WILPF made a submission to the development of Australia's new Foreign Policy White Paper in March 2017.
We also wrote to all the Australian ambassadors who are back in Australia for a forum on the White Paper. Our letters were sent on WILPF Centenary cards.
The letter to the Ambassadors
On behalf of the Australian Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the oldest women's peace organisation in the world with sections in 42 countries, I would like to welcome you back to Australia for participation in the development of Australia’s new Foreign Policy White Paper.
As a representative of Australia, no doubt you are concerned to achieve the best possible outcomes not only for Australia but also for those countries you are assigned to.
WILPF has submitted a response to the Foreign Policy White Paper and we urge you look at our paper and consider our recommendations.
We are concerned about the limited implementation of UNSCR1325 resolution on Women Peace and Security. Behind its adoption lies more than 100 years of women working around the globe for sustainable peace. Women can - and do - play a significant role in conflict prevention, yet they are receiving insufficient support.
We are also concerned about Australia's strategic policy reliance on the US alliance, US military power and on the accompanying nuclear deterrent for our security, rather than seeking to work cooperatively with all our neighbours. WILPF Australia sees as critical a reduction in arms generally and a ban on nuclear weapons specifically, as currently being negotiated at the United Nations.
We urge you to help forge a Foreign Policy that will be the best that an Australian ethos can bring to the international community to achieve a peaceful world.
Monitoring the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018
In March 2015, WILPF Australia submitted a report on the Australian civil society engagement with government on the NAP as a case study to the UN Global Study on Women, Peace and Security
The first Report Card of the Civil Society Dialogue on Women, Peace and Securitywaslaunched in Canberra in October 2013.
Development of the National Action Plan
In March 2012, the Australian Government introduced the Australian National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security 2012-2018 (NAP) as a framework for a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to implementing UNSCR 1325.
WILPF Australia was instrumental in persuading the government to develop the NAP and is now focussed on monitoring its effective implementation.
WILPF, UN Women Australia, and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) agreed to implement a monitoring process by hosting an annual Civil Society Dialogue on Women Peace and Security and preparing an annual Report Card on the National Action Plan.
On 15 April 2013, the first Annual Civil Society Dialogue on the NAP was held in Canberra, co-hosted by ACFID, WILPF, UN Women and the Australian National University Gender Institute, to:
- showcase the contribution of civil society organisations to the women, peace and security agenda;
- facilitate effective dialogue between civil society and the Australian Government on women, peace and security;
- support shadow reporting against the Australian National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security; and
- elevate the national discussion on women, peace and security.
For the past five years, WILPF Queensland’s Peacewomen Awards have recognised the talents and dedication of women whose activities have promoted peace at the local, national and/or international levels. See the award recipients on the QLD branch pages.
In 2015, as part of its centenary celebrations, WILPF Australia honours four Australian women as Centenary Peacewomen.
Words for Peace (ACT)
The Words for Peace initiative has been developed by ACT Branch members. The project invites young people (from 10 to 18 years old) across the Canberra region to submit poetry, prose, song or drawing on 'what peace means to you'.
The PeaceWomen project promotes the role of women in preventing conflict, and the equal and full participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain international peace and security.
PeaceWomen facilitates monitoring of the UN system, information sharing and the enabling of meaningful dialogue for positive impact on women’s lives in conflict and post-conflict environments.
PeaceWomen advances WILPF’s aims by monitoring and advocating for the rapid and full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security: UNSCR 1325 [link] (2000) and the subsequent UNSCR 1820 (2008); UNSCR 1888 (2009); UNSCR 1889 (2009); and UNSCR 1960 (2010).
PeaceWomen focuses on six core areas of action:
- monitoring the UN Security Council’s implementation of SCR1325
- providing a comprehensive online information source on women, peace and security
- monitoring the UN system’s implementation of SCR1325
- advocating for the rapid and full implementation of SCR 1325 and related resolutions
- managing the translation initiative
- general outreach related to women, peace and security
Find out more about the work of PeaceWomen on their website.