Queen Rania Attends the Arab Chapter of Women Leaders Intercultural Forum

December 02, 2007

(Jordan Times, Linda Hindi - Amman) International women leaders have met in the capital with Arab peers to join forces under their common goal of amplifying women’s voices in resolving global crises.

The Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF) launched the WLIF chapter in the Arab region yesterday through their partnership with Her Majesty Queen Rania, a co-host of the event.

“As mothers and grandmothers, wives, daughters and sisters, we understand both the practical and the emotional cost of global insecurity. Those of us from this region know it better than we would like because we are living with it every single day,” Queen Rania said.

Among priorities discussed, the leaders want UN Security Council Resolution 1325 fully implemented to make sure their opinions are heard in the aftermath of last week’s US-hosted Annapolis peace meeting, enabling active involvement in the discussions for a peace agreement.

Adopted in 2000, Resolution 1325 specifically addresses the impact of war on women and women’s contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

It calls on parties to take action in the areas of decision making, gender perspectives, training in peacekeeping and the protection of women and girls.

“Annapolis is the only hope for peace in the region in the near term and women who represent voices from the ground are not engaged,” WLIF co-host Mary Robinson told The Jordan Times.

Robinson, a former Irish president and the founder and president of a WLIF joint initiative, “Realising Rights: The Ethical Globalisation Initiative”, explained that governments need to adopt the Security Council resolution which states women must be a part of peace negotiations because “women know what needs to be done, want to be agents for change and have a track record of working on these issues”.

On Annapolis, she told The Jordan Times: “The negotiators are in their silos and are talking about tired issues… we need the energy of practical solutions that women can bring to lift the discussions because otherwise the danger is that interest will be lost.”

Queen Rania noted that WLIF must bring more awareness to Resolution 1325, while highlighting the role women can play as “able negotiators for solutions”.

Women leaders who participated in last month’s International Women Leaders Global Security Summit in the US came up with a “call for action”, which the Queen signed yesterday.

“In a world where threats to peace are not contained by borders, military force must not be the only tool used to address insecurity,” the document reads.

It calls for addressing the “economics of insecurity”, and more effectively facing up to terrorism and climate change.

The two-day event, which ends today, was held in partnership with the UNIFEM Regional Office.

It attracted the participation of 25 women leaders from Jordan and the Arab world for consultation on the issue of security and the role WLIF can play to provide a collective voice to prioritise action for a more secure world.