International Conference on Beijing+25 – 26 November 2019 – Skopje, North Macedonia Download

Events, Featured events, International Engagements

Press release


(Skopje, 26 November 2019) – On the eve of the 25th anniversary of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the RWLSEE and UN Women is holding International Conference“Beijing+25: Regional Review for the Western Balkans”. This conference is part of the Swedish Government supported longer-term initiative aiming to support peace-building efforts in Kosovo and the entire region of Western Balkans.

Calls for a meaningful support for women’s empowerment and gender equality in post conflict regions such as Western Balkans are necessary because women have shown to be peace drivers, very much needed in our region with fragile peace, unconsolidated democracy and new dangerous security challenges that threaten to harm the peace achievements of the past twenty years. 

Edita Tahiri, the chair of RWLSEE, stated that Balkan region is forgotten and over shadowed as a region that has gone through tragedies and wars, so the women’s role in overcoming challenges working for peace building and reconciliation are not being recognized sufficiently. Time is for power to women in the Balkans and beyond, as only gender equality can bring a safe future, development and gender inclusive and a just society. 

Alia El Yassir, director of UN Women for Europe and Central Asia, stated that UN Women highly values the crucial role of women for peace, stability and prosperity and that they will remain to strengthen support for women of post conflict regions because they have gone through a much more complex challenge. She also assured that UN Women will continue partnership with Regional Women’s Lobby (RWLSEE) and appraised its outstanding work while saying “ we are proud with the dedicated work of RWLSEE toward women, peace and security agenda, and we expect that Beijing +25 and UNSCR 1325 +20 will bring ground breaking changes for achieving gender equality “.

Participants in the Conference are discussing achievements and challenges in women’s empowerment and gender equality in the Western Balkans during the last 25 years since the adoption of Beijing Platform, with the focus on decision-making, peace-building, security and justice, where women face specific challenges given the specific post-conflict context of the region. The findings coming out of this conference will generate recommendations for closing the gap in gender equality in the region of Western Balkans and provide a regional input for the Beijing+25 and UNSCR1325+20 considerations, aligned with agendas of Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and UN Women Generation Equality.

Year 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) and also the 5-year milestone towards achieving the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Women consider that these anniversaries present a critical momentum to accelerate the implementation of their common goals for women’s meaningful empowerment and gender equality and its contribution towards building a peaceful, democratic, stable, prosperous, European and Euro-Atlantic future of the region. Women are also stressing out an urgent need for assessing current challenges that affect the implementation of these important international platforms in Western Balkan’s region, which is yet facing with unfinished peace, fragile democracy, fragile security, corruption, and unemployment.

This international conference brought together women leaders in politics and civil society, parliaments, governments, local governments, national and international experts on gender equality and women’s empowerment, RWL SEE Steering Committee, all members from the RWLSEE focus countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and international representatives from the UN Women, Embassy of Sweden in Kosovo, other UN Agencies and international organizations.

Regional Women’s Lobby in Southeast Europe (RWLSEE) continuously advocates for enhanced collaboration among women from the Western Balkans and increased empowerment of women in democratic governance and peace-building processes.

For further information, please contact Diana Cekaj-Berisha, RWLSEE Coordinator at email: 

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