On Friday, 17 February 2023 at the 2023 Munich Security Conference, Leymah Gbowee was asked to provide the first comment from the audience after panel discussion entitled Against Lawlessness: Ensuring Accountability.
Leymah Gbowee: There are three cardinal sins in the fight for accountability
The panel was moderated by David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee. Panelists included Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia; Karim Khan, Prosecutor, ICC; Lindsay O. Graham, US Senator; and Nadia Murad, Founder and President, Nadia’s Initiative. Nobel Peace Laureate 2018.
Dr. Gbowee’s response and reflections:
“I came with two cardinal sins, but I’ll add a third one.
“There are two cardinal sins in the fight for accountability, justice and to end lawlessness.
“The first one is during peace processes how we suspend the entire conversation about justice in exchange for the promise of peace.
“The second one is the exclusion of women. The exclusion of women who suffer the most, who are more than 55 – 60 percent of the population in different countries, who suffer the brunt of the war. In these peace processes, in transitional justice processes, what we see is that the exclusion of these groups of people at the beginning of every process is setting a new trend that they will be excluded and continue to suffer.
“The third cardinal sin is the double standard of justice in the international community. Senator Graham talked about prosecuting Russia and not giving Putin a day of impunity. But what about the U.S. and the ICC and all of the other issues that we need to talk about. So, until we can address from local to national and global we will continue to see accountability as a problem. Justice will evade us, and our world will continue to suffer in the way we are seeing in big and small ways.”
Click here to watch the full panel discussion.