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The Women, Peace and Security agenda in the spotlight: Minister of State Müntefering joins a virtual visit to South Sudan and Rwanda

Minister of State Michelle Müntefering with a group of girls

Looking back – in 2018 Minister of State Michelle Müntefering travelled to South Africa. Here, she visits the project I Am Science, which encourages girls to get involved in science., © Federal Foreign Office

03.05.2021 - Article

A virtual visit to South Sudan and Rwanda on 26 and 27 April will highlight the situation of women and the Women, Peace and Security agenda based on United Nations Resolution 1325.

Resolution 1325: Women in peace negotiations

With Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, passed in October 2000, the international community committed to protecting the rights of women and involving them in peace negotiations on equal terms. This is a question of justice, but also of good political sense. Studies clearly show that peace accords are more stable and longer-lasting when women sit at the negotiating table. 

Germany is engaged in global efforts to support the implementation of Resolution 1325 – in crisis regions, in multilateral organisations and at regional level This includes protecting girls and women from sexual and gender-based violence, and involving women in peace processes such as those in Afghanistan and Libya, as well as ensuring that a gender perspective is integrated into security and development policy. The implementation of Resolution 1325 was one of Germany’s priorities during its Security Council membership in 2019 and 2020. 

Africa and Europe are working closely with one another to implement the resolution. Minister of State Müntefering and colleagues from the Bundestag will therefore discuss this issue with women working in government and civil society in South Sudan and Rwanda. 

Before the trip, the Minister of State emphasised: 

Without women there can be no peace. A society can only be strong and stable when everyone is able to actively participate in it on equal terms. This is why Germany has made the Women, Peace and Security resolution one of its foreign policy priorities. Along with my fellow members of parliament, I am looking forward to our talks with women working in different fields in South Sudan and Rwanda. The close cooperation between Europe and Africa on the implementation of Resolution 1325 is very important.

South Sudan: Germany engaged in wide-ranging efforts

On 26 April, Minister of State Müntefering is taking a virtual visit to South Sudan. South Sudan is the youngest country in the world, having gained independence in 2011. A civil war began in 2013 and lasted until 2018. In early 2020, a transitional government was formed on the basis of the 2018 peace agreement. Germany is deeply involved in humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and stabilisation efforts in South Sudan and is working to support the implementation of the ongoing peace process. 

First on the agenda for this virtual visit is a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Beatrice Wani. Minister of State Müntefering will also be meeting civil society representatives including legal expert Jackline Nasiwa and human rights defender Lorna Merekaje, who was awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights in 2020. In addition, the Minister of State will learn more about the United Nations peace mission UNMISS and several projects financed by Germany which are helping to implement the WPS agenda.

Rwanda: Strong commitment to the WPS agenda

On 27 April Minister of State Müntefering will be a virtual guest in Rwanda, which is an active partner in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa and worldwide. As part of its commitment to peacekeeping in Africa, Rwanda currently provides the second-largest number of troops of any country to UN missions. It also nominates a particularly high proportion of women to participate in these missions. After the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, moreover, women played a crucial role in rebuilding the country, and they have since achieved above-average representation in industry, administration and politics. 

The visit to Rwanda will begin with a meeting with Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Dr Jeannette Bayisenge, who is the Cabinet Minister responsible for implementing UN Resolution 1325. The implementation of this resolution will also be the focus of a round of talks with women peacekeepers at the police and army training academies. During these talks, Minister of State Müntefering will learn more about topics including a project financed by the Federal Foreign Office to help prevent the use of child soldiers in the region. The next stop will be a meeting with the internationally successful performing artist Hope Azeda and the peace activist Immaculée Mukankubito, to discuss the crucial role of art and education in reconciliation and peacebuilding following the genocide against the Tutsi. The final stop will be a discussion with leading women members of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

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