Dakar Declaration and ECOWAS Plan of Action for the Implementation of UN SCRs 1325 and 1820 in West Africa

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

“The Dakar Declaration on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325” and its related regional action plan for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were adopted September 17, 2010 in Dakar at a Regional Forum entitled "Women Count for Peace”. The event took place at ministerial level on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

"Through the Dakar Declaration all countries committed to adopt, as soon as possible, a national action plan for the implementation of resolution 1325. The effective participation of women in conflict prevention, peace keeping and peace building as well as in decision-making bodies would then become a reality in West Africa ", stated Vice-President and Minister of Women's Affairs of Gambia, Her Excellency Ms. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy, who chaired the closing ceremony of the Forum."This declaration is unique because of its regional dimension," she underlined.

Recognizing the crucial role of women in maintaining peace in the sub-region, the Dakar Declaration sets out clear commitments made by the Ministers in charge of gender issues in West Africa, ECOWAS, the Mano River Union (MRU), the African Union (AU), civil society and the UN to accelerate the implementation of resolution 1325 both at national and regional level. It aims at fostering synergies among the different actors through the establishment of a strategic framework and a regional action plan of ECOWAS to support the national action plans. The Declaration also provides for the establishment of monitoring mechanisms and evaluation instruments including specific indicators. ECOWAS will coordinate this process in collaboration with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and UN WOMEN - the new United Nations body dedicated to gender issues - on behalf of the UN system.

The Declaration is built on four pillars: (1) effective participation of women in peace processes, (2) protection of women and girls from conflict related sexual violence (3) prevention through greater involvement of women in preventive diplomacy and the establishment of early warning systems, (4) relief and recovery through access to adequate care and humanitarian services. The declaration also provides concrete measures to ensure the effective implementation of resolution 1325 in each country. These include inter alia the designation of national and regional focal points in the various institutions as well as the publication of periodic reports and regular coordination meetings.

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Dakar Declaration