PBI-Switzerland attends ‘Women, Peace & Security’ conference

Published by Brent Patterson on

On October 16, Peace Brigades International-Switzerland posted, “At the ‘Women, Peace & Security: Reclaim Prevention!’ conference in mid-September, various civil society organizations and experts for women, peace and security gathered in Bern. PBI was there.”

PBI-Switzerland further notes, “At various workshops and panels, the dialogue between civil society [including feminist networks and peace organizations] and state actors was promoted and possible challenges were discussed.”

PBI-Switzerland has now linked to its website the 51-page report titled Women, Peace and Security and the Prevention of Violence: Reflections from Civil Society in the Context of the Fourth Swiss National Action Plan 1325.

That report notes (on page 22), “Security measures employed in the ‘global war on terror’ threaten human rights and contribute to the rise of violence worldwide. While the P/CVE [Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism] agenda theoretically signals a shift away from the hard security tactics of CT [counterterrorism], in practice such hard security tactics are not only not abating, they are increasing.”

Among the notable policy recommendations (found on pages 38-40):

1- “Switzerland should address the issues of shrinking civil society space and human rights violations caused by CT and P/CVE legislation and practice by funding and supporting civil society organizations advocating for human rights and working on violence prevention that reflects the needs of communities and that is grounded in the principles of peacebuilding and human rights.”

2- “Switzerland should acknowledge and address the negative connotations of the P/CVE agenda and be mindful of the risks that civil society organizations might face when associating with the P/CVE agenda.”

3- “Switzerland should acknowledge that the P/CVE agenda risks contributing to the growth of the security industry, including the small arms and light weapons industry, which produces greater instability and violent conflict.”

4- “Switzerland should not engage in the sale of any weapons which are used, at any point after the purchase, to perpetrate human rights violations or contribute to the insecurity of communities.”

5- “Switzerland should fund research on the impact of Swiss small arms and lights weapons, and the sale of parts used in the manufacturing of weapons, on women.”

PBI-Switzerland notes, “By January 2019, 79 UN Member States had already adopted a National Action Plan to implement UNSCR 1325.”

Canada is one of those 79 countries. The Government of Canada launched its first action plan in 2010 and its second action plan in 2017.

A forum in Canada similar to the one that took place in Switzerland on their fourth action plan could also produce a series of interesting policy recommendations.

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