This statement was made on September 25, 2010 at "A 1325 Call to Action", ministerial meeting in preparation for the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325. It is hosted as part of the Commitments Database project (link: www.peacewomen.org/commitments).
I am delighted and feel honoured to co-host this landmark event and for being given the opportunity to share my country's experience on the implementation of this epoch breaking resolution. Sierra Leone now has a National Action Plan for the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2009), launched by our President on 8th June, 2010.
The need to develop an Action Plan was inspired by the fact that we are a post-conflict country still grappling with the relics of one of the most gruesome civil wars in the history of humankind, during which unspeakable atrocities were committed against our women and girls.
In the development of the Plan, we ensured that the process was very much participatory and inclusive right at its inception. National and Regional Taskforces comprising Government Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Local Authorities and UN Agencies were all involved in the process; and after launching the Action Plan, we transformed the Task force into a Steering Committee, assigned an oversight responsibility for the full implementation of the Plan.
Cognizant therefore of our full obligation under these two resolutions and other pertinent ones, as well as under various international human rights instruments, the Government is still committed towards addressing the needs of our women and girls.
Much of this commitment is demonstrated through the setting up of structures and the development of policies and programmes meant to address issues relating to the promotion and the protection of the rights of our women and girls, particularly in the fight for justice against impunity. The participation of women in the Justice and Security Sectors has increased. We now have a female Chief Justice, three out of our five Justices of the Supreme Court are women, our Military is now headed by a female Brigadier and have increased the recruitment of women into our police forces. It was all of those structures and policies that were translated into an Action Plan, which has a very robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism with structures designed to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation at the local community, national and regional levels.
As a further show of commitment, our President, recently on 3rd September, launched, our National Gender Strategic Plan, which will address the specific issues of capacity building, management and oversight, women's participation in governance, sexual and reproductive health rights, research, documentation and ICT as well as gender budgeting and accountability.
Further, three days from now, on 28th September, a Gender Donor Consultative Forum will be convened to present the two Plans to donors for funding support, assistance and cooperation. Budget for the implementation of the two plans for 2011-2013 is also awaiting approval by the Ministry of Finance and Development.
Again in compliance with provisions of the resolution, which urges “consultations with local and international women's group”, the Government, prior to the launching of the National Action Plan, facilitated a comprehensive consultation process, which brought together women from all walks of life, political affiliations and religious denominations and were encouraged to freely express their views on their participation and representation in conflict resolution, peace negotiation and peacebuilding.
Despite the strides taken so far to implement the resolutions, thanks to the invaluable support of our development partners, there is still need for more action to augment our performances. For some member states, particularly those of us emerging from conflict, our performance, has, to a very large extent, been constrained by lack of the much needed resources, both human and financial rather than of political will. The sustained support of the international community is therefore necessary to assist those with National Action Plans with implementation and those without, to develop their own Action Plans.
With barely a month to the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution, “A 1325 Call to Action” Ministerial side event could not have been more relevant. My delegation unreservedly commends this initiative and looks forward to effectively participating in the upcoming Security Council Open Debate when we hope to provide full account of our stewardship for the past ten years.
I thank you for your attention.