On the 23rd of November, an Open Day on Gender, Women, Youth Peace and Security took place in Bissau.
Open Days are celebrated at the international level to ensure the implementation of the Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council on Women, Peace and Security, adopted in 2000. This year’s meeting was an opportunity to sensitize policy makers on the need to promote effective participation of women and youth in initiatives linked to peace and security in ECOWAS and the Sahel region.
The meeting involved participants from 15 African countries and was co-organized by UNOWAS, the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau and the Government of Guinea-Bissau.
Following the opening ceremony chaired by the President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, the Open Day continued with discussions between participants and regional decision-makers, including the Minister for Women, Family and Social Solidarity of Guinea-Bissau, the Representative of UNOWAS, the Representative of the United Nations System in Guinea-Bissau and the Minister of Youth of Chad, on the situation of women, youth, peace and security in ECOWAS and the Sahel region.
From the discussions held, the following recommendations emerged:
• Review of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Resolution 1325 in each country;
• Conducting a subregional campaign to encourage the participation of young people and women in initiatives linked to peace and security;
• Mobilization of funds at the sub-regional level for the implementation of the women and youth agenda on peace and security;
• Strengthen legal mechanisms to promote the integration of women in initiatives linked to peace, security as well as ensure the effective implementation of the parity law;
• Adopt instruments to combat harassment against women and young people.
The Open Day was preceded by the General Assembly of the working group Young Women, Peace and Security of Guinea-Bissau which took place on November 21st and 22nd, with the technical and financial assistance of UNDP and UNFPA. The two days of work resulted in the restructuring of the Guinea-Bissau Working Group through the approval of the group's regulations, the adoption of a code of conduct for members and the election of representatives of the structure in regional and international forums. The elected structures will coordinate national and international efforts to involve women and youth in peace and security initiatives and represent Guinea-Bissau at international forums.
UNDP has been assisting the national authorities and women's and youth organizations in the implementation of the Women's Peace and Security Agenda through support to the National Election Commission, the Women's Council and the Ministry of Women, Family and Social Solidarity to review the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the Resolution 1325, as well as develop a mechanism to encourage the participation of women in politics through the revision of the parity law under the Transitional Project.