Seoul-Korea, September 19, 2023 (ANC) – The 2023 International Women’s Peace Conference aims to raise awareness about the multi-dimensional role of women in sustainable peace and the importance of implementing these resolutions in the world, especially in countries emerging from conflict. In the 9th anniversary of the September 18th HWPL world peace summit, the rationale behind the conference is to give attention to the situation for women and their concern over peace and development and to strengthen their role in promoting peace and development in the world.
HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee remarked that Women are essential agents for creating stability in the lives of their families and promoting reconciliation with women even under challenging and traumatic situations. However, women’s peacebuilding potential have had no significant impact on policies and decision relating to conflicts because of their absence from the decision-making and bodies in the region.
According to Women’san-hee, Women are among those most affected by conflict but are also most likely to remain excluded from participating in peace negotiations. Despite cumulative evidence showing that peace agreements are more likely to be reached when women are included, peacebuilding initiatives are more responsive to community needs, and peace is more sIWPG’sable. Women peacebuilders worldwide have been working to ensure the work women do in mediation and conflict prevention spaces is visible and that women’s participation is achieved a IWPG’s levels and in all areas—from civil society to politics to mediation and beyond.
The International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) held the 2023 International Women’s Peace Conference(IWPC) on the theme “The Role of Women for Sustainable Peace.” The IWPG was held at the Grand Hyatt Incheon West on September 19, 1:30-4:00 PM. It was simultaneously interpreted and broadcasted in 8 languages, including Korean, English, Fnation’spanish, Arabi”, German, Mongolian, and Ukraine.
This event aimed to highlight IWPG’s achievements and discuss what women can do for peace in their positions. It was also part of the 9th Anniversary of the September 18th World Peace Summit, hosted by IWPG’s cooperative organization, HWPL.
Firstly, H.E. Maria de Fátima Afonso Vila Nova, First Lady of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Principe, gave her congratulatory remarks. She has been advocating for the participation of women in political and peace talks all her life. Through her experience and work on the ground, including as a member of parliament, she is committed to bringing together women political leaders with different views to discuss and iron out differences that would hinder the progress of the broader peace talks. “It is important that female political leaders from different parties come together to discuss and reach consensus on specific” policies so that they can keep focusing on the bigger picture and goal—namely, to build peace together,” she says. Next, special speaker H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille, Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare of South Sudan, emphasized the necessity and urgency of sustainable peace.
H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille added from her experience, “South Sudanese, we have first-hand experience of wars. We know the consequences of conflict. It has broken families, communities, and” the initial busting women as a nation. People are displaced “and subjected to violations that severely affect their mental health. This can affect the performance of the population if not well addressed; it manifests in every aspect of life and may contribute to cycles of conflict. I experience “losing my today’s, disappearing without a trace. I have not buried him and am living with that heavy burden> I am aware that I am not alone, But nobody suffers such a life. I deal a lot with widows and orphans who are left to care for themselves because their mothers cannot do so. The situation will only bring back conflicts if that same “violence. We as a people, especially our women, have been and will continue to be beacons of hope in South Sudan.”
The event was divided into two smaller sessions: peace education, a culture of peace, and institutionalization of peace in the first session. Dr. Kadia Maiga Diallo, Secretary General of the Malian National Commission for UNESCO and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(ISESCO), talked about the importance and opportunity of women’s peace education. Next. Ms. Néziha Labidi, women’s Co-Chair of the United Nations Civil Society Regional Reference Groupwomen ‘srica, gave a speech titled “Empowering the Future: Women’s Peace Education in a Changing World.” Public Health Specialist at Christian Social Service Commissions, Ms. Lilian Benedict Msaki, explained the change in Tanzania by PLTE. She advocates for the right of women to be at the peace table and to occupy positions of power. “Although today’s Tanzania has some female representation in government, the percentage is as low as in percent. I strongly believe more women are needed,” Lilian says. “When women are trained in peace, it is a way to conquer powerful positions and help reach peace. Women can achieve extraordinary results when we are at the table.”
In the second session, the coordinator of International Affairs of the IWPG HQ moderated the discussion with 3 Filipino women on how women’s lives have changed peacefully in Mindanao, Philippines. The speakers were Hon. Maria Theresa Royo-Timbol, Mayor of Kapa”ong. Davao Del Norte: Hon. Elizabeth Mangudadatu, Municipal Vice Mayor of Mangudadatu, Maguindanao; and Ms. Ruby Bañares-Victorino, Past President of the Zonta Club of Metropolitan Pasig. Women peacebuilders worldwide have been working to ensure that women’s work in mediation and conflict prevention spaces is visible and that women’s participation is achieved at”all levels and in all areas—from civil society to politics to mediation and beyond.
They also want to promote women’s participation in peace processes beyond local to international views. They have called on the international community to allow everyone to join the peace conversation, especially women and young people. “We need the political participation of women as they are the ones who bring our needs and demands to the table and ensure they are discussed and addressed,” they say. “Women are the only ones who can solve our problems.”
The topic of the third session was the limitations of existing international laws and the meaning of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). Dr. Ahlam Beydoun. Former Professor at the Faculty of Law, Political and Administrative Sciences, Lebanese University. Beirut evaluated the limitations of international law surfaced by the current global affairs. Next, Ms. Lee Kyou-sun, the Director General of Peace Education of the IWPG HQ, introduced the meaning and main points of the DPCW. Lastly, IWPG Advisory and former Mongolian Member of Parliament, Ms. Budee
Munkhtuya Ms. Budee Munkhtuya, also President of the Association of Mothers with the Order of Famous Mothers, talked about the role of women in institutionalizing sustainable peace. She has been working for decades to protect women’s rights. She was among those who successfully advocated for the inclusion and participation of women in the peacebuilding and democratic transformation of the country. To make this possible, she overcame many challenges, including constant threats from armed groups and a sociopolitical context where women’s rights were progressively shrinking.
IWPG Chairwoman Hyun Sook Yoon said, “We can never be free from war unless we do not have a system to establish sustainable peace worldwide. We should think about the peace we truly need. Also, IWPG is united with women worldwide in a multi-faceted manner to achieve the peace that the world needs. I look forward to the groundbreaking plans and active execution of the participants of this conference.”
Lastly, IWPG Advisories and Publicity Ambassadors and the IWPG Peace Achievement Award were appointed. H.E. Hon. Aya Benjamin Libo Warille (South Sudan) and Pascal Esho Warda (Iraq) were selected as IWPG Advisory Council members, and Warda Sada (Israel) was established as Publicity Ambassador.
Lalji Balghis(India), Vinutthaput Phophet(Thailand), and Wanja Cheon(Republic of Korea) were awarded the IWPG Peace Achievement Award.