“In failing to include women and girls in peacemaking and peacebuilding processes, we are not only failing women and girls. We are failing the world” (Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, October 2016). In spite of the proven contribution of women in peacebuilding processes, there is still significant underrepresentation.
The UK Government’s campaign on women in mediation, building on the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, will include the creation of a Commonwealth network of female mediators. It will be launched at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017 in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (The Commonwealth Summit) 2018. The campaign, which will complement existing networks, is underpinned by a programme of capacity building to develop a talent pipeline of qualified women across the Commonwealth working in government, business and civil society.
This off the record meeting, taking place during the 16 Days of Activism, will bring together up to 60 key stakeholders including senior level practitioners, policy makers and civil society actors from selected Commonwealth countries; key multilateral and regional bodies; experts from some non-Commonwealth countries; and key players from sister networks that support mediation, peacemaking and peacebuilding initiatives.
The meeting aims to:
- identify current obstacles to women participating in mediation processes and how to tackle them
- explore skills for successful mediation drawing on lessons learned
- foster a new network enabling further collaboration, particularly in the context of the Commonwealth
- identify tangible steps towards future initiatives