Last week was the 21st International Meeting of Mine Action National Programme Directors and United Nations Advisors (NDM-UN). Held at the United Nations Office at Geneva, this yearly meeting gives the opportunity to delegates and advisors to exchange best practices and lessons learned in mine action. This year’s theme was “Advancing Protection, Peace and Development”, and looked at how mine action contributes to these other areas.
GMAP was actively involved in this year’s NDM-UN. Arianna Calza Bini, Director of GMAP, participated in a plenary session titled “No Women, No Peace”. The panel investigated how the inclusion of women in the security sector makes mine action more effective, and how in turn mine action contributes to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. She highlighted the importance of the full inclusion and participation of women at all levels of decision-making and urged delegations to make mine action more diverse by including more women.
GMAP also held a side event, which consisted of a working group for the impending update of the 2010 UN Gender Guidelines for Mine Action Programmes. Actors from across the sector, including operators, donors, national authorities and NGOs, were present to discuss how to update the guidelines and make them more relevant to mine action programming. This participation provided valuable input for the GMAP team and provided a good starting point for revising the best-practice guidelines.
As always, GMAP will be monitoring the participation to the NDM-UN and will be disaggregating participant data by sex and by state or organisation representation. As you can see in the graph below, last year’s statistics show that little change has taken place in the participation of women at the NDM-UN over the past 5 years.
GMAP will continue to advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality, and will continue to highlight the value of gender and diversity in mine action, and engage stakeholders at international meetings.