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Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström hosts high-level meeting on women’s role in peace processes
Some of the world's top women peace mediators and representatives of civil society, foreign governments, the UN and the EU have gathered in Stockholm for two days to discuss women's participation in peace processes and mediation. The high-level meeting is part of the Government's initiative to establish a Swedish network of women mediators, which is an important focus area of Sweden's feminist foreign policy agenda.
'More Women, More Peace – the Stockholm High-Level Meeting on Inclusive Peace Processes', hosted by the Swedish Government and taking place on 15–16 December, aims to identify tangible measures for more inclusive and sustainable peace processes. Delegates include prominent mediators from peace processes in the Philippines, Yemen, Afghanistan, Uganda, Nepal, Burundi, Timor-Leste, Sudan and Liberia and other parts of world. Other delegates include representatives of civil society, foreign governments, the UN and the EU.
Women still excluded from peace processes
Fifteen years after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution on women, peace and security (UNSCR 1325), women are still largely excluded from formal peace processes and international mediation efforts. Some progress has been made in recent years. But between 1992 and 2011, less than ten per cent of the those sitting at the negotiating table – and only four per cent of those who signed the peace agreements – were women. Of the peace agreements signed between 1990 and 2014, only 18 per cent included references to women and gender equality.
Yet, research shows that women's participation in peace processes and mediation increases the likelihood of a peace agreement being concluded, adhered to and more sustainable.
In a world where almost half of all peace agreements collapse within the first five years, and where protracted conflicts including in Syria and Libya have led to the largest refugee flows since the Second World War, there is a great need to strengthen our efforts in peacebuilding operations and sustainable peace processes.
Launch of Swedish network of women mediators
As part of broader efforts to support sustainable peace processes, the Government has initiated a Swedish network of women mediators, an initiative led by the Folke Bernadotte Academy. The aim is to increase the number of Swedish women in international peace processes and strengthen Sweden's ability to contribute effectively to sustainable peacebuilding. The initiative will also link up with other international networks of women mediators and contribute to developing the Nordic network, launched in Oslo on 27 November.
The high-level meeting opened on Tuesday 15 December with a joint dinner. Roundtable discussions, lunch and a public seminar are scheduled for Wednesday 16 December.
Follow the discussion on social media at #MoreWomenMorePeace