Earlier this year, over 80 organisations signed on to an Open Letter by WILPF and partners to the Group of Friends of 1325, urging member states to commit to accelerating actions on the SDGs that also advance the WPS agenda. (Read the full letter here). By the SDG Summit, over 116 Acceleration Actions were registeredby member states, UN entities, and other organizations to scale up action on the SDGs.
So how did member states do?
Of the 116 actions, 24 commitments (21%) commit to actions that contribute to both gender equality (SDG 5) and peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG 16), which is a positive result for action based on the WPS Agenda principles.
One third (38 actions or 33%) of actions were registered as contributing to gender equality (SDG 5) more broadly, and almost half (52 actions or 45%) were registered as contributing to peaceful and inclusive societies more broadly. In addition, approximately half of actions on SDG5 and SDG16 cross referenced the other goal, which is a positive result for policy coherence across the goals (63% of SDG 5 actions cross-listed SDG16, and 46% of SDG 16 actions cross-listed SDG5). Despite this, commitments were restricted by a narrow focus on projects rather than structural shifts. Further, Sweden was the only member state who explicitly affirmed the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, which it did as part of a commitment to scale-up its Feminist Foreign Policy.
While this analysis provides room for hope, more is needed. As women peacemakers have continued to say, peace is not a project. Leadership on the WPS Agenda should not be the issue: As WILPF’s analysis of the April 2019 Germany WPS commitments event demonstrates, many member states are already committing to accelerating the WPS Agenda in advance of its 20th Anniversary in 2020. This includes commitments by Canada, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, and the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs on disarmament, and also Italy and UNODA on WPS inline with the SDGs. Member states just need to close the loop on policy coherence.
Read more about the Acceleration Actions in our SDG Summit Analysis.