Letter to H.E. Ambassador Ivan Barbalic Download

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Dear Ambassador,

The Regional Women’s Lobby (RWL) of Southeast Europe expresses its strong congratulations to Bosnia and Herzegovina for being the first country in our region to pass in July of this year a National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. We strongly hope that full funds will be committed to the implementation of the NAP and call on the government to use the 1325 Open Debate in the Security Council as an opportunity to announce the concrete financial commitment planned for NAP activities.

RWL is composed of prominent women politicians, experts and advocates from the region of Southeast Europe who are committed to promoting women in decision-making. More information about our network is available on our website http://www.rwlsee.org. In June 2010 the RWL organized an open day on 1325 with the UN country team in Bosnia and representatives of the Ministry of Security to discuss the importance of 1325. In this meeting the importance of continuing political will for the NAP’s successful implementation was stressed.

RWL would like to encourage the permanent mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to consider including the following salient points in its address this month to the Security Council during the Open Debate on 1325.

  • Promote a threshold of 30% women’s participation as negotiators, mediators and delegates in global peace processes. As UNIFEM research has shown, during the peace processes in Southeast Europe, on average only four percent of the delegates at the negotiating table were women, no women were appointed chief mediators, and none of the six agreements under negotiation between 1994 and 2006 specifically spoke of redress for gender-based violence despite the pervasiveness of such crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Increase funding for women’s post-conflict needs – UNIFEM research has shown that global post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction projects have allocated less than 8% of funds towards women’s needs;
  • Increase the participation and role of women in the current Bosnian constitutional negotiations – the role of women in reconciliation and reconstruction is a significant untapped resource in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Support strong operational presence of UN Women in the Southeast Europe region as a follow-on of the strong work by UNIFEM and its civil society partners on Women, Peace and Security;
  • Promote the idea of a 1325 Regional Roadmap once Croatia and Serbia adopt their 1325 NAP’s this year.

The region of Southeast Europe has experienced all too well the effects of conflict and war and the burden of destruction and violence placed on women’s shoulders. Despite this, women in the region have remained committed to reaching across borders to connect with each other and serve as peace builders. The Regional Women’s Lobby is only one example of such a group of women in Southeast Europe.

RWL congratulates and welcomes the first NAP for 1325 in our region and is confidant that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina will announce a commitment of funds to its implementation.

Sincerely,

Regional Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in Southeast Europe

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