Nobel Peace Prize 2011: our work with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee

11 October, 2011

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at Wilton Park, human rights, Liberia, peace, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, Security Council, UN, violence against women, women


You will no doubt already know that three great individuals shared this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The award was in recognition of their ‘non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work’.

Wilton Park’s own work to engender open dialogue on the important and urgent matters in which these winners are involved has unsurprisingly crossed paths with two of this year’s recipients, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee.

In 2006 we welcomed Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to open our meeting on Peace and security: implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325. At the time, President Johnson Sirleaf spoke about the constraints and challenges of  implementation facing the international community, sharing her session with Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former President of the United Nations Security Council.

Leymah Gbowee spoke here in 2008 and again last year, both times on issues related to today’s award. On her first visit, the Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network Africa, opened our conference Women targeted or affected by armed conflict: what role for military peacekeepers?, talking on women affected by war and the challenge of protection in contemporary armed conflict.

Then in 2010, Ms Gbowee spoke on negotiating peace under fire at our conference Negotiating justice: the challenge of justice and accountability in peace negotiations.

Last November, as part of ‘International elimination of violence against women day’, we published a summary of our own and others’ activities and how these have contributed to ongoing developments concerning women’s rights and peacekeeping work. We offer our congratulations to all three winners, with particular thanks to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee for contributing to Wilton Park’s work to create a forum for continued open discussions. We shall be holding follow-up discussions on UNSCR 1325 in 2012.

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