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DAKAR, Senegal, February 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women) officially launched the Database on "Gender, Women, Peace and Security in West Africa" on Thursday 13 February, in Abidjan.

The ceremony which was sponsored by His Excellency Mr. Alassane Dramane Ouattara,! President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was attended by the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit, and for Côte d'Ivoire, Ms. Aïchatou Mindaoudou, as well as the programme coordinator of UN Women- Côte d'Ivoire, Ms. Madeleine Oka-Balina.

The Ministries of Women Affairs from Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia also took part in the event, as well as other participants from the 16 West African countries, representing Ministers of Gender and Women Affairs and members of the Working Group on Women Peace and Security in West Africa (WGWPS-WA).

The database aims at informing on the role of women and girls in peace and stability processes in the region. It has been developed by UNOWA and UN Women, in collaboration with the ECOWAS Gender Development Center (EGDC), the Mano River Union (MRU) and other partners members of the Working Group on Women, Peace and Security in West Africa. From 10 to 12 February, UNOWA and UN Women officers trained 20 members of the group in managing the database within West Africa.

“Our presence here today demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to constantly support the involvement of women and girls in the peace processes in the sub-region and beyond”, Mr. Djinnit stated.

“It's important that all actors continue to work in coordination to support the effective implementation of human rights of women and girls, to consolidate peace in West Africa”, reminded, Ms. Oka-Balina, on behalf of Ms. Josephine Odera, UN Women Regional Director.

Around 150 persons have attended the event. Participants commended the efforts of the Women to ensure the effective implementation of the Regional Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000! ) and 1820 (2008), adopted in Dakar, in September 2010.