D. Resolution 1325

Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council on 31 October 2000. In it, the Security Council requested that UN Member States promote the stronger participation of women in the institutional prevention, resolution and settlement of conflicts at all levels.

With the adoption of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security by the UN Security Council, the UN and its Member States referred not only to the protection of women in conflicts and their involvement in peace negotiations for the first time. They also called for concrete measures to involve women in conflict settlement processes, such as the appointment of women as Special Representatives and the expansion of the role and contribution of women to civilian, police and military missions in general.

The slow and insufficient implementation of resolution 1325 has been criticised frequently, referring to the still inadequate representation of women in leadership positions in the UN peacebuilding structure and in delegations in peace processes. Indeed, the record after over ten years is still sobering. Although the total number of peace operations and the number of their personnel have increased by almost 400 % in the last 20 years, there are still only a few women directing missions at the UN (Special Representatives of the Secretary-General) and none directing CSDP missions or operations. Women are also often underrepresented in police and military services.

Apart from the statistics, the effects of resolution 1325 can best be seen in practical developments. Since 2000, almost all processes in the different peacebuilding institutions have been in a test phase with regards to the integration of women in their work. Resolution 1325 has been taken into account in almost every strategic paper of the UN, the EU or the OSCE. The establishment of gender focal points in all departments of the UN Secretariat and the appointment of gender advisers in field missions have steadily increased. The fact that women are no longer just seen as victims of wars, but are increasingly regarded as facilitators and promoters of peace processes, is largely attributable to the debate that was initiated by resolution 1325.

Within the UN, the tenth anniversary of resolution 1325 led to two substantial initiatives. First, in March 2010, a group of experts was tasked with examining the effects of this resolution in the last decade. Second, in July 2010, a new UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women was created by a resolution of the General Assembly. Also known as UN Women, this entity merges all previous institutions into a new player that will have a stronger voice in promoting the implementation of resolution 1325 within and beyond the UN system.