Between Resolution and Reality: A critical assessment of the impact of Resolution 1325 in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan Civil War between 2009 and 2015
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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) is seen as a landmark resolution in reaffirming the importance of women’s participation in all efforts taken to prevent war and to build peace. In recent years, there has been growing attention amongst scholars towards the implementation of this resolution and its progress. Looking at the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war as a case study, this research answers the question: ‘How has the implementation of UNSCR 1325 impacted peacebuilding in Sri Lanka from the end of the civil war in 2009 until 2015?’ The four pillars initiated to track the implementation of resolution 1325, being participation, protection, prevention and relief and recovery, will be used to structure the analysis of the interventions, carried out by the implementors of the resolution in Sri Lanka, in the years following the war. The aim of this research is to demonstrate that the UN Security Council, the Sri Lankan government and Sri Lankan based civil society organisations fell short in their implementation of UNSCR 1325. Regarding the pillar of participation, underrepresentation of women at decision-making levels had been persistent and efforts taken to challenge this issue have been in vain. Furthermore, this research will demonstrate that the pillars of protection and relief and recovery are highly dependent on the pillar of prevention due to the broad human security approach, which emphasizes the multidimensionality of security and therefore supports comprehensive and preventive responses to insecurities. It is proved, however, that the Sri Lankan government, police department and Sri Lankan based civil society organisations hardly applied such a comprehensive approach to deal with issues concerning the interconnected pillars. On the basis of research on primary sources, and supported by secondary sources, this thesis concludes that the efforts taken by the implementors of UNSCR 1325 were insufficient or too narrowly focused, which prevented from inclusive and sustainable peacebuilding in Sri Lanka after the civil war. The interventions by the UN Security Council and the Sri Lankan government, specifically, proved to be insufficient in implementing UNSCR 1325. Civil society organisations were more thorough in their implementation but were often restricted by lack of control at state level. This outcome recommends further research to the interpretation of UNSCR 1325 by the implementors in order to establish what caused the differing strategies to resolve issues in support of the resolution.