Seoul- The League of Arab States (an entity for 22 Arab countries) and UN women commenced the first ministerial conference on “Women and Achieving Peace and Security in the Arab region.
The conference took place for two days at the Nile Ritz Carlton, Cairo, Egypt. Director of Women, Children and Family Department Ms. Inas Mekkawy spear headed the event which focused on facilitating the implementation of the regional strategy for the UN Security Council resolution 1325. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflict, peace negotiation, and stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
In attendance were several Arab ministers and influential representatives concerned with women’s affairs including the Secretary General of League of Arab States Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, President of the National Council for Women in Egypt Dr. Maya Morsy, and Jordanian Minister of Social Development Ms. Khawla Ibrahim Armouti. Various government officials, NGO representatives, and members of the media were also present.
Among the ministers from 22 Arab nations, Ms. Nam Hee Kim, Chairwoman of the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), attended as a keynote speaker from outside of the Arab region to address the hearts of the 3.6 billion women with motherly hearts to work for peace. Ms. Kim emphasized that women who are able to raise a synergy of peace should adopt leadership roles in the peace building process.
“Peace education is given for women to stand as equals, and for all women and children to keep peace. Nothing brings change faster than education. Gender equality should start with education, and the voices of women should be at the center of peace discussions. Research shows that when women participate, peace agreement, humanitarian support and economical growth has better results. We have a very strong power that leads mankind to peace. Let’s create peace and leave it to our children.” Ms. Kim noted during the conference.
Ms. Kim also held meetings with high-level officials who were present at the conference, such as Director General of Arab Women’s Organization, Amb. Mervat Tallawy, Director of Women, Family, and Childhood Department of LAS, Ms. Inas Mekkawy and Palestinian Minister of Women’s affairs, Dr. Haifa al-Agha discussed the role of women and women’s empowerment in the Arab region.
Ms. Kim mentioned after attending the conference and meetings, that she was inspired by the passion and warmth of the women of the Arab region and would be a bridge to interact with the international network established through the organization “The International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG)” to voice the development of peace and empowerment of the Arab women. This will be a foundation for the establishment of an IWPG Egypt branch which was proposed in the meetings.
IWPG is a non-governmental organization, working with women all across the world, regardless of their age, to come together to achieve peace.