Enhancing Iraqi womens participation in peace efforts focus of UN forum

The forum brought together senior UN officials with women advocates, leaders and parliamentarians for the Global Open Day for Women and Peace, an initiative by the world body to examine how to increase women’s participation in the maintenance of peace and security. Speakers at the gathering, including Acting State Minister of Women’s Affairs Khuloud Al-Majoun and parliamentarian Hanan Al Fatlawee, stressed the importance of having the necessary measures and resources to advance women’s empowerment, such as proper legislation, dedicated budgets and training in areas such as negotiations and national reconciliation. “This morning’s inspiring discussion marks a crucial moment for the UN – to hear directly from Iraqi women who are taking the lead in addressing and advancing the role of women in society, whether through government or civil society,” said Ad Melkert, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, who chaired the forum.Mr. Melkert, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), stressed the world body’s willingness to consider, and where possible to support, the recommendations highlighted at the meeting.Today’s consultations were organized by UNAMI, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and the UN Iraqi Gender Task Force. Along with similar gatherings in other countries, they are taking place in the lead-up to the anniversary of resolution 1325 on women and peace and security, adopted by the Council in October 2000.The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It also stresses the need to increase the representation of women at all decision-making levels, appoint more women as special representatives and envoys of the Secretary-General, involve women as participants in peace negotiations and agreements, and protect women and girls from gender-based violence, among other issues. Recommendations resulting from all Open Days will be forwarded to the Security Council ahead of its October meeting on the implementation of resolution 1325. 26 July 2010Increasing the participation of Iraqi women in conflict resolution and in building a lasting peace were among the issues discussed today at a United Nations-organized forum in Baghdad to highlight the 10th anniversary of a landmark Security Council resolution on the subject.

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