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Networks of regional women mediators promote women’s role in all phases of peacemaking

Published on Friday, 3 July 2020

3-4 June 2020, the Nordic Women Mediators Network held a virtual conference on the theme “Beyond the pandemic – a critical time for the meaningful inclusion of women in mediation and peace processes”. Participants examined how to move forward with the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in light of the Covid-19 crisis.

Ambassador Ann Dismorr and Astrid Thors from the Nordic Women Mediators, Ambassador Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa from FemWise, the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia, Zahra’ Langhi, Co-founder and CEO of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, and Petra Tötterman Andorff, Secretary General of Kvinna till Kvinna at the opening session of the meeting.

Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) was adopted 20 years ago, yet women continue to be marginalised in peace processes. The global Covid-19 pandemic highlights the immediate need for the implementation of the WPS agenda.

The Covid-19 pandemic creates many challenges for peacebuilding and conflict resolution. There are many new opportunities too. This was highlighted at the opening session of the meeting, which had the following panellists: Ambassador Ann Dismorr and Astrid Thors from the Nordic Women Mediators, Ambassador Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa from FemWise, the EU Special Envoy for Afghanistan Roland Kobia, Zahra’ Langhi, Co-founder and CEO of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace, and Petra Tötterman Andorff, Secretary General of Kvinna till Kvinna.

Following the opening session there was a high-level ministerial meeting on the theme “Cooperation and Leadership for Women, Peace and Security in the Time of Covid-19” involving the Foreign Ministers from Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Panelists underlined the need to leverage opportunities for women’s inclusion and to enhance cooperation on the implementation of the WPS Agenda. Nordic countries emphasised their long-term commitment to work strategically to promote women’s inclusion.

During the meeting, Nordic Women Mediators Finland hosted two sessions on how to promote women’s inclusion in mediated peace processes in the midst of the pandemic. These were moderated by Finnish ambassadors Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen and Tarja Fernandez.

The discussions stressed that women have been quick to respond and adapt to the new situation created by the pandemic. The way women leaders have dealt with the crisis has been successful, and women’s good leadership skills have gained greater visibility by their management, especially in the health sector.

The Nordic Women Mediators (NWM) is a network of women from the five Nordic countries with professional expertise relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding and negotiations. CMI is an operational partner of the network.