Convened by The Regional Women’s Lobby for
Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe (RWL SEE)
4th International Conference “On the Road to
Empowering Women in Politics, Peace Processes and EU Integration”
Saranda, Albania, September 18-19, 2014
More than 70 prominent women politicians and civil
society activists from the Western Balkans gathered in the city of
Saranda in Albania on 18-19 September 2014 for the International
Conference “On the Road to Empowering Women in Politics, Peace
Processes and EU Integration” to discuss and agree on a set of
recommendations on how to increase the role of women in the peace
and security process in the region and political decison-making.
Special emphasis was given to EU Integration and the implementation
of peace agreements in the region.
The conference was convened by the Regional
Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe
(RWL SEE) in partnership with UN Women and with the support of the
Swedish government and the Albanian government. Among the high-level
participants were Edita Tahiri, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo;
Dijana Vukomanovic, Vice President of Socialist Party of Serbia
(SPS); Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, Regional Director-Designate for
the UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the
Representative-Designate of UN Women in the Republic of Turkey;
Elisabeth Rehn, Former Minister of State of
Finland and Eglantina Gjermeni, Minister of Urban Development and
Tourism in Albania. Ulrike Lunacek, Vice-President of the European
Parliament participated with a video statement.
The RWL SEE in collaboration with UN Women and all
of the participants of the conference present the following
1. The European Union integration is a peace
project that has the power to transform the relations amongst the
countries and the people in the Western Balkans towards sustainable
peace and stability by speeding up the process of integration of the
countries into the EU while asking the countries to strenthen
European reforms and helping them to achieve the goals.
2. To consistently lobby for the process of EU
enlargement and explain to the society that enlargement is a chance
for the Western Balkans to catch with the Western part of Europe and
support the empowerment of women through the implementation of EU
policies and standards by each country. And, also to call for
increasing the role of women in the EU Integration process.
3. The participants reiterated their support
for the Brussels Dialogue while calling for full and effective
implementation of all agreements reached to date. The succesful
implementation implies an all-inclusive process that encapsulates
all levels of public institutions and society. Special emphasise
should be given to interethnic dialogue between Albanian and Serbs
in Kosovo. Because the Brussels Agreement is beneficial to all
citizens as well as contributing to regional peace and stability.
Brussels Dialogue can also serve as a model of peace-making to
resolve remaining differences in the region. Women’s role in this
dialogue should be increased in all on-going peace processes and in
the ones to come in the future. Focusing more on the future and less
on the past should act as a guiding light to take us forward towards
a peaceful and stable society.
4. RWL SEE presents a successful model of
regional cooperation and peace-building and should be included as a
partner in peace processes in the region as well as being a
role-model for other peace processes in other regions in the world.
5. Women remain under-represented in politics
and decision-making. We call for more representation of women in
governments, in the leaderships of political parties, in the
parliament and in local governments as mayors. We urge women to be
more proactive in seeking a role in leadership positions in
political parties and not to wait for the parties to offer them
leadership positions. Women’s caucuses in parliament and various
networks between women politicians and women civil society
organizations should be instrumental towards the goal of empowerment
6. Along with appropriate legislations to
protect and promote gender equality, there should be more
affirmative action policies at national and international level that
support and encourage more women to acquire political leadership
because women have the capacity to assume leadership positions for
the betternment of the society.
7. There should be more effective cooperation
between women in politics and civil society organizations and the
role of women in civil society should be acknowledged and respected.
Civil Society Organizations of women should be supported with more
resources and funding by states budgets.
8. Prepare young women leaders to serve as
agents of change through the establishment of a regional academy
where RWL SEE can play a crucial role.