Namibia Launches the International Women Peace Centre
31 October 2020
The Government of the Republic of Namibia has repeatedly affirmed its commitments towards sustainable peace.
The Namibia International Women Peace Centre was launched on behalf of the President Dr. Hage Geingob by the Vice President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Nangolo Mbumba on Saturday, 31st October 2020, on the 20th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325 which was unanimously adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 31 October 2000, during Namibia’s Presidency of the UN Security Council. UNSCR 1325 (2000) was preceded by the Windhoek Declaration on Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Support Operations, adopted on 31st May 2000 and reflects the growing awareness of the role of women in peace and security following the Beijing Conference. By adopting UNSCR 1325 the international community acknowledged and agreed that women’s participation in peace processes is pivotal to the attainment of sustainable peace and security. The Government of the Republic of Namibia has repeatedly affirmed its commitments towards sustainable peace. Namibia’s Vision 2030 notes that Namibia will be a “just, moral, tolerant and safe society with legislative, economic and social structures in place to eliminate marginalization and ensure peace and equity between women and men, the diverse ethnic groups, and people of different ages, interest and abilities.”
“Namibians recognize the link between peace and gender equality because of the many years of struggle for independence in which women participated fully” – Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, speaking at the UN Security Council in October 2015.
H.E. Dr. Geingob, in his keynote address, highlighted that
“Namibia’s constructive and fore-sighted involvement in the adoption of this momentous Resolution at the United Nations is under-pinned by, and follows a long line of brave women, whose courage, determination and steadfastness has enriched and continues to contribute greatly to the African and global Peace Initiative. The activism by Namibian women was indispensable to the rich history of resistance and liberation as it marked an epoch of many fearless women freedom fighters who left their indelible marks on our pride history,” the President said.
Addressing the gathering virtually via a video message, Mr. António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, stated that
“the initiative to establish the International Women Peace Centre confirms Namibia’s commitment to women’s leadership and full participation in making and keeping the peace. He further said that UNSCR 1325 recognizes the strong correlation between gender inequality and the risk of conflict. Women’s equal leadership and participation in all aspects of peace making and building are essential not only for women but for everyone”, the UN SG reiterated.
H.E. Mr. Vassily Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of Russian Federation to the UN, indicated in his address that after the adoption of this landmark UNSCR1325, the Security Council further adopted 11 resolutions that allow to address specific issues pertaining to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in conflict affected countries. He noted with appreciation the objectives of the Namibia International Women Peace Centre and its focus on advocacy on Women Peace and Security, networking and partnership and capacity building/training, as well as enhancing the capacity of national, regional and international actors in peace keeping.
In an effort to strengthen regional and international innovation to advance the implementation of WPS Agenda, the Republic of Namibia as the initiator of the UNSC Resolution 1325 and an active international and regional stakeholder, proposed the establishment of an International Women’s Peace Centre (IWPC) during the 3rd Meeting of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network that took place in Windhoek from 10-11 April 2019.
The Peace Centre intends to become an institute of excellence for more mediation, inclusive peacemaking and conflict prevention to support and ensure women’s contributions within Namibia, Southern Africa, Africa and globally, to advance the women, presenting more than half of the global population, are given adequate influence to contribute to humanity’s fate. The IWPC s three main functions are on Advocacy on Women, Peace and Security; Networking and Building Partnerships and Training/Capacity Building.
The International Women’s Peace Centre (IWPC) will be a semi-autonomous institute working under the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of Namibia.