Call for women to be included in Syria peace talks
The Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative have joined civil society groups in calling for the inclusion of women at the Geneva II peace talks on Syria. The international peace conference is scheduled to begin January 22 2014, but women continue to be excluded from participating in negotiations.
Women in Syria have been organizing and choosing representatives and are ready to participate in the peace talks. Their future and the future of their country is at stake and they have a right to have their voices heard.
Petition to Include Women at the Geneva II Peace Talks
The United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria
John F. Kerry
United States, Secretary of State
United Kingdom, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
France, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Germany, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
November 25, 2013
We are acutely aware of the need for peace talks on Syria to be convened as soon as possible. Geneva II is vital and important. To date, Syrian women have not been included in the process, even though they are active, prepared and representative.
There is clear wording in the Geneva communication “that women must be fully represented in all aspects of the transition.” Yet if the peace is dictated by the warring factions, the possibility of women’s rights being accurately reflected in the transition is compromised. Women’s participation starts in the process towards peace and must be maintained.
We commend the United Kingdom for their dedication to work with Mr. Brahimi to ensure the peace talks include a direct role for women’s groups and for their commitment to ensure women’s groups are provided with the support they need to engage in meaningful participation. We urge governments to act decisively and follow the example of the United Kingdom in demanding and ensuring women’s active participation in the process and a seat at the main table of negotiations.
We recall obligations under Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325, the UN General Assembly Resolution GA/65/283 (2011), and the Security Council Resolution 2044, which reaffirm the overarching importance of women’s participation in peace-building, peace keeping and international security processes.
The international community must uphold these obligations and make them work in practice.
As organizations and individuals who work towards women’s human rights and gender equality, we call on the leadership of the negotiating process to:
- Uphold SCR 1325 by ensuring the direct participation of Syrian women’s leadership as a third party in the Geneva II peace negotiations;
- Provide the appropriate support Syrian women’s groups need to participate effectively.
- Ensure that all delegations involved in the negotiations have senior women mediators and gender experts
- Provide an additional two seats for each delegation that is a direct party to the talks to be reserved for women.