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United Nations launch of new global Women, Peace and Security index

Audience at WPS Index launch at the United Nations

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) launched a new global index that captures both peace and security, and women’s inclusion and justice, for the first time.

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Index was launched on October 26 at a side event to the 2017 United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate on Women Peace and Security.

The session was opened by H.E. Ambassador Tore Hattrem, Norway. H.E. Ambassador Neville Gertze, Namibia gave opening remarks and H.E. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, GIWPS moderated. Dr. Jeni Klugman introduced the index and its contributions to our understanding about national and regional performances in women, peace and security.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, Executive Director of UN Women welcomed the index and highlighted the importance of gender-disaggregated data. Pramila Patten, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict discussed how the index underscored the importance of bridging women’s well-being and security. Graeme Simpson, Director of Interpeace USA drew links to the youth, peace and security agenda.

Participants represented member states, civil society and academia as well as various agencies of the UN. Participants asked about the methodological approach behind the choice of indicators used in constructing the WPS Index, the potential use of gender-disaggregated data by age in subsequent index updates, and a number were interested in insights into future research development. Dr. Louise Olsson, PRIO closed the session.

During the UNSC Open Debate on October 27, Norway, Bolivia, Jamaica and Slovenia mentioned the WPS Index, and the Norwegian Permanent Representative was asked to brief the other Permanent Representatives about the index at the formal lunch. During his briefing remarks, H.E. Ambassador Tore Hattrem emphasized that data is important to track and monitor progress to ensure consistent implementation of targets. The global WPS Index will “enable us to target interventions more effectively.”

The index has been warmly welcomed by a range of influential stakeholders. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, endorsed the report as “an important tool to shine a light on key achievements, as well as the work that remains to confront the violence, injustice, and exclusion that still hold back too many women and girls around the world.” UN Depute Secretary- General, Amina Mohammed welcomed the Index noting, “As the world works to realize the sustainable development goals (SDGs), we will need robust tools to measure progress. I welcome this new global Index—the first gender index to be developed for women’s role in peace and security—as a mechanism to assess countries’ progress against the SDGs, thus creating inclusive, just, and peaceful societies for all.”

More information about the WPS Index can be found here. Download the report.