On November 5, 2019, the Government of Canada hosted an interactive high level event, “The Future of the Call to Action: Working in the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus,” on the margins of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies Annual Partners Meeting.
H.E. Leslie Norton, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Canada to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva delivered the opening remarks, explaining the purpose of the evening, which was to hear from diverse speakers to bring forward new ideas to inspire the future Road Map. The current 2016-2020 Road Map provides an overarching guiding framework that sets out common objectives, targets and a governance structure, to ensure that pledges are translated into concrete and targeted actions on the ground, but it is now coming to an end. The evening’s speakers and conversations helped identify the collective way forward for the international community to prevent, mitigate and respond to gender-based violence in the coming years. Manisha Thomas of the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) moderated the interactive event (continued below).
Speakers shared the following recommendations:
- Antonia Mulvey, Founder and Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide provided the following recommendations: put justice at the centre of the Road Map, better communicate between humanitarian, peace and development actors, ensure legal agency for individuals, provide services to those who identify as LGBTQI, and recognise that climate change induced displacement will increase, leading to increased GBV.
- Shoko Arakari, new Director of Humanitarian Response Office of UNFPA stressed the importance of putting the Minimum Standards for GBV in Emergencies into practice.
- Yusuf Amos, Executive Director of Clear View Integrity Foundation, a local CSO in Nigeria, stressed the role of local CSOs as “boots on the ground” to prevent and respond to GBV now that “the culture of silence has been broken” and called for quality funding, including same levels of core funding to local partners as to INGOs.
- Gillian Triggs, new Assistant High Commissioner for Protection of UNHCR encouraged broader thinking with development actors on sustainable response and addressing underlying causes of GBV, touched upon women empowerment and access to self-sufficiency, regretting the decline in resettlement opportunities and sustainable solutions/opportunities for women in host countries, and encouraged using the Global Refugee Forum as a platform for generating new ideas for working across the triple nexus, in addition to pledging financial and in-kind support.
- Jos Verbeek, Special Representative to the UN and WTO for the World Bank underlined the World Bank’s interest in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and associated strategy 2020-2025 within which GBV features importantly, noted that the World Bank has committed USD 300M on GBV-specific projects, and mentioned the issues associated with data collection and analysis on GBV, arguing that the UNHCR/World Bank joint data centre in Copenhagen could support in finding innovative ideas for data collection and analysis on GBV.
- Mike Ryan, new Executive Director of World Health Organisation Health Emergencies Programme stressed the importance of strengthening national systems to ensure sustainable provision of services to GBV survivors by accountable governments.
- Mendy Marsh, Executive Director of Voice Amplified stressed the need to recognise the wealth of knowledge of local women and that the role of the Call to Action and the new Road Map is to amplify this knowledge.