NATO-EU cooperation on Women, Peace and Security in the Western Balkans

A high-level conference on Women, Peace and Security organised by NATO and the EU, in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, opened on 4 March 2019 in Sarajevo.

The two-day conference aims to highlight the importance of Women, Peace and Security, gathering partners, civil society representatives and academics to discuss the progress made in the Western Balkans since UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted in 2000, as well to enhance cooperation on tackling challenges ahead.

Participating in the first panel of the day, EEAS Principal Adviser on Gender Ambassador Mara Marinaki emphasised: “The spirit of the milestone Resolution 1325 is that you cannot achieve something as elusive as peace and security without bringing on board all of the relevant stakeholders in every society, and this means men and boys, and also women and girls.”

Ambassador Marinaki reminded that each of the G7 members has selected a country for partnership on Women, Peace and Security as part of an initiative launched by the Canadian Presidency, with the EU being the only one to select a European countryBosnia and Herzegovina. “We felt it has set an impressive track record on Women, Peace and Security until now, and we are proud that this cooperation is now starting,” Marinaki said.

Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Khaldoun Sinno stressed that gender equality is a core value of the EU, enshrined within the EU legal and political framework. “Unfortunately, in BiH today women are still underrepresented in both politics and public life. This is why the EU attaches great importance to engaging women in social and political dialogues in order to amplify their voices concerning the future of BiH,” Sinno said.

Representatives from each of the Western Balkans Six partners joined the conference. Following a series of panel discussions on the first day, the conference will continue on 5 March with round tables on the establishment of local consultative mechanisms and on sexual exploitation and abuse.