On 31 March 2016, the Southern Africa Liaison Office (SALO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) South Africa Multi-Country Office co-hosted a lunch launch of the Global Report ‘Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice Securing the Peace: Implementation of UNSCR1325’ in Pretoria. The lunch was an interactive panel discussion with a diverse range of speakers from policy makers to individuals with expertise and experience in gender, peace and security. The launch also looked at next steps for policy makers and engaging citizens on the issue – 15 years since adoption of UNSCR1325.
Ms Anne Githuku-Shongwe the Representative of the UN Women South Africa did the opening remarks, Professor Cheryl Hendricks of University of Johannesburg moderated the proceedings and Mr Themba Kalua the Deputy Representative for the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment was the programme director. The panellists included, Ms Jebbeh Foster the Regional advisor of the Gender, Peace and Security at ESARO, Ambassador Thenjiwe Mthintso the South African Ambassador to Romania, Ms Josina Machel the Daughter of Graca Machel and survivor of domestic violence, Ms Yasmin Sooka the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights and Mr Pitso Montwedi the Chief Director: Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs at DIRCO.
In attendance were government officials, members of the diplomatic community, UN agencies, a representative from the African Union and SADC Secretariat respectively, civil society organisations, eminent individuals and the citizens.
On the 31st March 2016, SALO and Saferworld launched a co-authored briefing paper, Gender, peace and security and the 2030 Agenda a way forward for South Africa. The event was a wide range of stakeholders who included civil society organisations, diplomats, policymakers, veterans, academics and members of the public. This was a useful opportunity to not only disseminate key findings of the paper, but also validation. Built around the briefing paper, the discussion was aimed at exploring how South Africa can use the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – particularly through its Goal 16 and 5 – and UNSCR 1325 Resolution to advance a gender, peace and security agenda domestically and internationally.
The discussion was structured in two panels, one looking at Gender, peace and security challenges in South Africa and the role of 2030 Agenda and other international policy frameworks and a second on UNSCR 1325 and South Africa: Lessons Shared. Speakers for the first panel included Ms Madeleine Rees, Human Rights Lawyer, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Ambassador Trine Skymoen, Ambassador to South Africa, Royal Embassy of Norway; Ms Yatima Nahara, Secretary-General, Pan-African Women’s Organization and High Commissioner Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini of South Africa to Namibia while Ms Petronella Mugoni-Sekeso, Senior Programme Officer for Knowledge Production, ACCORD; Ms Rita Manchanda, Research Director, South Asia Forum for Human Rights; Ms Bregje Wisjenbeek, Policy Officer Political Affairs, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso, South African Ambassador to Romania made the second panel.
Read full report here: Policy Brief 1 of 2016 – 31st March 2016
This policy brief derives from proceedings of a multi-stakeholder workshop hosted by the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) in collaboration with the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (NADCAO) and African Monitor on the 22nd of March 2016. The workshop explored how civil society can leverage on the complementarity between the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the AU’s Agenda 2063, to play a more meaningful role in the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda. There was particular emphasis on access to justice as articulated in Goal 16.
Mr Thokozani Thusi, the Chief Director for Public Participation and Social Dialogue at the Department of Public Service and Administration, gave the keynote address on behalf of Deputy Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. There were other speakers* from the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), South African judiciary, Chapter 9 institutions and civil society from South Africa and the region. The dialogue attracted a broad range of participants including members of civil society, policymakers, academics and the public.
While not easily defined, access to justice refers broadly to the access that citizens have to dispute resolution tools of justice including, but not limited to, courts. It engages the wider social context of the justice system and the systemic barriers facing different sectors of society. Effective access to justice does not only refer to reductions in cost and greater access to lawyers and courts. Many barriers are interrelated, and efforts to eliminate one barrier can exacerbate problems elsewhere. Therefore, holistic solutions are necessary, as alluded to by Goal 16.
Read full Policy Brief here: Policy Brief – 22 March 2016 – Leaving no-one behind, strengthening civil society’s role in the implementation of Goal 16
Angolan leader ‘to step down’ in 2018
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said on Friday he plans to step down in 2018 after being at the helm since 1979, making him one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. Angola, a member of OPEC and Africa’s second largest oil exporter after Nigeria, relies on crude export revenues for more than 90 percent of foreign exchange revenues.
The country’s next election will be held in 2017. “I took the decision to leave and end my political life in 2018,” Dos Santos said in speech members of his ruling party’s key decision-making organ that was broadcast on radio.
‘Women’s rights key to unlocking Africa’s future’
African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, addressing delegates at an event commemorating International Women’s Day, said the AUC celebrated “the determination of women around the world to fight for equal rights and the opportunity to have their voices heard”.
There is “indeed a great deal to celebrate today, in terms of the progress we have made in pushing for the Gender Agenda in Africa,” she said at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday.
International justice for crimes in Africa must be prioritised
SOME of the most horrific crimes known to humankind have taken place fairly recently in countries like Burundi‚ South Sudan‚ the Democratic Republic of Congo‚ Kenya and Zimbabwe‚ and many Africans continue to pay for a lack of justice with their lives‚ their futures and their basic human rights.
There can be no doubt that Africa must have justice for international crimes. What form this justice takes‚ and whether it is meted out in national‚ regional or international courts‚ is something the continent must decide and act upon‚ an Institute for Security Studies (ISS) seminar in Addis Ababa heard on Thursday.
Mugabe changes course as Harare woos IMF
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe agreed to major reforms, including compensation for evicted white farmers and a big reduction in public sector wages, as the government tries to woo back international lenders, the finance minister said.
The economy was under siege from the worst drought since 1992, Patrick Chinamasa said on Wednesday, noting that the reforms had the full backing of Mugabe, who has previously attacked the IMF for imposing stringent credit conditions.
Mugabe is ‘the godfather of corruption’
The opposition People’s Democratic Party has called for the immediate resignation of President Robert Mugabe over the missing $15 billion in diamond revenue and to allow a national transitional authority to lead the country to fresh elections.
The party’s national organising secretary, Solomon Madzore, said Mugabe’s recent revelation that the country had lost such a huge amount in the Chiadzwa mining fields in the past seven years had confirmed fears by former Finance Minister and now PDP President, Tendai Biti, that Chiadzwa diamonds had been looted on a large scale.
New Germany, Singapore ambassadors for Swaziland
Swaziland’s King Mswati III today received letters of credence from Germany and Singapore Ambassadors to Swaziland at the Lozitha Royal Palace, APA reports on Thursday.When meeting Walter Lindner from Germany and Chua Thai-Keong from Singapore, the king expressed hope that the two countries will support Swaziland in its vision to achieve the First World status by 2022.
Govt Fights Move To Stop Purchase Of E170m Cars
Government is opposing the application to stop the purchase of vehicles worth over E170 million. The State intends to purchase 400 vehicles amounting to E170 854 759, the beneficiaries being the police, defence, Correctional Services and the King’s Office.
On Wednesday the Swaziland Public Procurement Regulatory Agency (SPPRA) filed an application in the High Court where it is, inter alia, seeking an order to stop the purchasing of the vehicles. Through the office of the Attorney General, government has since filed a notice of intention to oppose the application filed by the agency. The reasons for opposing the application will be outlined in the answering papers government is expected to file soon.
Time of Swaziland
Western Sahara referendum key to peace
A referendum on the future of the disputed territory of Western Sahara holds the key to peace and stability in North Africa, the pro-independence Polisario Front said on Wednesday.
The former Spanish territory has been back in the spotlight after UN chief Ban Ki-moon angered Morocco by using the word “occupation” to describe its status.
UN worried about row with Morocco over Western Sahara
THE United Nations (UN) Security Council expressed concern on Thursday over an escalating row with Morocco over Western Sahara, but did not ask Rabat to drop plans to impose a drastic cut in staff at the UN mission in the disputed territory.
Morocco has ordered 84 staffers from the UN’s Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (Minurso) to leave in the coming days, a move the UN says will cripple the mission that was set up in 1991 after a ceasefire was reached.
“The council has expressed serious concerns,” Angolan ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, who holds March’s council presidency, told reporters after a closed-door meeting.
Trade fair to promote businesses with Asia opens in Madagascar
A four-day trade fair to promote businesses with Asia opened on Thursday in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo with a theme “Asia is beautiful”.
Thousands of businessmen from Asia, including Burma, Cambodia, China, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as from Indian Ocean countries including Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion Island (France), and Seychelles participated in the fair.
South Sudan: UN Should Create Rights Monitor
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should appoint a special rapporteur to monitor and document human rights violations and promote justice in South Sudan. South Sudan’s human rights situation is currently before the council.
“The situation in South Sudan calls for urgent action,” said John Fisher, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch. “A UN special rapporteur is needed not just to monitor the ongoing abuses, but also to contribute to justice and accountability.”
Human Rights Watch
President Kiir appoints members of Latjor state parliament
South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, has issued a republican order appointing members of legislative assembly for a newly created Latjor state in implementation of the new 28 states he created in October last year.
This comes after the unilateral decision to divide up the country and expand the constitutionally recognized 10 states to 28, despite signing a peace agreement to end 21 months of war with armed opposition and other stakeholders on the basis of 10 states in August 2015.