Open Letter to the Group of Friends of 1325: Recommendations for the September 2019 UN General Assembly High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Sustainable Development Summit
Dear Friends of Women, Peace and Security,
In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda, including stand-alone goals on gender equality (SDG5) and peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16).
In September 2019, the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) under the 74th Session of the General Assembly will meet to follow up and review progress on the 2030 Agenda including on gender equality and peace. In advance of the 24-25 September SDG Summit, Member States have been asked to share Voluntary Accelerated Actions on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to scale up ambition and action. The Summit will also launch the 2019-2020 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Review Process.
Many member states have already shown leadership and commitment to issues of gender, equality and peace. However, continued silos pose obstacles to action.
Implementing the SDGs in a coherent manner requires strengthening the participation, protection, and rights of women and girls across the conflict spectrum. The Women, Peace and Security Agenda is a critical tool to a coherence approach that links up SDG5 and 16, as well as other goals, in a way that leaves no one behind.
In preparation for the SDG Summit in September 2019:
We invite you to revisit existing recommendations and commitments on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). This includes recommendations from the 2015 Global Study on UNSCR 1325 as well as more recent commitments, such as those made at the 23 April 2019 High Level WPS Commitments event hosted by Germany, the United Kingdom, and UN Women.
We urge you to:
1) Commit to Acceleration Actions on SDGs on peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG16) and gender equality (SDG5) that accelerate the WPS Agenda:
a. Commit to country specific action, such as supporting women’s meaningful participation including gender perspectives in peace processes in Afghanistan, Libya, the Korean Peninsula, or Yemen;
b. Commit to specific thematic action that strengthens holistic action and prevention, such as strengthening implementation mechanisms addressing Gender Based Violence obligations in the Arms Trade Treaty;
2) Call for strengthened interlinkages in policy and implementation between the SDGS and human rights, including women’s and girl’s human rights, and the WPS Agenda:
a. Commit to addressing CEDAW, CRC, UPR, and other human rights mechanism recommendations in Voluntary National Reviews;
b. Commit to addressing commitments in 1325 National Action Plans into SDG Voluntary National Reviews;
c. Commit to including WPS Focal Points and coordinating bodies in SDG coordination bodies;
3) Support a High Level Political Forum (HLPF) review process which strengthens its independence and holistic accountability:
a. Ensure that modalities address structural, cross border, cross cutting issues around women’s and girls’ human rights and the development-humanitarian-peacebuilding nexus;
b. Ensure the meaningful participation of civil society including women human rights defenders and peacebuilders at national, regional, and international levels.
Realising the vision of the 2030 Agenda requires urgent political as well as technical shifts. Deep rather than superficial action is needed for political transformation.
We are calling on you to raise the bar and promote sustainable development and peace that works for every woman and every girl of every age, place, ability and status, and for all of us.
Drafting Team: Abigail Ruane (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom); David Nichols (Amnesty International), Mavic Cabrera Balleza (Global Network of Women Peacebuilders), Erin Helfert Moësse (Plan International), and Akila Radhakrishnan (Global Justice Center)