Sierra Leone, Liberia and Burundi yesterday started a two days cross-regional learning at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown.
The three countries are experiencing similar processes of Peace Consolidation following the horrific conflicts they each experienced over the past two decades. Burundi and Sierra Leone became the first countries to be supported by the Peace Building Commission and Fund while Liberia has recently received support under the same instrument. Over 50 participants are undertaking the regional learning.
Objectives of the training are to introduce participants to monitoring and evaluation concepts, specifically the development of gender-sensitive indicators for Peace Consolidation.
It is also to support participants to develop their own indicators and plans for undertaking monitoring in their specific context.
The regional conference is also geared towards sharing best practices on civil society monitoring (Burundi experience) and the development of indicators (UNIFEM process in Liberia) and share lessons learned around the development of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Sierra Leone deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Jenneh Kandeh said the timing for the regional conference was apt considering that Sierra Leone was in the process of developing a National Action Plan for implementation of 1325 stating that the implementation of it had always been central to the post conflict reconstruction and national development drive.
She explained Government’s commitment on policies to ensure that women’s rights and fundamental freedoms as provided for in the guiding framework of 1325 were safeguarded and enhanced and the legal reforms to strengthen the existing legal framework for women’s participation, prevention and protection from violence and other abuses.
The Deputy Minister assured that her ministry shall continue promoting Women’s Rights and collaborate with relevant stakeholders.
Welcoming the participants earlier, the National Net-work Coordinator, West Africa Network for Building (WANEP) Edward Jombla stated that the three participating countries have benefited from the Peace Building Fund and have or in the process of developing National Peace and Development Frameworks.
He mentioned the Peace Consolidation Strategy, PRSP, a National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325 and other gender policy documents undertaken in Sierra Leone.
He said with the wealth of experience of the facilitators and participants, the critical Peace Building issues will be addressed before they leave the conference place in two days time.