The Regional Open Day on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) et seq. on Gender, Women, Youth, Peace and Security was held on December 20, 2023, in Nouakchott, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, under the co-presidency of Ms. Savia N’Tahah, Minister of Social Action, Childhood and Family of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and Mr. Leonardo Santos Simão, Representative of the United Nations Security Council on Gender, Women, Youth, Peace and Security. Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). Also, present were Mr. Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development,t Mr. Cheikh Ahmedou Ould Ahmed Salem Ould Sidi, Commissioner for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society, Mr. M’rabih Rabou Bounena, Wali of Nouakchott-ouest, Mr. Ahmed Salem Bouhoubeyni, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Mr. Ahmedou Ould Ahmed Salem Ould Sidi, Commissioner for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society; Ahmed Salem Bouhoubeyni, President of the National Human Rights Commission; the Secretary General of the Mano River Union, Mrs. Maria Gbie Harrison; and the head of the UNICEF office, Mr. Marc Lucet, representing Mrs. Lila Pieters, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Mauritania.
Organized by the government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and UNOWAS, in collaboration with the Mano River Union Secretariat, UN Women, the UN system in Mauritania, UN country teams in the sub-region, the Women, Youth, peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel, this 13th edition of the open day was devoted to “the allocation of a national budget for the implementation of the national action plan on resolutions 1325 (2000) and following of the United Nations Security Council”.
Over 200 participants took part in the event, including women and young leaders from West Africa and the Sahel, regional and bilateral partners, members of the Mauritanian Parliament, UN agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, and women’s media organizations.
Opening this 13th edition, Minister Savia N’Tahah declared that “the empowerment of women occupies an important place in the social program of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Mohamed El-Ghazaouani. To this end, a program has been implemented by the government to strengthen and support women’s productive capacities to ensure their economic empowerment.”
For his part, Leonardo Santos Simão, recalled the efforts made to advance the Women, Peace and Security Program in the sub-region: “Acting for the full participation of women in all peace processes, political transitions and other aspects of development must be a major objective of the policies and programs of the countries in the sub-region”, he declared. He also stressed the importance of good practices that can inspire States to make a greater commitment to funding national action plans, while renewing the UN’s commitment to supporting women’s and young people’s initiatives for the effective implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in West Africa and the Sahel.
In the same vein, Marc Lucet stressed the importance of supporting initiatives such as the Mourchidates network, piloted by the Mauritanian government and civil society with the support of the United Nations, which highlights the involvement of women religious leaders in raising awareness among the population, particularly young people, of the risks associated with violent radical discourse and the need to prevent violent extremism.
For her part, Ms Harisson called for “more support for women in the Mano River Union region in terms of training, and the development of small agricultural production units”.
This open day enabled the voices of women and young people to be heard, and invited states, regional organizations, the United Nations system and technical and financial partners to work in synergy to fund action plans and activities in favor of peace and security. The women and young people also called on ECOWAS to lift all sanctions adversely affecting the populations, in particular women, young people and children, in the four transition countries of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger. They reaffirmed their willingness and commitment to participate actively in national and regional efforts to promote stability, peace and security.
The 13th Open Day was preceded by a two-day workshop to draw up a regional program to strengthen women’s participation in decision-making in countries in transition and in Mauritania.
The regional Open Days are a forum where women and young people can share their experiences, concerns, and priorities with senior officials from the UN and regional organizations, as part of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) and following on gender, women, youth, peace, and security.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).