Banner

Hon. Senida Mesi, Deputy Prime Minister of Albania (2017-19), Member of Parliament representing Shkodër (2017- 2021).Hon. Senida Mesi, Deputy Prime Minister of Albania (2017-19), Member of Parliament representing Shkodër (2017- 2021)H.E. Senida Mesi, deputy prime minister of Albania (2017-2019) and a member of Parliament representing the city of Shkodër (2017-2021), was the moderator for the first session.

A key organizer of the event and the mind behind the conference theme, “No Peace Without Women,” Ms. Mesi opened the session with the following words: “As a development economist, I always thought that we need a culture of peace and to solve conflicts in order to really invest in health and education and to have sustainable growth.” However, it is not always seen that way, she said.


  

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Founder and Executive Director, Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, Founder and Executive Director, Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, the founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), described her experience of supporting education for Afghan children, especially girls.

In response to frequently asked questions about her passion for learning, she replied that she believes health, prosperity and peace depend on good schooling. Having 31 years of experience in providing education, Dr. Yacoobi has seen wonderful leaders emerge from her schools. However, she currently is faced with oppression and must return to almost zero.

Yet, she has the drive to resume her work in a new form. AIL owns a TV station in Afghanistan, through which it is now broadcasting a curriculum to Afghan children at home or in community centers. While this does not replace school, at least it serves as a temporary solution.

Being close to the people, understanding their culture and seeing their needs are important for the success of any program, Dr. Yacoobi emphasized. Anything coming from abroad will likely fail, she said. In her view, differences within Afghanistan must be overcome in order to achieve unity, which is critical for the country to move forward.

In conclusion, Dr. Yacoobi praised Afghan women, who have persevered regardless of their extreme obstacles while supporting each other.


 Dr Ingeborg Breines, former Director, UNESCO Culture of Peace Program, Senior Advisor to the Permanent Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Prize, NorwayDr Ingeborg Breines, former Director, UNESCO Culture of Peace Program, Senior Advisor to the Permanent Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Prize, NorwayDr. Ingeborg Breines from Norway, former director of the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program and a senior advisor to the Permanent Secretariat of the Nobel Peace Prize, thanked the conference hosts for providing a platform to discuss peaceful, just and durable solutions to conflicts. She considers this vital in times of so much polarization.

Referring to courageous women over the centuries who have used their creativity and caring capacity to help build peaceful, non-violent societies, she highlighted the first female Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Bertha von Suttner. Dr. Breines quoted von Suttner’s renowned anti-war novel Lay Down Your Arms: “We need to ‘develop an active disgust for war. Each time weapons and hatred are allowed to take the upper hand, both humanity and humanism lose.”

Dr. Breines also cited former U.S. first lady Eleanor Roosevelt: “Nobody won the last war; nobody will win the next” and “War should end in the dustbin of history.” She recalled the astronomic military budget (exceeding $2 trillion annually), which corresponds to more than 600 regular yearly UN budgets. This should be used to cover educational and other activities to enable the UN system to do its work. Eight days of the world’s military budget would provide 12 years of free, quality education to all children worldwide, she said.

Learning to live peacefully together is the most important pedagogical and political challenge for us all, Dr. Breines concluded.


 

Mr. Marcus Lenzen, Senior Advisor & Deputy Chief, Peacebuilding Fund UN (United Nations) Mr. Marcus Lenzen, Senior Advisor & Deputy Chief, Peacebuilding Fund UN (United Nations)The presentation of Marcus Lenzen, senior advisor and deputy chief of the United Nations' Peacebuilding Fund (2017- ), dealt with the funding of UN peacekeeping activities. He expressed explicitly the need for greater funding for initiatives that include women. He underscored previously mentioned statements supporting women’s inclusion in peace processes and reaffirmed that peace works better and lasts longer when women are meaningfully involved. Therefore, financial support must be used meaningfully, he stated. Financial support for the participation of women in the peace process must be prioritized; unfortunately, this aspect remains underfunded in most cases, he said.

Peacebuilding is a long process, Mr. Lenzen said, in which the three phases of conflict must be considered: before, during and after. Empowering women is just as important as encouraging men to change their attitudes, he said. To address this issue, he and his team are working to help women become economically empowered. He referred to his support for women entrepreneurs' projects in marginalized regions of Colombia.


  

 

Hon. Therese Comodini Cachia, Member of the European Parliament (2014-2017), Human Rights Lawyer. Hon. Therese Comodini Cachia, Member of the European Parliament (2014-2017), Human Rights Lawyer. Therese Comodini Cachia, a member of the European Parliament (2014-2017) and a human rights lawyer, recalled that some years earlier she had faced a career choice between journalism and politics. She chose journalism and focused on human rights activism. She stressed the importance of politics taking a holistic view of the world and of adopting an integrated approach to solving problems together, rather than each nation seeking solutions individually.

In her view, when the international community at the UN seeks the commitment of politicians to work toward peace, conflict prevention and human security, it does so in the belief that the population of every territory is part of the global family. Assuming that all people—irrespective of race, ethnicity, sex, or religion—are part of one population, she argued that when one, as part of a national collective, makes the wrong decision, it affects everyone as part of the global collective.

Two important watchdogs of human rights – journalism and activism – are being endangered rather than being enabled, Ms. Comodini said. Absolute freedom of journalism is a precondition for a free and just world, which should include gender equality, she concluded.


Click here for session 2 "How Women Negotiate Differently"

Follow on Facebook Follow on X (Twitter) Follow on Vimeo Follow on Youtube Follow on Instagram Follow via Flickr Follow via RSS Follow on Linkedin
Save
Cookies user preferences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Analytics
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics
Accept
Decline