take stock of progress achieved and renew commitments to accelerate joint action in a global context marked by protracted crisis and conflicts, which have been further exacerbated by the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This anniversary lends a new impetus to the Women, Peace and Security agenda’s implementation. The JONAP holistic implementation is not only increasing women’s meaningful participation in peace-making, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, but also promotes solutions that are more holistic, equitable, and sustainable” said Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative.
Based on the conference discussions, JNCW and UN Women will summarize the main recommendations to be shared with different WPS national and international actors and to inform future advocacy and programming initiatives under the JONAP.