“Women, Peace and Security” was the theme of the event organized by the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 8, 2024. The event was held on the occasion of the adoption of the first National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (2023-2028), a key pillar of Greece’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2025-2026.

In the words of Minister of Foreign Affairs George Gerapetritis, who introduced the event, “the need for a meaningful presence of women is becoming and will become even more important in the future. In a world that for centuries has been built on the logic of male dominance, what is necessary, in my opinion, to consolidate social peace, is a more substantial balance in the participation of both sexes in decision-making processes, especially in those decisions that are related to world peace and prosperity”. The minister added that an Office for Equality has been established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aims, inter alia, to monitor the implementation of the National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.

Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the UN

Women, Peace and Security (WPS) is a policy framework that recognizes that women must be critical actors in all efforts to achieve sustainable international peace and security. It is based on the United Nations Security Council Resolution on Women Peace and Security (WPS), SCR 1325, adopted in October 2000.

It is the first resolution to link women to the peace and security agenda and acknowledge that armed conflicts impact women and girls differently from men and boys, as well as the need for women’s active and effective participation in peacemaking, including peace processes and peacebuilding. SCR 1325 consists of four pillars

  • The role of women in conflict prevention;
  • Women’s participation in peacemaking and peacebuilding;
  • The protection of women’s rights during and after conflict; and
  • Women’s specific needs during repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.

Following SCR 1325, the Security Council has adopted nine additional resolutions on WPS, the most recent in October 2019. These resolutions are often referred to as belonging to two sets of categories.

National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security

This is the first national plan for the implementation of WPS policy framework, and it aims to enhance the role of women and girls as agents of change in maintaining peace and security, promoting and protecting human rights and the rule of law, as well as achieving sustainable development at a national, regional and global level.  Equally important is the inclusion of gender in the way public administration operates, through its systematic mainstreaming in public policies (Articles 10-20 of Law 4604/2019 A’ 50).

The agenda also addresses a series of UN Security Council resolutions focusing on the following issues:

  • Conflict-related sexual violence and peace negotiations (S/RES/1820/2008), strengthening actions to repress it (S/RES/1888/2009) and implementing relevant procedures for recording, analyzing and reporting incidents (S/RES/1960/2010),
  • criminal responsibility and accountability of perpetrators (S/RES/2106/2013),
  • sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions (S/RES/2272/2016),
  • survivors of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (S/RES/2467/2019),
  • protection and empowerment of women after the end of armed conflicts (S/RES/1889/2009),
  • persistent failures in the implementation of the Agenda (S/RES/2122/2013),
  • the role of women in combating violent extremism and terrorism (S/RES/2242/2015),
  • the interconnection between human trafficking, armed conflict, and insecurity (S/RES/2331/2016),
  • the need for states to implement their national commitments to fulfill the Agenda (S/RES/2493/2019).

The all-female panel of distinguished speakers included:

  • Dr. Zefi Dimadama, Secretary General for Equality & Human Rights, Ministry of Social Cohesion and Family
  • Ms Maria Gavouneli, Professor at Athens Law School, President of the National Commission for Human Rights, Director General of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • H.E. Ms Anna – Karine Asselin, Ambassador of Canada
  • H.E. Ms Lindiwe Gail Msengana – Ndlela, Ambassador of South Africa
  • H.E. Ms Maria Theofili, Ambassador, Director General for International Organizations and International Security and Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs