Finland promotes “Women, Peace and Security”
Over one hundred participants came to the Parliament on 6 June to mark the publication of Finland’s second National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, “Women, Peace and Security”. At the event, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Defence and the Minister for Gender Equality related the main challenges facing the implementation of the Action Plan in their respective administrative sector. Finland’s activities relating to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 are based on a visible international role in “Women, Peace and Security” issues.
That evening, the Foreign Minister’s Cabinet organised a reception for the Women in International Security (WIIS) network at Lasipalatsi. At the reception, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja and US Ambassador Bruce Oreck discussed the international and national roles of women.
To intensify the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, “Women, Peace and Safety”, Finland published a new goal-oriented Action Plan for the years 2012 to 2016, compiled in broad interaction with the authorities and representatives of civil society.
Over one hundred participants came to the publication event arranged in the Parliament on Wednesday, 6 June to hear Minister for Foreign Affairs Tuomioja, Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henriksson, Minister of Defence Stefan Wallin and Minister of Culture and Sports Paavo Arhinmäki, responsible for gender equality affairs, present their views on the importance of the Action Plan for their respective administrative sector. In addition, Minister Elisabeth Rehn spoke about the international importance of the Resolution, and Helena Ranta, Chair of Finland’s 1325 NGO Network, described the pivotal role of civil society in the implementation of the Action Plan.
The open preparatory process and the challenging contents of the Action Plan were praised during the discussions at the publication event. Other topics that arose at the event included the importance of education for implementing the objectives of the 1325 Action Plan, and cooperation between various actors. Finland is an increasingly sought-after international cooperation partner in implementing Resolution 1325. At present, Finland has 1325 cooperation with countries such as Kenya, Afghanistan and Nepal.
Finland’s National Action Plan 2012–2016
The central themes in Finland’s new 1325 Action Plan are conflict prevention, crisis management, and strengthening, protecting and safeguarding the human rights of women and girls. In addition, the objectives of the Action Plan include the promotion of research and communications on the themes of Resolution 1325, the development of monitoring and reporting, and the use of various indicators to measure implementation in relation to the objectives set.
The Action Plan was signed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for International Development, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Defence, and the Minister of Culture and Sports. The Ministers agree that there are better prerequisites for lasting peace if women and men have equal opportunities to participate in the planning and implementation of decisions.
The commitment of many ministries to the implementation of the Action Plan reflects the importance of the issue. Civil society organisations are actively involved in the implementation and in its monitoring. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will continue to arrange the meetings of the follow-up group for the implementation of the Action Plan.
Foreign Minister Tuomioja and US Ambassador Oreck: Networking among women is important
Women in International Security (WIIS) reception was held by the Foreign Minister’s Cabinet on the 6th of June in order to mark the Finland’s second National Action Plan for the implementation of the UNSC resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security for the years 2012-2016.
WIIS is a unique, global network, which actively advances women’s leadership at all stages of their careers, and in particular in the international peace and security field.
The network was founded in 1987 in the US. Over time, the network has grown into 7,000 associated experts worldwide, and it has members in 47 countries. Furthermore, network is now an affiliated program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The network launched operations in Finland in 2010.
During the WIIS reception two honorary male guests, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Erkki Tuomioja and the US Ambassador to Finland, Mr. Bruce Oreck indicated how they have advanced women’s rights and promoted women in international security and how they would further strengthen such efforts. Moreover, they shared their views on the effectiveness and usefulness of national action plans on 1325.
The presentations aroused a lively discussion on the different roles of women and men at home, in society and in the international arena.