OVER VIEW OF THE TECHNICAL MEETING FOR THE VALIDATION OF THE RIVERS STATE REVISED ACTION (SAP) PLAN FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325

OVER VIEW OF THE TECHNICAL MEETING FOR THE VALIDATION OF THE RIVERS STATE REVISED ACTION (SAP) PLAN FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1325

The Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with the Women in Peace and Security Network (WPSN) held a one-day Technical meeting for the validation of the Rivers State Action Plan (SAP) of the United Nation Security Council Resolution (1325), on the 7th of July 2017, in the Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs.

The UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was adopted by the Security Council on the 31st of October, 2000 as a comprehensive Political Framework which advocates for the protection of the Rights of women and their roles in peace building, conflict resolution and the assessment of the impact of violence of women and girls. Nigeria, as a member of the United Nations was mandated to adopt and ratify this resolution and domesticate it hence the development of the National Action Plan/State Action Plan which clearly stipulates the roles of different Ministries, Department and Agencies. Indeed, the overarching objective of the plan is the development of a National/State Strategic Framework and plan of Action for the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 based on the following priorities:

PILLAR 1 – PREVENTION AND DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

PILLAR 2- PARTICIPATION AND REPRESENTATION

PILLAR 3 – PROTECTION AND PROSECUTION

PILLAR 4 – POST CONFLICT RE-CONSTRUCTION, EARLY RECOVERY AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT

PILLAR 5 – PARTNERSHIPS COORDINATION AND MANAGEMENT (CROSS- CUTTING

The aim of the validation meeting was to provide key sectors of Government and CSOs with a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of the framework for the Rivers State Action Plan on the UNSCR 1325. This process also gave credence to the consultative process of the development of the SAP and fosters multi-sectoral ownership of the Rivers State Action Plan. The SAP also will also serve as a working policy Document for the River State Ministry of Women Affairs on Women, Peace and Security.

The validation meeting started off with an opening prayer, after which introduction of participants and key persons. The Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs’ Permanent Secretary was recognised with all her Directors and other permanent secretaries from the following ministries:

  • Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning
  • Ministry of Social Welfare

Directors from the following Ministries were also recognised;

  • Ministry of Health: Dir. Planning research and Statistics
  • Ministry of Education: Dir. Women and Special Education
  • Ministry of Information: Dir. Information and Administration
  • Ministry of Special Duties: Dir. State Emergency Management Agency
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning: Dir. For Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation

The SA to the Governor on SDGs (and former commissioner for Women Affairs), Hon. Toru Ofili was also recognised alongside Pastor Dr. Mrs Nancy Chudi Nwankwo another former Commissioner for Women Affairs

The SA to the Governor on Conflict Resolution and the SA to the Deputy Governor on Research and Social Media were also recognised

The Permanent Secretary of the Rivers state Ministry of Women Affairs gave a welcome address, welcoming everyone and stressing the importance of due consultation on the SAP which will soon become a policy document for Women. Peace and Security in Rivers state.  

An overview of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was done by the Director Women Affairs, who gave a brief history of the UN Resolution 1325, the National Action Plan developed and adopted by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and the process that led to the revision of the Rivers State Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

The validation process started with Susan Bassey-Duke of Gender and Development Action Presenting the Revised SAP for deliberation, corrections and inputs. Discussions ensued and corrections and inputs were made and the importance of the SAP was reiterated through the course of the validation. It was pointed out that specific activities be outlined to be seen as target milestones to achieve the strategic objectives of each pillar of the Revised SAP. Duplicitous objectives should be streamlined and outlined more in strategies and activities. 

It was unanimously agreed that the implementing stakeholders should be expanded to include International and Local Development Partners.

During the discussions, it was highlighted that there should be synergy between stakeholders implementing related issues. The National Human Rights Commission has established Human Rights clubs in schools and the Ministry of Education Pointed out interest in this aspect which is also part of the SAP strategies for legal empowerment. The SA to the Governor on SDGs highlighted the importance of establishing formal and informal clubs and TOT for Human Right and legal education at the community level. She reiterated the importance of Gender Equality and an increased representation of women in decision making and peace processes, stating that the SDGs cannot be achieved without these reforms. The importance of including women in peace processes was stressed as the representation of women in leadership processes as well as peace conciliation was said to be insignificant in the state. Setting up of community Peace Corps was also highlighted as an activity that can improve peace in the community and work towards the gender inclusion in peace processes.

It was also suggested that a holistic early warning reporting and response mechanism for crisis management and Violence Against Women and Girls, should be developed to include all relevant stakeholders including the security agencies as first responders. Information desks for communities and local governments should also be a part of the plan to ensure there are safe and accessible and confidential points (mechanisms) where reports can be made.

The non-collaboration of the Rivers State Ministry of Women Affairs, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Justice on access to justice for Women was also discussed under the establishment of a trust fund for Gender Based Violence under the VAPP Act 2015. It was stated that the Draft VAPP for Rivers state stipulates the Gender Based Violence Trust Fund be domiciled in the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Welfare also plays a significant role while the Ministry of Women Affairs is not properly integrated into this process. It was resolved that a proposal for a Bill to establish a Law for a Sexual violence and Gender Based Violence  Trust Fund to support and assists survivors and victims of Sexual Violence and Gender Based Violence should be pushed.

On setting up the Technical Committee, the Rivers state Ministry of Women Affairs was tasked with the responsibility of sending out letters of engagements and TORs to prospective committee members identified

The meeting came to an as stakeholders endorsed the Revised SAP, and call for the adjournment of the meeting by Hon. Toru Ofili and the Mr. Felix Odungweru, the Permanent Secretary of the  Rivers State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning

 

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