Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2013

Implementing the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in Afghanistan

January 2012

Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University


The Women, Peace, and Security agenda of the United Nations Security Council is considered one of the landmark achievements in its thematic work. In its resolution 1325 (2000), the Council addressed for the first time the impact of armed conflict on women and recognized the under-valued and under-utilized contributions women make to conflict prevention and peace processes. The thematic work initiated by resolution 1325 has been reinforced and expanded by follow-up resolutions 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010), which together form the Women, Peace, and Security agenda of the Council. At the same time, integrating this agenda into the country-specific work of the Council has proven very challenging, despite the Security Council’s continued political recognition that gender is indeed central to lasting and sustainable peace and security. A case in point is Afghanistan, where the Security Council has been actively involved for many years. While the situation of women has consistently attracted great attention in the international community, the WPS agenda has made only minimal advances. The situation for women overall remains difficult and highly insecure, even after a lengthy international presence and engagement under the umbrella of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) mandate. Against this background, the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (LISD) together with the government of Liechtenstein, organized a workshop January 28-30, 2012 in Schaan, Liechtenstein, on the implementation of the WPS agenda in Afghanistan, in particular to make concrete recommendations for the incorporation of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda into the March 2012 mandate renewal of UNAMA.