The importance of external networks in the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy

 

UNSCR_1325_Women,_Peace_&_Security_(5206218045)

Networks of actors situated on the outside of an organization can play an important role in cases where new issues are introduced into a policy area because they may help to overcome resistance to change and offer critical expertise with respect to feasible measures or new policies. The implementation of resolution 1325 ‘Women, Peace and Security’ adopted by the United Nations Security Council on October 31 of 2000 (hereafter UNSCR 1325) in the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union (CSDP) offers an illustrative example of this thesis. Gender advocates within the United Nations (UN) as well as civil society organizations (NGOs) provided knowledge to and exerted pressure on the EU with respect to the resolution.

UNSCR 1325 appeals to governments and regional organizations to meet the ‘urgent need to mainstream a gender perspective into peacekeeping operations’[1]. Although the EU has been an outspoken proponent of the resolution within the UN and established a positive track record with respect to gender regarding economic as well as social matters, responses to the resolution in the CSPD have only been slow in coming. In 2006, the European Council adopted a checklist for ‘when and where to mainstream gender’ in the CSDP on the policy level[2], which, however, was criticized by gender experts for its noncommittal stance, its vagueness, and its lack of specific instructions as to how gender mainstreaming might be achieved in practice[3]. Only in 2008, the EU released its first substantive policy document related to the UNSCR 1325 entitled ‘The Comprehensive Approach’, which envisions ‘a three-pronged approach to protect, support and empower women in conflict’[4]. Since then, the Council has developed several strategies for gender mainstreaming the CSDP[5] and in 2010, adopted a set of indicators for the implementation of UNSCR 1325[6] on the basis of which member states regularly provide progress reports[7] (Council 2011, 2014). Finally, in September 2015, the European External Action Service (EEAS) appointed Mara Marinaki as the first Principal Advisor on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 whose professed aim it is to ‘work to enhance the visibility and effective prioritization of gender and WPS [women, peace and security] in the EU’s external action and to assist the work of the UN, in close consultation with all UN services and agencies’[8].

The measures taken by the Council are somewhat surprising. On the one hand, ‘gender mainstreaming is a demanding strategy, which requires policy-makers to adopt new perspectives, acquire new expertise and change their established operating procedures’[9] and, on the other hand, the CSDP did not exhibit any of the conditions that scholars consider critical for the gender mainstreaming of a particular policy field, including prior exposure to gender-related issues and the presence of civil society actors[10] as well as resources, such as a full-time staff or individual agencies dedicated to gender[11]. So how can we explain the incorporation of UNSCR 1325 into the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy?

Change within the CSDP and action in response to the resolution was instigated from outside of the organization. Gender advocates who participated in networks below and above the EU level and who ‘share[ed] similar values especially on women, peace and security’[12] played a crucial role in championing gender mainstreaming in the field of security and defence. From above the EU, UN Women provided technical expertise and advice to the EEAS on the implementation of UNSCR 1325[13]. From below, civil society organizations created momentum for the resolution and ‘pushed the EU to the effective implementation of benchmarks …’[14], the development of indicators of sexual violence and the continuation of ‘consultations [on the subject] already [in existence] for a few years in the EU institutions with NGOs, civil society and UN agencies’[15]. Two civil society organizations assumed a particularly prominent role: ISIS Europe frequently provided feedback on the implementation process and the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO), a platform for European NGOs, networks and think tanks, in turn, acted as a clearing house that documented and provided information about EU policy initiatives and offered policy advice and specific recommendations[16].

The activities of UN Women and civil society organizations were assisted by prominent individuals who themselves were members of various networks, such as, for example, Margot Wallström. She was an ‘active broker’ between the international and European level because of her previous appointment as the European Commissioner for the Environment and, later, as the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict[17]. Together with her, the transnational network of gender advocates mobilized the support of ‘[a]ctors in positions of power’ inside the EU who ‘use[d] their authority to change the “rules of the game”’[18] and to gain acceptance for greater recognition of gender in policies related to security and defence. France, in particular, emerged as an outspoken promoter of the resolution during its EU Presidency. Owing to its close engagement with UN Women and civil society organizations, it was not only instrumental in the conception of the Comprehensive Approach adopted in 2008[19], but also gave rise to the Informal Task Force on Women, Peace and Security in 2009, which consists of ‘15 gender staff and gender focal points across all the EU institutions working on gender, peace and security’[20]. In addition to France, several Nordic countries including Sweden, Denmark and Finland came out in support of the resolution as well which was reflective of their active engagement with UNSCR 1325 at the national level[21].

 

References:

[1] UNSC (2000) Resolution 1325 (2000): adopted by the Security Council at its 4213th meeting, on 31 October 2000’, SRES document S/RES/1325 (2000), 31 October 2000:2 (New York, NY: United Nations Security Council), <http://www.peacewomen.org/assets/file/BasicWPSDocs/res1325.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[2] Council (2006) ‘Check list to ensure gender mainstreaming and implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the planning and conduct of ESDP operations’, 12086/06 (Brussels: Council of the European Union), 27 July, <http://www.eupolcopps.eu/sites/default/files/u2/Checklist%20on%20UNSCR%201325%20in%20ESDP%20Ops.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[3] Gya, Giji (2007) ‘The importance of gender in ESDP’, European Security Review, 34: 6 <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2004_2009/documents/dv/170/170707/170707isisgender_en.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[4] Council (2008) ‘Comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of the United Nations security council resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security’, 15671/1/08REV1: 11 (Brussels: Council of the European Union), 1 December, <http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/hr/news187.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[5] Council (2008a) ‘Implementation of UNSCR 1325 as reinforced by UNSCR 1820 in the context of ESDP’, 15782/3/08, REV 3 (Brussels: Council of the European Union), 3 December, <http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st15/st15782-re03.en08. pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016 and Council (2008b) Mainstreaming human rights and gender into European security and defence policy (Brussels: Council of the European Union), <http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/hr/news144.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[6] Council (2010) ‘Indicators for the Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security’, 11948/10: 7(Brussels: Council of the European Union) 14 July, <http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/10/st11/st11948.en10.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[7] Council (2011) ‘Report on the EU-indicators for the Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council UNCRs 1325 & 1820 on women, peace and security’, 9990/11 (Brussels: Council of the European Union) 11 May, <http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/features/features-working-women/working-with-omen/docs/05-eu-indicators-comprehensive-approach-eu-implementat_en.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016 and Council (2014) Second report on the EU-indicators for the Comprehensive Approach to the EU implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 & 1820 on women, peace and security, 6219/14 (Brussels: Council of the European Union) 6 February, <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/droi/dv/1414_2ndreportindicators_/1414_2ndreportindicators_en.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[8] EEAS (2015) EU statement: 15th anniversary and global review of UNSCR 1325 (New York, NY) 13 October 2015, <<eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/151013_05_en.htm>>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[9] Pollack, Mark A and Emilie Hafner-Burton (2000) ‘Mainstreaming gender in the European Union’, Journal of European Public Policy, 7:3, 432–456.

[10] Ibid.

[11] European Parliament (2009a) Gender mainstreaming in EU external relations: European Parliament resolution of 7 May 2009 on gender mainstreaming in EU external relations and peace-building/nationbuilding (2008/2198[INI]) (Brussels: European Parliament) 7 May, <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P6-TA-2009-0372&language=EN&ring=A6-2009-0225>, accessed 15 February 2016.

European Parliament (2009b) Gender mainstreaming and empowerment of women in EU’s external relations instruments (Brussels: European Parliament): 42 <http://www.pedz.uni-mannheim.de/daten/edz-ma/ep/09/EST25671.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[12] Authors’ interview, 8 January 2016

[13] Authors’ interview, 19 November 2015

EU and UN Women (2012) Memorandum of understanding between the European Union and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) (Brussels: European Union and UN Women) 16 April: 2 <http://www.enpi-info.eu/library/sites/default/files/attachments/un-woman_en.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[14] European Parliament (2010) Implementation of EU policies following the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 19 (Brussels: European Parliament) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2010/410205/EXPO-DROI_ET(2010)410205_EN.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[15] European Parliament (2009b) Gender mainstreaming and empowerment of women in EU’s external relations instruments (Brussels: European Parliament): 42 <http://www.pedz.uni-mannheim.de/daten/edz-ma/ep/09/EST25671.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[16] Joachim, Jutta, Jenichen, Anne, and Schneiker, Andrea (2017) ‘External networks and institutional idiosyncrasies: the Common Security and Defence Policy and UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs DOI:10.1080/09557571.2017.1313196.

[17] European Parliament (2010) Implementation of EU policies following the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 10 (Brussels: European Parliament) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2010/410205/EXPO-DROI_ET(2010)410205_EN.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[18] Mackay, Fiona, Meryl Kenny and Louise Chappell (2010) ‘New institutionalism through a gender lens: towards a feminist institutionalism?’, International Political Science Review, 31:5, 573–588

[19] European Parliament (2010) Implementation of EU policies following the UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 35 (Brussels: European Parliament) <http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/etudes/join/2010/410205/EXPO-DROI_ET(2010)410205_EN.pdf>, accessed 15 February 2016.

[20] Ibid: 32

[21] Joachim, Jutta, Jenichen, Anne, and Schneiker, Andrea (2017) ‘External networks and institutional idiosyncrasies: the Common Security and Defence Policy and UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs DOI:10.1080/09557571.2017.1313196.

Jutta Joachim is professor of International Relations at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. She is author of Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs: Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights (Georgetown University Press) and co-editor of International Organizations and Implementation: Enforcers, Managers, Authorities and Transnational Activism in the UN and the EU: A Comparative

Study (both Routledge Press). Numerous articles of her have appeared among others in International Studies Quarterly, the German Journal for International Relations, Security Dialogue, Millennium, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Comparative European Politics and the Journal of European Public Policy. Her areas of expertise are international security, international organizations, nonstate actors, and gender and international relations.

Andrea Schneiker is junior professor of political science at the University of Siegen, Germany. She is the author of Humanitarian NGOs, (In)Security and Identity: Epistemic Communities and Security Governance (Routledge, 2015). Her research on state and non-state actors in international security has been published in numerous refereed international journals such as International Studies Review, International Studies Perspectives, Disasters, Millennium, Security Dialogue, VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations.

Anne Jenichen lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Aston University, Birmingham (UK). She holds degrees from Free University Berlin and the University of Bremen (Germany). Her research interests include change in international organizations and the impact of international norms, both particularly in Europe, as well as human rights governance, with a special focus on women’s rights and the rights of religious minorities. Her publications include ‘Political innovation in internationalized post-war contexts: Bosnian women’s rights policy in comparative perspective’ (Springer, 2012) as well as journal articles and contributions to edited volumes.

 

Their article ‘External networks and institutional idiosyncrasies: the Common Security and Defence Policy and UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security’ funded by Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden can be found here.

 

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