Conclusions of the meeting of the G8 Foreign Ministers
(Roma, 18-19 July 2001)
G8 ROMA INITIATIVES ON CONFLICT PREVENTION
1. STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN CONFLICT PREVENTION
The international community has increasingly recognized the positive contributions women can make to preventing conflicts and consolidating peace. For example, the role of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building has been emphasized in the final document of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century." In October 2000, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. These efforts indicate a growing realization that in conflict situations women are more than victims requiring the protection of the international community: they are negotiators, peacemakers and advisors whose efforts are vital to sustainable peace.
Despite studies, conferences, and pledges to do so, the international community has failed to ensure women's full and equal participation in conflict prevention, peace operations and post-conflict peace-building. International efforts to address mounting political, economic and humanitarian crises can be substantially strengthened by involvement of women. Our comprehensive approach to conflict prevention is incomplete if we neglect to include women. Women bring alternative perspectives to conflict prevention at the grass-roots and community levels. We must encourage creative and innovative ways to better draw on the talents women bring to preventing conflict and sustaining peace. Furthermore, we should identify practical steps and strategies that we can support individually and collectively to advance the role of women in conflict prevention and post conflict peace building.
Building on the 1995 "Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action" adopted at the 4th World Conference on Women, the guidelines of the 1997 OECD/DAC statement on Conflict, Peace and Development Cooperation on the Threshold of the 21st Century, as well as its Supplement approved in April 2001; the 1998 Agreed conclusions on "Women and Armed Conflict" of the UN Commission on the Status of Women Agreed Conclusions on Women and Armed Conflict; the 8 March 2000 Security Council Presidential Statement on International Women's Day; the 2000 UNIFEM report "Women at the Peace Table: Making a Difference"; the final document of the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-First Century;" the study "Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Multidimensional Peace Operations" by the Lessons Learned Unit of DPKO; the Report of UN Secretariat on the implementation of the Brahimi Report, G-8 partners will seize the opportunity to set an example for the international community.
- On the basis of these premises, the G8:
Emphasizes the importance of the systematic involvement of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peace-building, as well as women's full and equal participation in all phases of conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding.
- Encourages the participation of all actors of civil society, including women's organizations, in conflict prevention and conflict resolution as well as encourage and support the sharing of experiences and best practices. In line with the 1997 OECD/DAC statement, and its April 2001 Supplement, the G-8 is confident that women's full and equal participation in all the phases of the process of conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding will enhance the opportunities for building a just and peaceful society. Special attention should be given, in this context, to identifying and working with local women who represent an influential voice for peace.
- Encourages those involved in planning for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs to consider the specific needs of female ex-combatants and to take into account the needs of their dependents, particularly in the design of reintegration approaches to education, training and resource distribution.
- Supports the provision of appropriate gender-sensitive training for participants in peace-related operations, including military observers, civilian police, human rights and humanitarian personnel.
- Encourages the appointment of more women to national and international posts, including SRSGs, Special Envoys, Resident Coordinators and other operational positions.
- Commits, where appropriate, to the integration of a gender perspective and to the participation of women in the development, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes.
2. CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP AND CONFLICT PREVENTION
Following the recognition contained in the conclusions of the July 2000 Miyazaki Foreign Ministers' Meeting regarding the role that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can play in conflict prevention, the G8 has identified this issue as a priority area for attention and initiative.
Although the political nature of violent conflict can hardly be doubted, economic factors frequently turn out to be highly relevant - both as objectives and instruments of conflict. With a greater number of companies selling to, investing in, and sourcing from a greater number of foreign markets, the private sector is more internationalized than ever. There is a growing awareness of the impact companies can have in conflict-prone regions.
They in turn have a direct interest shared by all in conflict prevention and peace building to ensure a stable environment for their operations.
A great deal of work is being done internationally to address CSR issues through the development of multilateral standards and norms. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1999, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the "Global Compact" - a call to world business leaders to adopt a set of nine principles based on existing UN instruments including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the Rio Declaration. OECD Ministers recently adopted revised Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. International efforts to stem the illicit trade in rough diamonds from conflict zones provide a good example of areas where the private sector can make an active contribution to conflict prevention.
Based on these premises, the G8:
- recognizes that the private sector through good citizenship can play an important and positive role in conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction.
- welcomes the UNGA Resolution A/55/215 entitled "Towards Global Partnership" adopted by consensus in December 2000, and takes note of initiatives such as the UN Secretary General's Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and similar work in other multilateral fora, including the World Bank.
- expresses its intention to co-operate with private and non governmental sectors using these initiatives as points of reference.
- intends to work further with the private and non-governmental sectors to explore best practices to respond to specific challenges faced in high-risk environments.
- stresses the valuable contribution that partnership between corporations and local communities can make to the development of civil society.
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