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. 

03 Jul 2019

HLPF 2019

On behalf of the co-chairs of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS), we are pleased to invite you to attend A Dialogue for Peace: Delivering SDG 16+ in conflict-affected situations.’ The event, hosted by Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, H. E. Francis Mustapha Kaikai, and Canada’s Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, H.E. Maryam Monsef, will take place during the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, on 15 July at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN from 4:00 pm to 5:15 pm.  

The purpose of the event is to officially launch the International Dialogue’s Peace Vision document for 2019-2021, which sets out a series of commitments made by g7+ countries, in partnership with members of the International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) and the Civil Society Platform on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) to deliver on SDG 16+ in conflict-affected situations. The HLPF presents an ideal opportunity to launch the Peace Vision, given its focus on reviewing progress on SDG 16 on achieving peaceful, just and inclusive societies, in addition to SDG 8 on sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and employment, SDG 10 on reducing inequality within countries and SDG 17 on strengthening global partnerships to support and achieve the 2030 Agenda. All of these SDGs are directly relevant to the IDPS’ thematic priorities and approach. Furthermore, five g7+ countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Timor Leste) will be presenting their Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) at the HLPF, with support provided by CSPPS, one of the three IDPS constituencies. One g7+ country in particular, Somalia, is also making great progress in using the opportunity of statebuilding to further women’s rights and participation. As such, the IDPS launch will seek to take advantage of this rich knowledge, experience and momentum within the IDPS community to articulate its global Peace Vision and commitments, in addition to national-level peacebuilding and statebuilding priorities in selected g7+ countries.


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 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


02 Nov 2018

21st Steering Group Meeting

The new IDPS co-chairs, Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau (Canada) and Minister Nabeela Tunis (Sierra Leone), are delighted will convene the next Steering Group Meeting of the International Dialogue  on 12-13 December 2018, at the Lisbon g7+ Hub in Portugal.