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Presentation of the ECDPM study “Enhancing the EU Response to Women and Armed Conflict with Particular Reference to Development Policy“

In their endeavours to promote discussion on how to advance EU work in this area, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU has organised today at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union in Brussels the presentation of the ECDPM study entitled “Enhancing the EU Response to Women and Armed Conflict with Particular Reference to Development Policy”. The study has been prepared for the Slovenian Presidency in close cooperation with Austrian and German partners.

In her introduction to the presentation, Ms Anita Pipan, Director General for Policy Planning and Multilateral Political Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, emphasized that the European Union had achieved significant results in this area and established itself as a visible player in the global international community. The Slovenian Presidency wishes to make a step forward, since there are many opportunities to enhance coordination, complementarity and coherence of development policies, aimed at creating a comprehensive framework for an effective use of development programmes and instruments in this field. By enhancing its response to the issue of women and armed conflict, the EU will strengthen its contribution towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. She stressed that the study offered substantial and useful proposals and recommendations for an effective EU response to the issue of women and armed conflict.

Andrew Sherriff presented the study together with proposals for enhancing the EU’s approach. He noted the need to further improve the general understanding of the women and armed conflict issues and the EU’s responses to them, in particular the need for further implementation of UN SC Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and for overcoming structural obstacles.

The invited panellists from the Trio Presidencies (Slovenia, Portugal, Germany), the Commission, and the NGOs each outlined their own points of view but agreed that further efforts were necessary to improve the EU response to the issue of women and armed conflict through development cooperation policy and mechanisms on the basis of gender equality and women’s empowerment approach. They stressed the importance of EU strategic approach to this issue to overcome the marginalization and fragmentation of women and armed conflict issues, which are featured in almost all contexts, at the level of both the EU and partner countries. The mainstreaming of the issue of women and armed conflict within regional approaches or development sectors such as health, education, security sector reform, and justice should be strengthened as well. Challenges also lie in the implementation of the EU commitments, particularly those at the level of partner countries and at the regional level.


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Date: 04.04.2008