By Blythe Brauer
On 2 August, the final Outcome Document (‘Transforming Our World’) for the Post-2015 Agenda was released, marking significant improvements over the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in terms of advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) contain a stand-alone gender goal (Goal #5 – to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), as well as highlighting gender equality in both the Preamble and the Declaration. In spite of these advancements, more still could have been done to incorporate gender equality as a cross-cutting issue throughout the Post-2015 Agenda.
There is no specific reference to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women despite Paragraph 10 of the Document intended to “reaffirm the outcomes of all major UN Conferences and summits…” Additionally, the Means of Implementation section of the Document acknowledged the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on Financing for Development as an ‘integral part’ of the Post-2015 Agenda. This is disappointing considering the AAAA ignores gender equality and human rights (see the Women’s Major Group response to the AAAA here). In spite of this, the Agenda is much more progressive than the MDGs were on implementing peace and security. Paragraph 34 of the Document recognises the double causality between development and peace, and is committed to eliminating all “factors which give rise to violence [including] … illicit arms flows.” The Agenda is also an improvement on participation, as it aims to “ensure women have a role in peacebuilding and statebuilding.”
While the Agenda takes a stronger stance on reaffirming the need for gender equality and recognising the importance of the Women, Peace and Security agenda than the MDGs did, it remains to be seen how these commitments will translate into actual results. The PeaceWomen Programme will continue to monitor the Post-2015 process and advocate for greater implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda.