Launched in Geneva in February 2024, the Women, Peace and Security Impact Group is co-chaired by Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Executive Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Other members of the group include: Ambassador Nathalie Chuard, Director, Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), Esther Dingemans, Executive Director, Global Survivors Fund (GSF), Samuel Emonet, Executive Director, Justice Rapid Response (JRR), Ambassador Claudia Fuentes Julio, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva, Phil Lynch, Director, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Catherine Marchi-Uhel, Head, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria (IIIM), Adriana Quiñones, Head of Human Rights and Development and Deputy Head, UN Women Geneva Office.


The Women Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda as a normative agenda is at the heart of current tensions in the multi-lateral system over the future of peace and security. On the one hand, it has enabled understanding of the crucial role gendered norms play in violent conflict as well as a country’s capacity to build positive peace and resilience. National Action Plans have provided a framework for cooperation within states, and between states, international organisations and civil society actors. The WPS agenda has given rise to informal and formal networks experts, mediators and civil society groups, and movements for peace. It has also enabled an expansion of the security agenda to include human rights and human security whilst strengthening the security sector capacity to advance gender equality.

On the other, it has been subject to unintentional and intentional backsliding. There has been insufficient investment in the prevention pillar to address the root causes of violent conflict with inequalities growing in recent decades: only 1 of the 14 indicators of the SDG 5 goal is ‘close to target’ and the time to reach equality regressed by a generation to 131 years during Covid-19.

There has been patchy progress in ensuring women’s full and meaningful participation in peace processes and governance, and there is increasing violence against women and backlash against women’s rights, which undermines the protection pillar.

With the rise of inter-state wars and increased militarisation and securitisation, security policy is at a pivot point and so is the WPS agenda. The New Agenda for Peace released on 20 July 2023 recognises the transformative potential of the WPS agenda for sustaining peace by shifting power and the same time, “generational gains in women’s rights hang in the balance”. Some countries are adopting feminist foreign policies to centralise women peace and security in their policy and decision-making, yet realising the agenda is proving challenging at a time when funds are being divested into military security priorities. Political leadership is essential at this moment in time to ensure that the WPS is strengthened and realised.


On 13 February 2024, the Impact Group was launched during an event on Prioritising Women, Peace and Security: Gender Persecution as a Crime against Humanity - A Geneva Security Debate, at the GCSP. Members of the Impact Group discussed the group's objectives and highlighted the importance and relevance a WPS Impact Group, and its relevance to their work in Geneva. This was followed by an intervention by Professor Valerie Oosterveld, Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who discussed the implications of the upcoming ICC ruling in the case of Prosecutor v Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mahomed Ag Mahmoud


  • Facilitate dialogue and strengthen international cooperation between member states, international organisations and civil society to improve coherence and ensure prioritisation of the WPS agenda within Geneva.
  • Support the implementation of the Global Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action and encourage more actors to become signatories and make commitments.
  • Collectively develop evidence-based recommendations and policy language that promote a human rights-based approach to conflict prevention, integrating the perspectives of diverse stakeholders.