Archive – 2019

15 Jul 2019

Ministerial launch of the IDPS 2019-21 Peace Vision

The IDPS 2019-21 Peace Vision (French version) was successfully launched on 15 July 2019 during a side event at the High-level Political Forum in New York. The Peace Vision is a jointly developed framework that builds on existing international agendas including the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda, the Sustaining Peace Agenda, the Conflict Prevention Agenda and the United Nations/World Bank’s Pathways for Peace report.

Download the concept note for the ministerial launch in English and French.

Ms. Elissa Golberg, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy, Global Affairs Canada, opened the event on behalf of the Canadian government and in particular, the Canadian co-chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS), Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality. She noted that the Peace Vision is a blueprint for how the three constituencies of the IDPS will collaborate together into the future to drive positive change in countries experiencing conflict, fragility and violence.

H.E. Francis Kaikai, Minister of Planning and Economic Development in Sierra Leone and co-chair of the IDPS, led the event, supported by the following ministers:

  • H.E. Deqa Yasin Hagi Yusuf, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development,   Somalia (via pre-recorded video)
  • H.E. Félix Moloua, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Central African Republic
  • H.E. Gisèle Pana, Minister for the Promotion of Women, Family and Child Protection,  Central African Republic
  • H.E. Priscilla Schwartz, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Sierra Leone
  • H.E. Alpha Timbo, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Sierra Leone
  • H.E. Nabeela Tunis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sierra Leone


In his opening statement, H.E. Francis Kaikai called attention to the Peace Vision’s overarching goal of delivering increased, better-targeted and more effective country-owned peacebuilding and statebuilding that will amplify and sustain efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda with a focus on SDG 16. He highlighted the commitments in the Peace Vision, against which IDPS members will hold themselves accountable, and looked forward to the implementation of the jointly developed framework.

H.E. Deqa Yasin Hagi Yusuf, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development in Somalia spoke of efforts to revise Somalia’s constitution and electoral laws, thereby providing a unique opportunity to empower women to contribute to building sustainable peace and development. She said that by securing progressive constitutional gender equality provisions, it was possible to lay a critical foundation for the advancement of women’s rights throughout the statebuilding process, citing the example of the Somali Women’s Charter in her country. Watch her video message online.

Panel discussion

Mr. Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), spoke of the need for donors and multilateral institutions to create incentives for private sector investment in conflict-affected situations, referring to the Kampala Principles on Effective Private Sector Engagement in Development Cooperation. He added that the Peace Vision’s recognition of the private sector’s role in supporting peacebuilding presented a great opportunity to make progress in this area.

Mr. Theophilus Ekpon, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) called attention to the importance of an enabling policy environment to counter attempts to shrink civic space in conflict-affected situations. Other essential elements of an enabling environment include security for civil society actors working in conflict situations; sustained funding; and capacity building so that they can fulfil their crucial role of holding governments to account.

H.E. Félix Moloua, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Central African Republic highlighted the role of partnership and sustained dialogue, both internally and with international partners, in his country’s ongoing path towards peace, economic stability, and national cohesion. He noted the importance of implementing the National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan 2017-21 with partners in Central African Republic and the need to ensure inclusive growth to foster cohesion at national level.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Helder da Costa, General Secretary of the g7+ Secretariat, recalled that the outcome document from the 5th g7+ ministerial meeting held on 26-27 June 2019 committed g7+ members to implementing the Peace Vision. Citing the Lisbon Communique, he said:  “As a constituency of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS), we welcome the IDPS Peace Vision 2019-2021, and we commit to working with our partners to realise the objectives therein.”

What did we learn from the event?

  • Build on the success of the VNRs. The success of bringing together the three IDPS constituencies as part of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process on SDG 16 should be leveraged and built upon at country level.
  • Continue to apply core principles. The principles of the New Deal and Stockholm Declaration are key to achieving SDG16+.
  • Focus on inclusion.  Inclusion is an essential component of SDG 16 delivery; a wide range of voices are needed in peacebuilding and statebuilding in order to achieve sustainable results, including women, youth, underrepresented groups and different warring and political factions.
  • Incentivise the private sector. International financial institutions can be incentivised to apply a gender lens to their investments, including to support women’s empowerment, gender equality and female entrepreneurial activity in conflict-affected situations. Equally, the private sector must be supported and incentivised to abide by the 'Do No Harm' principle so that international standards are respected in conflict zones.
  • Recognise the links. The achievement of peace, women’s empowerment and the role of  a peace-promoting private sector are inextricably linked:
    • When women are involved in peacebuilding processes, they are more effective and peace lasts longer;
    • A peaceful and stable environment facilitates private sector investment, which is essential to achieve Agenda 2030;
    • Equally, the private sector can be a game changer for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment by providing jobs and equal pay.
  • Focus on reconciliation. Reconciliation in conflict-affected situations is essential to overcome the crisis of confidence between different groups.

What can we do as a community to advance the Peace Vision’s agenda?

  • Provide political support to the IDPS platform and the Peace Vision.
  • Engage in global advocacy on in-country efforts to advance the Peace Vision’s core themes, including to increase dedicated spending on improving gender equality in conflict-affected situations and conflict prevention.
  • Engage in IDPS activities at country-level. Bring together government representatives, development partners and civil society for in-country dialogue to discuss and find solutions to priority challenges in g7+ countries.
  • Operationalise the Peace Vision and hold ourselves accountable.

“Our experience in Somalia shows that advancing women’s empowerment is a critical ingredient for sustainable peace and development in fragile and conflict-affected contexts…we believe that with the right partnerships, Somalia can become an example of what women’s effective engagement in peacebuilding and statebuilding can look like, delivering important lessons and evidence for other contexts. The IDPS could be an important ally on this journey.”

H.E. Deqa Yasin Hagi Yusuf, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, Somalia

09 Jul 2019

IDPS 2019-21 Peace Vision

The IDPS Co-chairs are pleased to announce the endorsement of the IDPS 2019-21 Peace Vision (English and French) by the Steering Group. The document will provide a framework for joint action for the IDPS community for the next two years. 

26 Mar 2019

The Centrality of Gender Equality to National Cohesion and Sustainable Peacebuilding


On 12 March 2019 some 70 people gathered in New York on the margins of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women to discuss “The Centrality of Gender Equality to National Cohesion and Sustainable Peacebuilding.” The aim of the event was to raise awareness about the IDPS’ new Vision, one of whose thematic focus areas is advancing gender equality and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to further the delivery of SDG 16+. The event was supported by ministers from Canada, Sierra Leone and Somalia as well as by the First Lady of Sierra Leone, Fatima Maada Bio. 

Download the concept note in English et Français


Hon. Maryam Monsef, Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality highlighted that women’s inclusion leads to longer lasting peace processes in conflict-affected countries. Read more.

Hon. Nabeela F. Tunis, Sierra Leone’s former Minister of Planning and Economic Development noted that women’s participation in public life contributes to conflict prevention in g7+ countries. Read more.

First Lady of Sierra Leone Fatima Maada Bio spoke of the need for women to be engaged at the highest levels of decision-making in all countries.

Panel discussion

Visaka Dharmadasa, representing the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), appealed to donors and governments to finance and support women’s participation in peace processes, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.

Anne Kwakkenbos, representing Cordaid, spoke of the need for greater representation of women, citing the example of the peace negotiations taking place in Doha with the Taliban with no women present. She delivered a statement on behalf of the Afghan Women’s Network calling for full, equal and meaningful participation. Read more.

Hon. Deqa Yasin, Minister of Women and Human Rights Development in Somalia, said that empowering women helps to empower whole nations to advance on the difficult path towards peace and development after conflict: “This is one of the reasons why my government has prioritised gender equality as a central objective in our current National Development Plan.”

Watch her powerful video message online.

What did we learn from the event?

  1. Transitions from conflict can provide unique windows of opportunity to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.  In Somalia, ongoing efforts to develop a new constitution and electoral laws, for example, have the potential to significantly increase women’s rights, not just today but for generations to come. In March 2019, 300 women from across Somalia joined hands to press their demands in a Women’s Charter. 
  2. In conflict-affected countries in particular there is a strong link between the delivery of SDG 5 (on gender equality and empowerment) and aspects of SDG 16 (on peaceful and inclusive societies). As Minister Deqa Yasin said: “Combining SDG 16 and SDG 5 is not just important, it is a necessity. Peace, justice and strong institutions are not sustainable if we do not involve 50% of the population.” Furthermore, the delivery of sustainable peace and stability over the long term will create the necessary conditions for the delivery of all the other SDGs, as envisaged in SDG 16+.
  3. Women’s inclusion in peace negotiations is still seen as extraneous. During peace negotiations led by men, women seeking to be included may be urged not to risk harming fragile negotiations by insisting on being involved. “Don’t rock the boat,” was the advice offered to Visaka Dharmadasa in Sri Lanka.
  4. Valuable analysis and insights are lost by excluding women from the table. There is often a gap between what we think are the main security challenges in conflict-affected societies and what local people know are the real challenges. For the international community migration is the top challenge in Libya, for example, but for Libyan women, armed violence, armed groups and chronic insecurity are the biggest challenge.  As Anne Kwakkenbos noted: If we don’t create a platform for these voices, these issues are not being brought forward.”
  5. Giving women a meaningful voice requires an inclusive consultation process. A people-centred approach to peacebuilding demands that a range of voices are heard from rural and urban areas, different ethnicities and language groups, mainstream and marginalised groups.
  6. Misunderstandings abound. A key barrier to women’s participation is the misperception that women come to the table only to talk about “women’s issues”. In reality, women have a right to participate in decision-making that affects their lives.
  7. Ensuring women’s participation in peace processes requires practical, flexible and accessible support. A context-based, well informed approach is essential to understand what women need in order to join the conversation. Women’s meaningful participation is blocked in a myriad of ways, including through the denial of visas to women seeking to take part in national peace negotiations hosted by other countries. Very few international organisations exist with the flexibility and means to support women’s meaningful participation.
  8. The time has come for action! With the Women, Peace and Security Agenda marking its 20th anniversary in 2020, the time has never been better for concrete action and results. 

What can we do as a community to advance this global agenda?

  • Improve people’s understanding of how to promote gender equality in fragile contexts.
  • Carry out global advocacy to mobilize international attention and resources for the specific gender equality challenges and opportunities faced in countries affected by conflict and fragility.
  • Push for dialogue and keeping civic space open, especially for women.
  • Advocate on the centrality of gender equality to peacebuilding among those who lack gender expertise.
  • Advocate for women’s participation in peace negotiations and peacebuilding through flexible and easily accessible funding and support.
  • Use the International Dialogue platform to share, learn, exchange and support one another.

“We are aiming our message today, not so much at the gender experts among you although we really value your participation and views, but rather at governments in conflict-affected states and their donor and civil society partners, who may not have this kind of gender expertise or awareness...By investing in gender equality and participation…they are investing in a more peaceful future.”

             Hon. Nabeela F. Tunis, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Sierra Leone

Research underpinning the IDPS’ gender theme

Strengthening gender equality in conflict-affected states is recognised as being critical to achieving global commitments to sustainable peace. This focus is grounded in a growing body of research indicating that women’s participation in peace processes, and gender equality more generally, is associated with more stable and peaceful societies. Much of this research is showcased in the UN-WB’s seminal Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict report, which recognises that “the degree to which women are included in political, economic and social life is a key factor influencing a society’s propensity for conflict”.

Key facts:

      Click here for a visual on the links between gender equality, peace and stability.

If you find this update useful, please send the link to others who are working on the delivery of SDG16+.


07 Feb 2019

A Seat at the Table: Capacities and Limitations of Private Sector Peacebuilding

The CDA Collaborative Learning projects has published a new report on engaging the private sector for peacebuilding in fragile contexts.

"It documents the efforts of individual companies, as well as those of associations of companies acting collectively, as they sought to transform the dynamics of conflict unfolding around them. The analysis identifies patterns that are common to effective approaches to peace and conflict by private sector actors, and the specific means and resources through which private sector actors implemented those approaches in successful cases. It offers insights for individual companies, for peacebuilding actors, and for policy organizations seeking to define and establish a role for the private sector in efforts to address fragility and conflict. The report systematizes and builds on insights gleaned over the course of the project through literature reviews, case study development, and consultations with a range of experts."

Click on the CDA's website here or IDPS website here to download the report

Authors: Miller Ben, Brian Ganson, Sarah Cechvala, and Jason Miklian

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects