Caribbean paves the way for women's leadership in peace and security: Trinidad and Tobago hosted a key convening for the advancement of women’s ownership of the peace and security agenda in the Caribbean



Representatives of Caribbean states, United Nations organizations and Our Secure Future

Representatives of Caribbean states, United Nations organizations and Our Secure Future met at Trinidad and Tobago to advance the development of Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans. Photo: UN Women


Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - May 15th, 2024 - A significant gathering in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, brought together Caribbean leaders and key stakeholders to ensure women play a central role in responding to common regional challenges. The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Caribbean National Action Plan Convening, co-hosted by Our Secure Future and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), took place from May 13th to 15th, 2024.

Government representatives, leaders from women's and civil society organizations, and regional intergovernmental frameworks met to assess the challenges for peaceful and safe societies in the Caribbean and address them through the advancements of the WPS agenda by focusing on women's leadership in peacebuilding, as highlighted by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions.

While delivering remarks at the opening event, Tonni Brodber, Representative, UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean, said:

“Coming out of this training, we look forward to your expert guidance on how best this particular agenda can be adapted to the realities of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the broader region and how we can work collaboratively to ensure that we are applying the context for our lived reality. Focused work around Women, Peace and Security, began in 2000 with 1325 when the UN General Assembly and Security Council recognised the need to have women at the center of peacebuilding and peacekeeping. We have continued throughout the years making space also for understanding and integrating climate security perspectives and the unique perspectives of small island developing states.”

Various shots from the meeting

Photos: UN Women


The event, convened by UN Women and Our Secure Future (OSF), provided actionable strategies through international expert-led discussions, helping participants design and implement impactful National Action Plans (NAPs). These plans are vital tools for addressing regional peace and security challenges and fostering women's participation in shaping effective solutions.

“We are aiming to advance the Women, Peace, and Security agenda by underscoring that women are not just victims, which is the current narrative, but we see women as agents of change, in particular in securing a peaceful and more secure environment for all of us. Today, we have about 110 countries that have adopted National Action Plans as a form of policy and practice to advance their national objectives, and this is really saying a lot because it is not mandated, but we see countries continually not only adopting these Plans and creating a multi-stakeholder process to do them but also renewing them year after year”, said Sahana Dharmapuri, OSF Vice President at the opening ceremony.

Over three days, the workshop facilitated collaboration across various sectors, emphasizing the importance of gender equality in peace processes. Participants shared insights and strategies to overcome barriers, reaffirming their commitment to empowering women to lead in addressing the Caribbean's security challenges.

“Given the level of violent crime, Caribbean countries can never claim to be living in peace, therefore, I am of the view we have a collective responsibility to address the issue of violence. We must adopt a position that none of us in the Caribbean is safe unless all of us are safe”, said Mr. Vijay Gangapersad, Permanent Secretary of Gender and Child Affairs at the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Office.

“As a natural response, we have seen greater investment in the national security apparatus. We have seen investment in the police. More police, more guns for those policing. I believe that the solution is not more police and more guns. The answer is in this room, in this workshop”, Mr. Gangapersad added.

Our Secure Future and UN Women saluted the commitment of all countries that took part in this convening. Both organizations reaffirmed their eagerness to collaborate with national governments in launching their respective National Action Plans, ensuring women's full participation in preventing and responding to challenges while implementing strategic actions to maintain safe and peaceful communities across the region.

The event had over 35 participants, including relevant ministries and civil society organizations representing Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and CARICOM.

Learn more about the work of UN Women on Women, Peace, and Security, and Humanitarian Action here: 

About UN Women:
UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, is dedicated to advocating for and advancing gender equality worldwide. With initiatives spanning the globe, UN Women works with governments, civil society, and other partners to empower women, promote their leadership, and ensure their rights are upheld in all aspects of life. The organization is also focused on guaranteeing the full participation of women as key actors in responding to the challenges of peace, security, and humanitarian action.

About Our Secure Future:
Our Secure Future (OSF) believes that women make the crucial difference in achieving more effective governance and lasting peace. OSF aims to strengthen the Women, Peace, and Security movement by amplifying women’s voices, strengthening the global network of women peacebuilders, and promoting committed action by multiple stakeholders to turn policy into practice.

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