SRSG Tanin Calls for Concerted Action and Reform to Ensure Active Participation of Women in Peace and Conflict Resolution
15 March 2017, Pristina – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, Zahir Tanin, called for concerted action to ensure the active participation of women in peace and conflict resolution, during the fifth United Nations Global Open Day on Women, Peace and Security in Kosovo.
“Noble intentions and good will cannot alone ensure the active participation of women in peace and conflict resolution. Political determination, concerted action and institutional and cultural reforms are needed”, SRSG Tanin said during his opening address to the more than one hundred gathered dignitaries, journalists and political and civil society leaders.
Since arriving in Kosovo in 2015, SRSG Tanin said he had witnessed that regardless of ethnicity, language or faith, women reached out to and understood one another. He stated that: “The voice of women is essential in shaping a future vision, free from the divisive narratives that are too readily manipulated to keep post-conflict societies trapped in yesterday’s reality… The woman’s perspective is essential if there is to be meaningful reconciliation at the societal level, to shape a shared and peaceful future.”
The main objective of UN Global Open Days is to provide a platform for women and girls to raise their concerns to UN officials about matters that affect their lives and prevent them from participating as equal members in society.
Kosovo women leaders from across the spectrum of society, including members of the government and assembly, civil society activists and journalists, spoke at the event during three panels that took place on: advocacy and policy-making; empowering women in reconciliatory processes; and using the media and information as a tool for peace and reconciliation. An art exhibition entitled ‘Women in Art’, featuring paintings by local artists with a strong female focus, was also on display at the event.
The event’s keynote address was given by former President Atifete Jahjaga, who in 2010 became Kosovo’s first female president. She told the audience that women in the region were “silent heroes in the fight for freedom”. Furthermore, President Jahjaga highlighted that she was still committed to pursuing the process of recognizing the legal status of conflict-based sexual violence victims that began during the formation of the National Council for the Survivors of Sexual Violence in Conflict that she initiated in 2015.
In 2010, to mark the tenth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security, United Nations Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support initiated Global Days to strengthen their engagement with women and civil society in peacekeeping operations.
The Global Days provide opportunities for women leaders and women organizations to meet with senior United Nations leadership on issues pertinent to the implementation of the resolution.