Trump Administration Releases Women, Peace And Security Strategy 8 Months Past Deadline; U.N. Stresses Importance Of WPS Amid COVID-19 In Virtual Roundtable Discussion

Devex: Trump administration releases WPS implementation plans, 8 months late
“The Trump administration released the implementation plans for its Women, Peace, and Security Strategy on Thursday, eight months after the congressionally mandated deadline. The Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security were required to produce agency-specific plans by the WPS Act of 2017, which mandates U.S. support for women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution and in fragile contexts. … Plans by the four agencies will take ‘significant steps’ to promote leadership, involvement, and safety of women around the world, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. … The 26-page USAID and 54-page State Department plans outline how each agency will achieve four ‘lines of effort’: participation of women in decision-making processes in conflict and crisis; protection of human rights and safety with access to humanitarian assistance; ensuring internal U.S. coordination and focus on the WPS agenda; and encouraging partners to similarly encourage women’s participation in peace and security processes…” (Welsh, 6/12).

U.N. News: Women integral to battling coronavirus and pushing for lasting peace and security
“The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the differentiated impacts that COVID-19 is having on women, including new obstacles to their meaningful participation in peace processes. At a virtual roundtable discussion on Thursday, the Peace Operations chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, stressed the importance of continuing to prioritize the U.N.’s Action for Peacekeeping’s (A4P) Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments during the pandemic. … And pointing out that women are suffering disproportionately with the virus, including sexual and gender-based violence, he said that while the missions were trying to contain it, it remains ‘one of our major concerns.’ … Meanwhile, the Executive Director of U.N. Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, explained, ‘we are deliberating the impact of COVID in conflict areas where women battle the infection and insecurity’…” (6/11).