Swedish Foreign Minister calls for women’s participation, proposes cooperation with CMI

Published on Wednesday, 4th of March 2015

CMI’s Executive Director Tuija Talvitie presented our work to Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström calls for concrete action together with CMI to involve more women in peace processes

“There are no excuses for why women are not at the peace tables”, said Minister Margot Wallström when visiting CMI on Wednesday 4 March. Among CMI’s international work she was particularly inspired by our comprehensive efforts in promoting gender and inclusion.

As strong advocate for women mediators, Minister Wallström said she didn’t want to hear someone explain yet again why women had not been involved when peace was made. She proposed concrete cooperation with CMI to ensure women’s future inclusion at all peace tables. “There is a political will from my side to move forward and work together on these gender issues,” she said.

Minister Wallström is internationally known for promoting a “feminist foreign policy”. She has said that feminist foreign policy seeks the same goals of peace and human development as any visionary foreign policy, but it acknowledges that we will not achieve it without adjusting existing policies to correct the particular discrimination and violence still inflicted on women.

Long-term work is crucial

During her visit, Minister Wallström also learned about CMI’s conflict resolution work around the world. Presenting our work, CM’s Executive Director Tuija Talvitie emphasised the importance we place on ensuring that our projects are there for the long-term.

Minister Wallström agreed and felt that trouble-shooters are especially needed when the war is over and the society needs to be rebuilt – in her terms “when the situation gets boring and the real work starts.” Her views echo the sentiments of CMI’s founder President Martti Ahtisaari, who throughout his career has highlighted the critical work that comes after peace agreements are made.

Minister Wallström also met with CMI’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, President Martti Ahtisaari.

Minister Wallström visited CMI at her own request during the Swedish state visit to Finland on 3-5 March 2015. She also met with CMI’s Chairman of the Board President Ahtisaari. She knew about some of CMI’s work already beforehand, having participated in our high-level seminar on gender and inclusion before being appointed as Foreign Minister.

Read more about our work to ensure women are included in peace processes here.