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Conflict, Peace and Women: International Initiatives; Focus on Europe.

Byline: Uzma Shujaat

Armed conflict negatively affects women, particularly owing to gender-specific vulnerabilities. This negative impact of armed conflict on women is not recognized or addressed by the mainstream, for the perceptions about conflict and post-conflict reconstruction programmes are usually gender blind. Gender inequalities reflect the power imbalances of the social structures that exist in pre-conflict periods and its aftermath. The reason why such gender blindness persists is because of the stereotypical interpretations of societies and the conflicts, that afflict them.

The article examines the relevant international legislation, conventions and its effectiveness in protecting women during and after conflicts.

Key international agreements and declarations

The United Nations Population Fund Agency, UNFPA's work in the area of gender equality and women's empowerment is firmly rooted in international law. The work of UNFPA is guided by the Programme of Action (POA) that was endorsed by about 179 governments in Cairo at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The conference shifted focus from family planning and achieving demographic targets to promoting human rights and sustainable development. It also began to pay more attention to the well being of women, by placing women's rights, empowerment and reproductive health at the center of population programmes. In 1999 a review of progress since the Cairo Conference (ICPD+5) included reports on national implementation efforts, global experts' meeting and an international forum at the Hague organized by UNFPA.

It culminated in a special session of the United Nations General Assembly that identified key actions for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action, and set new benchmarks for measuring progress towards ICPD goals, including promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979, highlights discrimination against women and outlines an agenda for national action to promote gender equality. CEDAW is often referred to as a women's constitution because, unlike conference declarations, it sets legally binding principles and standards to protect women's rights. By the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women (FWCW) in September 1995 in Beijing, China secured a new international commitment to the goals of equality, development and peace for women around the globe. It builds on commitments made during the United Nations Decade for Women 1976-1985, and on related commitments made during the United Nations global conferences held in the 1990s. Beijing +5 was a Special Session of the General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty First Century" held in June, 2000.

It adopted future action and initiatives for the year 2000 and beyond.

The Security Council Resolution 1325, passed unanimously on October 31 2000 is the first resolution ever passed by the Security Council that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women's contribution to conflict resolution and sustainable peace. Women's role in peace and security became a high priority area in the political agenda, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325. Before the passage of the resolution there had been intensive debate on women's experience in conflict and post conflict situations and their contribution to peace. The Windhoek Declaration, and the Namibia Plan of Action on a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Support Operations, both adopted in May 2000, ensured women's participation in all stages of the peace process in Namibia.

The Windhoek Declaration affirmed that women had been denied their full role in multidimensional peace support operations and outlined in the Plan of Action, practical ways in which the UN system and member states could promote women's active involvement in peace missions.

The UN Security Council in 2008 adopted Resolutions 1820 / 1888 on physical violence in conflict. The resolution specifically linked sexual violence as a tactic of war with the maintenance of international peace and security. These resolutions identified for the first time, sexual violence as a tactic of warfare and called for a political and security response to prevent its uses as a means of fighting.

The unanimous adoption of Resolution 1820 / 1888 is a recognition of the fact that "sexual violence, when used or commissioned as a tactic of war in order to deliberately target civilians or as part of a widespread or systematic attack against civilian populations, can significantly exacerbate situations of armed conflict and may impede the restoration of international peace and security". The resolution affirms in this regard "that effective steps to prevent and respond to such acts of sexual violence can significantly contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security". Additionally, Security Council Resolution 1889 of 2009, calls for concrete action to accelerate the implementation of Resolution 1325, and a strategy to increase the number of women participating in peace talks, where they still average less than 10 percent of negotiating delegations.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said that the adoption of resolutions 1888 and 1889 was critical for the UN body to continue to play a strong advocacy role to root out sexual violence in conflicts and to be relentless in its insistence on women as peace keepers, peace builders and decision makers.

There are provisions of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which offer specific additional protection to women, such as the requirement in Article 14 of the Third Geneva Convention "that women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex". The principle of non-discrimination requires parties in a conflict to provide the same treatment and protection to every one without discrimination, including that of gender. It limits means and methods of warfare and protects combatants who are no longer taking part in hostilities. International Humanitarian Law also provides crucial protection for women who are actively participating in hostilities, by limiting the right of parties to a conflict to choose means and methods of warfare.

The conventions and protocols protect women, both as members of civilian population not taking part in hostilities and also as combatants, fallen into the hands of the enemy. There is a general perception among the civilian population that being female will automatically provide greater protection from the warring parties. The general belief that men would protect women in all circumstances does not work in war torn societies. On the contrary, women have been targeted precisely because they have stayed behind or because they are women. Women need to be protected from violence, intimidation, or arbitrary detention because of their actual or perceived role in the conflict/or because they are the wives, mothers, daughters, or sisters of men whom the authorities want to arrest or question.

Provisions laying down fundamental rights for all persons, sometimes make special reference to women. Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: "women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honor, in particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any other form of indecent assault".

Rape and other forms of physical violence have often been regarded as a "by-product" of war, either as a reward for soldiers or civilians, or because of the breakdown of traditional and/or institutional mechanisms for preventing its occurrence. The fact that rape has been viewed by some as an inevitable part of war, may have contributed to its becoming a regular and particularly cruel means of intimidating women. The public manner in which sexual violence is inflicted on victims implies that the perpetrators believe that their actions will be condoned, or consider themselves immune from accountability. Furthermore, women may be unable or afraid to report such violations due to the breakdown of national institutions. In many cultures, the "shame" associated with rape is in a social sense perceived as even worse than the physical act itself.

In recent armed conflicts in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe the systematic targeting of women as a method of warfare has been frequently reported. Questions have been raised regarding the extent to which the United Nations and other peace-keeping forces are bound by the provisions of International Humanitarian Law. The International Community of Red Cross (ICRC) has consistently argued for a broad approach, and regards International Humanitarian Law as applicable when UN contingents resort to force, whether in peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations. In 1999, the UN Secretary General officially issues a Bulletin on the observance by United Nations forces of International Humanitarian Law. "The fundamental principles and rules of International Humanitarian Law are applicable to UN forces conducting operations under UN command and control. This specifically prohibits 'rape'; enforced prostitution, any form of sexual assault and humiliation and degrading treatment".

Presently this approach focuses on providing safe-zones in war affected areas. This approach is largely viewed as a substitute for long-term political solutions addressing the root causes of conflicts.

It is noteworthy that the 1990s have witnessed the emergence of new actors, both in the context of the overall management of crises and specifically in the realm of humanitarian assistance. NATO in particular, has emerged as a very important actor in the Bosnian and Kosovan crises. Its role as enforcer of peace and as a major humanitarian agent, at least in the first phase of crisis management has introduced some new elements and additional concerns for the humanitarian community to deal with. The relationship between impartial NGOs, and international organizations aiming at leadership, but short of means to achieve it, such as the UNHCR and military organizations like NATO with a "new" crisis management vocation has increased the complications of the humanitarian action scenario.

The protection of civilian population, particularly women, is a difficult job especially in the context of the increasingly complex contemporary conflicts, both at the level of the actors involved and the action to be taken, such as humanitarian assistance, human rights monitoring, military operations, and diplomatic demarches. Now well-thought out peace packages are required, adapted to the needs and characteristics of each particular crisis.

The UN Security Council has carried out approximately 53 peacekeeping operations in conflict and post-conflict situations since 1948. In recent years, specially the decade of the 90s the scope of peace-keeping has widened, the responsibilities of peace-keepers range from assisting in the implementation of peace agreements to protecting and delivering humanitarian assistance, training and restructuring local police forces, monitoring respect of human rights and investigating alleged violations. The UN Peacekeeping Operations are supported by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) of the UN Secretariat. Only three references were made to women and peacekeeping in the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, and it was not until 2000 that the UN in the Windhoek Declaration and Namibia Plan of Action thoroughly identified the issues and elements related to gender to be included in all aspects of multidimensional peace operations.

In Resolution 1325, and again in July 2002, the Security Council confirmed the relevance of routinely including gender perspectives when executing peacekeeping missions. Since gender issues have moved on to the peacekeeping agenda, the UN included gender specialists, for the first time in the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

The concept of gender mainstreaming has been defined by the United Nations as "the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making the concerns and experiences of women as well as of men an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal of mainstreaming is to achieve gender equality". There is a strong nexus between human rights and peace, for the denial of human rights is itself a denial of real peace. Secondly women's rights are now increasingly tied to an integrated peace agenda. This reflects, among other things, the fact that whereas men are the primary wagers of war, women have long been among those most likely to suffer.

Historically, human rights groups have been the primary force in ensuring accountability for politically motivated human rights abuse, women's rights advocates are the vanguard in the fight for justice for gender-based violations. Thus, they have impressed upon the international community that the traditional notion about the political actor must be modified to acknowledge the political nature of women's efforts to challenge their subordinate status and the violence and discrimination that reinforce it.

The Law of International Armed Conflict (LOIAC) contains norms protecting human rights. However, many of the rights established by LOIAC are granted exclusively to states and not to individual human beings. As long as war is waged, humanitarian considerations cannot be the sole legal arbiters of the conduct of hostilities. The LOIAC can and does forbid some modes of behaviour, with a view to minimizing the losses, the suffering and pain, but it can do so only when there are realistic alternatives to achieving the military goal of victory in war.

The Law of International Armed Conflict (LOIAC) in its entirety is predicated on a subtle equilibrium between two diametrically opposed imputes: "military necessity and humanitarian considerations. If military necessity were to prevail completely, no limitation of any kind would have been imposed on the freedom of action of belligerent states, if benevolent humanitarianism were the only beacon to guide the path of armed forces, war would have entailed no bloodshed, no destruction and no human sufferings, in short, war would not have been war". LOIAC takes a middle road, allowing belligerent states much leeway and yet circumscribing their freedom of action in the name of humanitarianism.

As mentioned earlier, international humanitarian law and LOIAC contain norms protecting human rights, but many of the rights established by LOIAC are granted exclusively to states and not to individuals. The non-derogable rights illustrated in Article 4 (2) of the 1966 international covenant on civil and political rights have little or no special impact in wartime, for example the right to life is established in International Law, but it does not protect persons from hostilities during war. An exception to the non derogations clause in respect of deaths resulting from lawful acts of war is explicitly made in Article 15 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights. LOIAC is different from most other branches of international law in that incalculable infractions and abuses can be committed by an extraordinary number of persons acting on behalf of the state. The basic principles of LOIAC are beyond dispute.

These are: the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants, and the principle of avoiding the infliction of unnecessary suffering on human beings. These principles are elevated to the pinnacle of the law regulating the conduct of hostilities in international armed conflict.

LOIAC constitutes a branch of International Law and it is binding on all belligerent states. This law must be differentiated from the Rules of Engagement (ROE) issued by various countries, or by international organizations and altered at will. The Rules of Engagement (ROE) may be framed to restrict certain actions or they may permit actions to the full extent allowable under International law.

The special provisions with respect to women in International Humanitarian Law today can be understood within the context of the significant developments in international law and international institutions, which have resulted in international initiatives, in turn leading to regional initiatives, like the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda. These initiatives have proved that international humanitarian law and international criminal law can be fully enforced, if the international community is willing to do so. It has also contributed to a more extensive interpretation of existing law, particularly the recognition of rape as a grave breach.

The jurisprudence of these tribunals has not only extrapolated upon the notion of rape, and other sexual violence (including enslavement and sexual slavery), as being not only a war crime, and crime against humanity per se, but have gone to the extent of including it within the definition of persecution (on grounds of gender, even though not explicitly contained in their respective governing statutes), torture, and genocide. This jurisprudence has aided and reinforced the ongoing transformation of international law and international initiatives.

Bosnia-Herzegovina as we know it today, was created under the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995, after the long and disastrous war between the Serbs, Muslims and Croats. Although the attention of the international community has now shifted towards other conflicts and crises, it should not be forgotten that Bosnia-Herzegovina still remains potentially unstable. Bosnia-Herzegovina is an example of a fragile status quo and as stated by Olli Rehn, the EU Enlargement Commissioner on November 7, 2008 the "status quo is unsustainable and will probably remain so until the international community is ready to change the parameters of its presence and its approach". Among new developments are EU officials proposing the closure of the office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia.

The role of the international community remains crucial because there are no domestic forces that are able to resolve the status quo and persuade the political forces in the country to abandon the current conflict and instead develop a consensus for reforms that could lead to Bosnia-Herzegovina's entry into the European Union.

EU engagement is more important today than ever before, particularly if we review retrospectively two European entities: the Conference on Security and Cooperation for Europe (CSCE) and Western European Union (WEU) which were unable to resolve the conflict or launch a workable peace plan to end the conflict. The Conference on Security and Cooperation had emerged as a guarantor of human rights for the Europeans from the Urals to the Atlantic. The CSCE's Helsinki Final Act guaranteed many freedoms, but as conflict erupted in Yugoslavia, there was little that the conference could do.

The Yugoslav crisis ever since its outbreak was largely viewed as a European problem. The EU became involved in mediation under Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Van Den Broek, who at that time was also the President of the EC Council of Ministers. Looking for a long lasting settlement, the Community mediators' efforts focused on "free association of the republics, instead of a federal Yugoslavia. Under the plan the rights of minorities would be guaranteed, ethnic groups would be disarmed, a custom union and a programme of economic cooperation was to be initiated". These clauses were accepted by all the Republics except Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro. Unfortunately, with the failure of the plan, Croatia and Slovenia seceded from the federation. Serbia condemned the secession as a violation of the Yugoslav constitution.

The linguistic/ethnic map of the Balkans in general and of Bosnia-Herzegovina in particular assumed its modern form in the sixth and seventh centuries, when a group of Slavic tribes overran the Balkan peninsula. In the 14th century, the Turkish armies conquered Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia. The Turkish conqueror simply allowed the native culture to grow. Thus when in the 19th century, the Turks were expelled by the Serbs, the latter were praised in the West for their heroism and bravery. The ouster of the Turks led to the feeling of racial superiority amongst the Serbs. The Revolutions of 1848 which broke out all over Europe, brought about the first large-scale public fraternization of the Croats and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

After the Second World War, Bosnia-Herzegovina was included as one of six constituent republics of the newly established Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the eighties economic, social and political crises broke out in Yugoslavia and it ran into deep trouble. It began to disintegrate in 1989 and slid into a civil war in 1991. Four of its component republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina) declared independence in the period between 1991-92.

The efforts of the EU to restore peace were not taken seriously by the belligerent parties. There was constant violation of the cease-fires and the EU did not want to send peacekeeping forces to areas where ceasefire had not taken place. The proposal of the EU for the composition of monitors was also turned down by Serbia. The foreign ministers of the EU were also unable to reach to an agreement on sending armed peace-keeping forces to Yugoslavia.

Though the UN and the EU were unable to end the conflict in Bosnia, both these bodies remained active in their mediation and peace keeping efforts. Cyrus Vance, representing the UN and Lord Owen, the EU prepared a peace plan for the war-ravaged republic. The plan the duo presented was known as the Vance-Owen plan. The plan proposed the formation of 10 autonomous provinces under a weak central government, divided according to Serb, Muslim and Croat majority areas, with the capital, Sarajevo as a demilitarized zone. The plan failed as the self-designated parliament of Bosnian Serbs rejected the plan.

When the atrocities of the Serbs and Croats began to assume the proportions of a genocide, the matter could no longer be ignored. The US then stepped in and brokered the Dayton Agreement. It is widely viewed as an enforced peace-making which forced warring parties to the negotiation table, come to an agreement, and stop fighting. Under the Dayton plan the three ethnically defined warring parties were re-named into three constituent peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereby each group obtained a claim to collective rights. Bosnia was given a constitution which committed the two entities - the Bosnian Serb Republic and the Muslim-Croat Federation, to ensure the highest level of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. After hostilities ended Bosnia became a sort of international protectorate, owing to the powers conferred on the various bodies acting in the name of the international community.

The arrangement put in place by the Dayton Agreement (later confirmed by the Paris Agreement) has led to an uneasy peace. The Bosnian Muslims and the Croats brought together in a Federation are not really happy partners. Besides, the larger share of the territory has gone to the aggressor - the Serbs. The US brokered peace accord cannot be seen as having permanently resolved the ethnic issue in Bosnia, not has it ensured a permanent peace. Former US envoy to Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke chastised the international community in November 2007, for ignoring a new crisis in Bosnia. The new crisis was triggered by political rivalry between the Bosnian Serb Premier Milord Dodik and Haris Silajdzic, the Bosnian Muslim member of the country's collective presidency. Haris Silajdzic has been repeatedly pressing for the abolition of the Bosnian entities and a complete revision of the Dayton peace accord, which ended the war that began in 1992.

Another test case for the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy was Kosovo. Appalled by the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and then Kosovo, the West under immense moral pressure had to take action against the rump Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and its tyrannical leader Milosevic. The bombing campaign led by NATO in Bosnia resulted in a refugee crisis, already complicated by ethnic cleansing and deportations. The situation was later termed as a humanitarian disaster.

If we assess the role of Europe in the crisis, it becomes quite apparent that Europe's key security institutions, NATO and the EU, perceive themselves not only as promoters but also as defenders of human rights. However, the Kosovo crisis (1999) and how it was handled, reveals the difficulties and inconsistencies of such an approach. The delayed response to the developing situation in Kosovo both by the political and military leadership caused much bloodshed in Kosovo. Politically, the Europeans were not able to set the agenda of any possible peace settlement. Just as in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Kosovo crisis too, it was the US which took the lead.

One of the major factors which limits the EU's ability to exercise political leadership is not only its lack of strong autonomous military capabilities but also the limitations on the use of existing capabilities.

The Bosnian war set a precedent for NATO military intervention, without authorization by the Security Council. This precedent widened the gulf between the UN and NATO. The differing approaches of the Security Council, NATO, and Europe exposed the weaknesses of decision making in these institutions and the lack of a unified strategy, much needed for the solution of the problem.

Crisis management and humanitarian assistance:

The role of European Community Humanitarian

Aid Office (ECHO)

The European Community Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) is working with the European Commission (EC) and member states as well as with outside partners in rendering humanitarian assistance, focusing on the broad concept of "protection". Over the years it has proved to be the world's largest single source of humanitarian aid. It has funded projects for the protection of the victims of human rights abuse during the Kosovo crisis. It was also part of a Task Force that ensured a smooth transition between relief and reconstruction. Four main organizations (NATO, OSCE, the UN and EC) alongwith some NGOs worked side by side with ECHO* to manage the situation in Kosovo. ECHO has also supported the work of UNHCR and OCHA. ECHO was however confronted with the predicament of how to cope with the combining of all crisis management tools including those which were politically driven and those which were not.

Decisions on CFSP and ESDI made at the Helsinki European Council held in 1999 had an impact on the way ECHO operates, on its relations with its partners, and on the perception of its actions by the affectees of the humanitarian crisis. Aid was channeled directly and impartially to the most affected populations, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age or nationality.

At the operational level, ECHO's funding for Kosovo raised the issue of visibility. This had been a real test of the EU crisis management policy which apparently passed the test. In the case of Sudan, ECHO covered the whole territory with a neutral approach and according to needs, strictly observing internationally recognized humanitarian principles. The signing of European Consensus 5 on Humanitarian Aid in December 2007 was another important step by the European Union. With this consensus, the European Commission, for the first time since the adoption of the regulation on humanitarian aid in 1996 started an in depth discussion on humanitarian aid at the European level. The European Commission is attempting to develop a common political source for values, objectives and principles to which the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have given their input.

In 2008, a turning point came through the Thematic Funding Programmes, now called Capacity Building Programmes for international organizations to strengthen their response capacities.

The member states of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) reaffirmed their commitment to stop violence against women especially during and after crises. These reaffirmations were made through the UNECE Regional Platform for Action (Vienna, 1994), and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) to ensure security as a right for all citizens regardless of gender. These also recognize that violence against women, whether in times of crisis or peace, is a violation of human rights. The declarations also call for zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women supported by proper legislation, enforcement and punishment to the violators. These measures were supplemented by the Council of Europe's Ministerial Declarations and Resolutions on strategies for the elimination of violence against women.

The aforementioned developments and efforts have brought an increased awareness that violence against women is no more a private and individual matter but is a universal human rights issue. This led to a greater commitment by the nations of the world in general and the ECE member states in particular, to prevent and combat violence against women through development of national action plans with an increased focus on holding the perpetrator accountable. Despite these developments, there are certain limitations which make the real magnitude and extent of violence in time of peace and conflict unreported, besides providing insufficient protection for women in these situations. Keeping in view this problem, the ECE member states expressed the resolve to pursue and promote a comprehensive approach for combating all forms of violence against women as defined in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at 4th world conference on women in 1995.

Towards that end, they have strengthened research and information sharing, are establishing an accessible database on statistics, legislation, ethical guidelines and lessons learned.

European Parliament Resolution

Gender aspects of conflict resolution and peace building

Though numerous international agreements recognize the significance and necessity of the participation of women in peace negotiations, conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction processes, most analyses and policies regarding conflict are gender-blind. It is only recently that significant efforts have begun to be made at the policy level to highlight and promote women's role in the peace building process. Referring to various declarations, conventions and resolutions, the European Parliament resolution of on 30 November 2000 Gender-related Aspects of Prevention of Armed Conflict has focused upon the status of women in the context of armed conflict and has made several recommendations aimed at transforming the situation of women to one based on inclusion and recognition of the rights they hold and the contributions they continually make to peace processes globally.

The preamble to the European Parliament resolution cites a number of concerns, including lack of effective international protection and separation mechanisms in social legal system available to women victims of wars. For instance it highlights the lack of specific reference within the existing legal framework to the protection of women from all forms of sexual violence in conflict situations; the vague wording of declarations regarding the protection of women refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP); the reality of the situation of women in refugee camps, of women rape victims and rape as a weapon of war, including the social stigma which results in post rape trauma; sexual slavery, especially that of young girls, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

The fact that the rights, priorities and interests of women are frequently ignored, that women are marginalized from negotiation processes and that donor attention during the demobilization of military forces generally focuses on men, are cited in the context of the recognition of the various peace initiatives taken by women around the world.

The resolution points out that the increased presence of women in peacekeeping operations has resulted in improved relations with local communities, though this increase has become numerically significant only since the 1990s. Any women peace initiatives are often undertaken at great risk, crossing warring factions and in areas of extreme conflict. The resolution condemns rape, sexual slavery and all forms of physical violence and misconduct and calls upon Member States to ensure the protection of women and children in armed conflict, and increase funding for health, counseling and witness protection services to victims of rape and assault, besides integrating a gender perspective in the planning of refugee camps.

The resolution emphasizes that current conflicts demand the increased use of non-military methods of crisis management and accordingly, calls on member states and the European Commission to involve and recruit more women in diplomatic service. Further, to address the marginalization of females and to ensure a just rebuilding of societies, the resolution stresses on the importance of local involvement and ownership of the peace and reconciliation processes. Emphasizing the importance of non-governmental organizations and civil society representation, it was emphasized that 50 percent women be taken on board in peace negotiation teams.

International Law, Humanitarian Law and policies related to physical violence against women can be effective tools for persuading governments to ensure that such acts of violence are treated as crimes. And most importantly governments should satisfy relevant international conventions that address physical violence and be accountable for their international commitments.

1. (UNFPA) UN Population Fund works to ensure universal access to reproductive health and family planning.

2. (ICPD+5) is a conference held in March 1999 that reviewed progress achieved during the 5 years since the first (ICPD).

3. UN, 1 January 2008, responsibility for servicing the committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women has been transferred to the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

4. Please text of CEDAW in annexure.

5. Resolution (SC/Res/1325), 31 October 2000. See full text in annex.

6. Windhoek Declaration, Text, Namibia, 31 May 2000, 2.

7. Windhoek Declaration, Text, Namibia, 31 May 2000, 2. See text in annexure.

8. www.unfpa.org/gender/rights.htm.

9. See Resolution 1820 in annexure.

10. Security Council Resolution 1888 was adopted on 30 September 2009, and Resolution 1889 was adopted on 5 October 2009. These resolutions complement Resolution 1820. Res 1325 and 1820 are mutually reinforcing. 1820 is a focused response to a weak area of implementation in 1325. It focuses on sexual violence as a security issue and broadens it constituency, making it easier to engage security actors for a meaningful impact.

11. European Women's Lobby, "Gender and Conflict towards Human Security: Engendering Peace", Position Paper, Brussels, September-October 2009.

12. UN Security Council Report, SC/9759, Department of Public Information. New York. 5 October 2009.

13. Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention, ICRC Report, Geneva 1960, Article 14, p. 147. See also International Review of the Red Cross, The Protection of Women in International Humanitarian Law. Francois Krill, Nov-Dec 1985.

14. Article 25 (4), 29 (2) and 108 GC 111. Third Geneva Convention.

15. Part 11 of the Geneva Convention is broader in scope and applies to the whole population of the states in conflict, Article 27.

16. Observance by UN Forces of International Humanitarian Law, UN Bulletin, 6 August 1999, ST/SGB/1999/13.2.

17. Windhoek Declaration: 10th Anniversary of the Namibia Plan of Action on Mainstreaming Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Support Operations, Namibia, 31 May 2000 at http://www.reliefweb.int/library/ gharkit/filesfeb2001/windhock_declaration.htm.

18. Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the UN system, E/1997/L30, 14 July 1997.

19. Yarman Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 16-18.

20. (European) Convention, Ibid, 23.

21. A.P.V. Rogers and P. Malherbe, Model Manual on the Armed Conflict (Geneva: ICRC, 1999). Cited in Yarman Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities.

22. Ana Filipa Vrdoljak, Women and Private Military and Security Companies.

23. http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/press_corner/newsletter/081201_en.htm.

24. Bosnia-Herzegovina signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, identifying it as a prospective EU member that would come up with its own solutions and not depend on an outside actor like the European Community. It would pressure the Bosnians "to take ownership" over their affairs, while eliminating debilitating dependency on the international community, especially the OHR. http://www.usip.org/publications/making-bosnia-work-why-eu-accession-not-enough.

25. Conference on Security and Cooperation for Europe emerged as a effective forum in the decade of 70s and 80s.

26. The Helsinki Accords is the Final Act of the CSCE held in 1975. The Civil Rights Section of the Act states that all the participating states will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinction to race, sex, language and religion.

27. Noman Sattar, "Diplomacy and Peacemaking in the Crisis in Erstwhile Yugoslavia", Journal of European Studies, 10, no.2, (July 1994).

28. EU intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina fostered the transformation of the EU from regional normative power to international actor. Its role was bolstered by significant economic assistance and military instrument.

29. The UN Special Envoy Cyprus Vance and EC Representative Lord Owen negotiated a peace proposal with the Bosnian warring factions, known as Vance-Owen Plan.

30. Washington Post, 25 November 2007.

31. The number of Refugees was 69, 911 according to UNHRC in Bosnia, June 2010. From 1992-1995 Serbs had forced out approximately 40,000 Bosnian Muslims refugees. The number was increased to 80,000 later. Foreign Policy Magazines, Washington, 25 May 2009.

32. J. Rielly, "Lessons of Kosovo", Financial Times, 25 March, 1999, 18. DG. ECHO, which is responsible for overseeing the European Commission's humanitarian budgets, signed a framework Partnership Agreement with various humanitarian and other organizations which came into force on 1 January 2008. It will last until 31 December 2012 and may be renewed by the Commission for a maximum of one year. www.europa.eu/index_en.htm.

33. ECHO-Annual Report 2008, Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid, Brussels, 2009.

34. www.europa.eu/omk/omnsapir.

35. Document European Parliament Resolution 2000/2025 (INI) on participation of women in peaceful conflict resolution and 2005/2215 (INI) on situation of women in armed conflict and their role in the reconstruction and the democratic process in countries after the conflict.

36. Ibid.
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Date:Jun 30, 2011
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