The Women Peace and Security Summit was co-hosted by the Governments of Samoa and New Zealand in Apia, Samoa, 22-23 August 2019. The Summit was convened to support the promotion and implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 and complementary resolutions, as well as action under the Boe Declaration on Regional Security, endorsed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in 2018.
Approximately 150 participants attended, representing 24 countries, including 16 Pacific Island countries. The United Nations, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Pacific Community were also represented. The participants were a diverse group of political and community leaders, civilians, police and military personnel (air force, army, navy), civil society organisations and youth representatives.
Discussions canvassed the four pillars of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda: Prevention, Protection, Participation, and Relief and recovery within traditional and non-traditional security contexts in the region.
The Summit was an opportunity for the region to respond with Pacific tailored solutions to the United Nations WPS agenda. The two-day programme focused on:
- the WPS agenda;
- understanding the unique cultural context of the region;
- the importance of meaningful participation of women in the security sector through women in leadership positions;
- gender mainstreaming;
- the benefits of WPS National Action Plans;
- practical applications of the WPS agenda in the military and police contexts;
- the importance of civil society organisations and community groups; and
- climate change and the WPS agenda and the need for further discussion on the gender climate change nexus.
Through presentations and interactive discussions the Summit highlighted that while positive progress has been made in several aspects relating to the WPS agenda; much more work needs to be done. There was also a wealth of information on successful initiatives; lessons learnt; continuing challenges and recommendations for addressing ongoing challenges. These were key takeaways for the participants of the summit.