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On March 29, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the  Brazilian government announced the extension of the validity of its National Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security. The announcement was made by Brazilian minister of Defense Fernando Azevedo e Silva during the Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference. On the occasion, Lieutenant Commander Marcia Andrade Braga, a Brazilian Naval Officer who currently serves as Military Gender Advisor at the headquarters of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), received the United Nations Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the opening of the Conference.

The extension of the National Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security, which will be valid for four years starting in March 2019, takes place within the context of Brazil’s implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), which established the women, peace and security agenda with a view to ensure women’s full participation in peace processes, including peacekeeping operations. Launched in March 2017, the National Action Plan was outlined by the Interministerial Working Group in coordination with the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The group is formed by representatives from the ministries of Defense, of Justice and Public Security, of Family, Women and Human Rights, and has the support of civil society and UN Women. The extension of the plan’s validity represents the commitment of the Brazilian government to the continuity and deepening of the efforts to adopt the women, peace and security agenda, for example by increasing participation of Brazilian female personnel, like Lt Marcia Braga, in peacekeeping operations.

In a statement released by the United Nation, the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, said that “Marcia Andrade Braga is a stellar example of why we need more women in peacekeeping: peacekeeping works effectively when women play meaningful roles and when women in the host communities are directly engaged”.

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