It has been a long, arduous journey – a journey ridden curiously with obstacles and indifference. Two decades have passed by since the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, by consensus and without reservation, its landmark and norm-setting resolution 53/243
on the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace in 1999.
In the first month of Bangladesh joining the Security Council in January 2000, President Nelson Mandela was in New York to report to the Council in his capacity as the UN-mandated facilitator of the Burundi Peace Process. In an informal setting, he shared with us that his efforts to include women in the peace table were not working as participating men stonewalled.
I woke up on Saturday morning with the heart-breaking news that our dear Kofi is no more. The peoples of the world are unequivocal in expressing their feelings of the love, respect and recognition that they have for his qualities of head and heart.
In the next seven days two of the biggest events that drive the women’s equality agenda will energize all well-meaning people of the world. The first on 8 March the International Women’s Day will assert renewed energy for women’s activism for peace, rights and development.
At the 26 October launch of GNWP’s (Global Network of Women Peacebuilders) manual “No Money, No NAP” on dedicated budgetary allocation to fund the implementation of the 1325 National Action Plans, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka characterized UNSCR 1325 as the most unimplemented resolution of the UN Security Council.
In the fifteen years since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, we have seen a tremendous enthusiasm among civil society at all levels in raising awareness, engaging in advocacy and building capacity for its meaningful implementation. It is my pleasure to write the foreword to this publication which is a meaningful endeavour to move the agenda forward on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the adoption of this groundbreaking resolution.
This week, the United Nations Security Council is holding an open debate to undertake its High Level Review of the 15 years of implementation of the landmark Resolution 1325 on “Women and Peace and Security.”
2015 is a year of UN anniversaries as the calendar tells us. Of course the big one is the United Nations’ own seventieth birthday. I find two other anniversaries very significant in their relevance to humanity’s quest for peace and development in general and for goals and objectives of the UN’s work in particular.
Another reality that emerges very distinctly in culture of peace is that we should never forget when women – half of world’s seven billion plus people - are marginalised and their equality is not established in all spheres of human activity, there is no chance for our world to get sustainable peace in the real sense.
This week, for the fourth time in a row, the annual gathering of the apex intergovernmental body of the United Nation deliberating on peace and non-violence will take place at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
The largest annual gathering with special focus on issues which impact on women and thereby humanity as a whole is now taking place in New York.
Last Friday's recommendation to give the incumbent U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon another five-year term drew the international community's attention to another opaque, non- democratic process that is the hallmark of the 15-member Security Council's decision-making.
Next Monday the United Nations is convening the decennial global conference focusing on the challenges faced by "the poorest and weakest segment of the international community humanity". This week-long high level hosted by Turkey in Istanbul is the fourth in the series of ten-yearly UN gatherings since 1981 when the first one was convened in Paris.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, in December 1998, a group of civil society organisations launched a global campaign for the universal recognition of the human right to peace. They called upon all "to prevent violence, intolerance, and injustice in our countries and societies in order to overcome the cult of war and to build a Culture of Peace".