Carolyn Handschin, Europe-Middle East coordinator of International Association of First Ladies for Peace
Dr. Julia Moon, the president of WFWP International
H.E. Nayla Moawad, a former first lady of Lebanon
Olga Algayerova, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Adriana Quiñones Giraldo, director of the UN Women’s Liaison Office in Geneva
H.E. Senida Mesi, a former deputy prime minister of Albania
Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, the founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning
Dr Ingeborg Breines, a former director of the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program
Marcus Lenzen, senior advisor and deputy chief of the UN Peacebuilding Fund
Therese Comodini Cachia, a former member of the European Parliament
Aleksandra Skonieczna, the president of WFWP-Poland
H.E. Elsie Christofia, the wife of the former president of Cyprus
Dr. Liri Berisha, a former first lady of Albania
Hon. Helina Kokkarinen, former chief of the European Union Advisory Mission to Ukraine
Dr. Thania Paffenholtz, the director of the Inclusive Peace Institute
Marcia De Abreu, secretary general of WFWP-Europe and president of WFWP-Spain
H.E. Emilija Redžepi, third deputy prime minister for minority issues and human rights, Kosovo
H.E. Nataša Mićić, a former president of Serbia
Hon. Emanuela Del Re, European Union special representative for Africa’s Sahel region
Srruthi Lehka from the WFWPI UN Office in Geneva
Mitty Tohma, the vice president of WFWP-Europe and the president of WFWP-United Kingdom
Anna Kalmatskaya, the vice president of WFWP-Ukraine

Click on the links for the session reports

Opening Session

Session 1 - Creating Conditions for Peace and Development

Session 2 - How Women negotiate differently

Session 3 - Women in Conflict Resolution/Transformation: Case Studies

Presentation of Ukraine Project

Europe and the Middle East—In response to International Day of Peace, a conference of women leaders said, “Peace starts with women.”

The webinar “No Peace Without Women: What Are Women Bringing to Peace Processes, Conflict Prevention and Human Security?” was held on September 15, 2022, to commemorate the United Nations’ International Day of Peace

The Europe and Middle East (EUME) branch of the International Association of First Ladies for Peace (IAFLP), one of the UPF associations, held the webinar jointly with the EUME branch of Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP), an organization that is affiliated with UPF, and in conjunction with the Rene Moawad Foundation with co-host H.E. Mme Nayla Moawad, former First Lady of Lebanon. Supporting organizations included UN Women, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, Geneva, and the Soroptimists.

With war currently at our doorstep, it was hoped that this meeting of eminent speakers from the UN, EU, public and private sectors and NGOs from various nations could produce concrete proposals to further the cause of peace. In order to minimize human suffering and prevent the circumstances that have justified conflict as the best solution, it is necessary to tap into local knowledge, re-think governance and global institutions, and enhance civil society/government partnerships. It was felt that women leaders, who are often mothers as well, might have something unique, effective, and convincing to bring to the table. Other former First Ladies included H.E. Elsie Christofia of Cyprus and H.E. Dr. Liri Berisha of Albania. The speakers also included H.E. Nataša Mićić, former President of Serbia, H.E. Olga Algayerova, Head of the UN Economic Commission for Europe and Mr. Marcus Lenzen, Deputy Chief of the UN Peacebuilding Fund.

Following the opening session, three consecutive sessions were held on “Creating Conditions for Peace and Development”, “How do Women Negotiate Differently?” and “Women in Conflict Resolution & Transformation: Case Studies”. The conference concluded with an appeal for support for WFWP Ukraine’s ongoing humanitarian aid distribution and evacuation assistance project.

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