Women from all over Southern Sudan gathered in the regional capital of Juba for a one-day open peace forum on 9 June to identify the priorities, concern and needs of women within the context of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
UN Deputy Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande thanked the audience for their attendance and said that women in the country's ten southern states can make a vital contribution towards peace consolidation and nation- and state-building efforts in the region.
Adopted by the Security Council in 2000, Resolution 1325 stresses the important role of women in conflict resolution and peace-building activities.
The Eastern Equatoria State Minister of Agriculture Betty Achan Ogwaro was among the key government officials who participated in the peace forum.
"One of the achievements of women during the last three years (of) lobbying is the announcement of a woman to be the Second Deputy Speaker (of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly) by the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit," said Ms. Ogwaro, who was recently sworn in as a member of the regional parliament.
Her fellow regional lawmaker Beatrice Aber Samson urged the United Nations to use its Food and Agriculture Organization to "facilitate agriculture programs related to food security and nutrition support to women farmers."
At the end of the session, participants opened a discussion on identifying their expectations, which were also linked to the objectives of the peace forum.
The ensuing discussion focused on the four "Ps" of Resolution 1325: Prevention, Protection, Participation and Promotion in peace building and conflict resolution.
Ten women in attendance were selected to travel to Khartoum later this week to meet with senior management of UNMIS and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNFEM) and share with them their recommendations.