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Virtual Dialogue: “Advancing the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in a New Normal: Women's Leadership in Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace”
17 January 2021
The Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding (CCCPA) organized on 4 November 2020 a Virtual Dialogue entitled: “Advancing the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in a New Normal: Women's Leadership in Preventing Conflict and Sustaining Peace” to discuss the effective role that women play in the peaceful resolution and prevention of armed conflicts, in the context of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda established by UNSCR 1325  as well as the challenges and opportunities offered by the response to the pandemic to advance this agenda

This Virtual Dialogue was held in the framework of following up on the implementation of the Conclusions of the first edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development (11-12 December 2019) and in preparation for the second edition. The Dialogue was organized, in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Council for Women, the CCCPA’s partners in developing Egypt’s first National Action Plan for the implementation of the WPS agenda. The Dialogue was also held with the support of the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and UN Women Egypt

Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif, Director-General of CCCPA, shed light on Egyptian efforts to advance the implementation of the WPS agenda and the significant role of women in preventing conflict and sustaining peace, through enhancing their participation in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. He also underscored the important contribution of CCCPA towards building Arab and African capacities in these areas. In this regard, he highlighted the Center’s related activities, including the delivery of (77) training courses and workshops since 2014 to enhance the participation of women in the fields of peacekeeping, mediation and negotiation, and gender-sensitive media coverage of armed conflicts. He also mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic brings on new challenges to implementing the WPS agenda, adding that strengthening partnerships and international cooperation was critical to address them.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women emphasized Egypt's pioneering role in implementing the WPS agenda. She also shed light on Egypt’s remarkable efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on women - noting that the Egyptian government was the first government globally to issue a paper of proposed programs and policies for a rapid response to the special needs of women during the pandemic. It also launched "policy reports" to monitor the implementation of those programs and policies. Dr. Morsy commended the efforts made in the process of developing Egypt’s WPS National Action Plan, which will enhance cooperation between Egypt, African and Arab countries in advancing the role of African and Arab women as peacemakers in conflict and post-conflict situations.

For his part, Ambassador Mahmoud Afifi, Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Social and Humanitarian Affairs, emphasized Egypt's distinctive experience in dealing with the specific needs of women and girls during the pandemic at the national level and its willingness to share that experience to countries in armed conflicts and post-conflict settings. On the international level, H.E. referred to Egypt's efforts, in partnership with a number of countries, in an initiative at the United Nations which resulted in the adoption of a resolution by the General Assembly on "strengthening the rapid national and international response to the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls", including in armed conflicts and post-conflict settings.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Christine Arab, the Country Representative of UN Women Egypt, highlighted that they value the tripartite partnership that exists in developing Egypt’s first NAP; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the leading think tank CCCPA and the preeminent expertise and mandate of the NCW that are brought together to develop and implement such a plan. She stressed that this dialogue will help share the best practices and lessons learned which will further inform the development of Egypt’s NAP. She also commended the Egyptian measures instituted to mitigate the impact that this pandemic on women.

Representing the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Dr. Julia Skorupska, the Political Counsellor in the British Embassy in Egypt, underscored the importance of this dialogue in highlighting areas where progress could be achieved in implementing the WPS agenda. She reaffirmed U.K.’s strong commitment to supporting efforts to implement this framework; and expressed her delight in her government being one of the Aswan Forum partners. She also stressed on the U.K. government’s efforts in enhancing the role of African women in peacebuilding as it is evident that women’s inclusion leads to more durable and sustainable peace processes.

The dialogue session also included officials from the Governments of South Sudan and Liberia who shared their national experiences in implementing the WPS agenda in the context of COVID-19 as well as senior experts at the regional, continental and international levels who discussed the challenges, and presented the opportunities brought by the responses to the pandemic to advance the role of women in sustainable peace and development.
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