South Caucasus Young Women Experts’ Network for Peace and Security (YWEPS) is a network of young professionals aimed at supporting peacebuilding processes in South Caucasus.
The network was established in 2013 during the project ‘‘Support strengthening the role of young women in building peace and stability in the South Caucasus’’ in partnership with the International Gender Policy Network and the Open Society Foundation.
The project aimed at improving peace, security and democratic development in the region of the South Caucasus via young women’s increased participation in peace and security policy analysis and planning. The project’s main focus was to support young women’s expert capacity building in peace and security and support their active and professional participation in the process of building peace in the region.
This was done through the application of the international instruments such as United Nation Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and many other international tools and mechanisms which were seen as an important opening for the post-conflict region of the South Caucasus to include women’s issues in the political and security agenda. This was envisioned to be an effective mechanism to advance more open and participatory processes as well as effective and stable security and peacebuilding activities in the post-conflict environment of these countries.
As part of the project, young female professionals in the field of international relations, diplomacy, security issues, human rights, gender issues were selected from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The project’s main goal was to empower and involve professional young women from the South Caucasus in gender sensitive regional security and peace building processes through UNSCRs on WPS.
It also entailed establishment of the network to contribute further to the regional peacebuilding, open up a discourse on peace and security and women's participation in regional developments.
Since the organisation was officially established in 2013 a number of seminars, training events and conferences, public lectures and discussions have been organised, including the Regional Peace Conference in September 2015 where women’s organisations and young experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine participated.
The organisation has been issuing quarterly electronic newsletter shared to international organisations working on similar issues. It has also drafted and published the youth Peace Plan in partnership with Georgian NGOs and with the financial support of Canadian Government.
The organisation worked on women's empowerment in local elections, also worked on political party capacity building for the 2016 parliamentary elections.