A diplomatic reception was held on November 3rd, 2022, at the Romanian Diplomatic Institute to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. Numerous representatives of embassies, international and national organizations, and the Romanian government representatives emphasized the need to empower women’s participation in peace negotiations and peacekeeping to prevent conflict and achieve sustainable peace. The event supported through Active Citizens Fund Romania, funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014 -2021 and co-funded by Action Aid International kicked off an initiative to develop new strategies to update existing National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security in Ukraine, Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 calls on Member States to increase representation of women in decision-making positions relating to peace and security issues and notes the disproportionate impact of war on women and children. Given the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, which has adversely affected women, the Community Safety and Mediation Center Foundation, in partnership with the Romanian Women’s Lobby, proposes to build links with various peace organizations, government ministries, and donor institutions to develop strategies for updating existing National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security in Ukraine, Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The goal is to strengthen the commitment to female leadership in all levels of conflict prevention and resolution, peace-building and post-conflict rehabilitation in the entire region affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
As observed by numerous speakers at the November 3rd diplomatic reception, women’s experiences of war and peace are unique and differ from men. Liliana Popescu, Director General of the Romanian Diplomatic Institute, underlined the importance of women’s participation in peace negotiations and in decision-making processes with respect to security issues. H.E. Barry Siri Beate, Ambassador in the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Romania, sees a global democratic backsliding with women’s rights and gender equality, while women and girls are being disproportionately affected by the war in Ukraine. H.E. Annick Goulet, Ambassador in the Embassy of Canada in Romania, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova, praised the integration of women in the police and army in Ukraine, which enabled better responses to rape and other crimes against women during the war in Ukraine. H.E. Ambassador of Finland in Romania, Marjut Akola (recorded message) mentioned as a good practice and model the establishment in Finland under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs umbrella of a Network of Women Mediators formed by different specialists which is part of Women Nordic Mediators Network. Kim Best, Political Secretary of the British Embassy in Romania, remarked that if women are not at the peace negotiating table, their interests will be negotiated away.
Ionuț Sibian, Executive Director of Civil Society Development Foundation, emphasized that more resources from the national budget should go into the National Action Plans. Jara Henar, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor Ukraine Response from ActionAid, conveyed the message that bringing a feminist approach to the table is a must not only for donors on the ground, but for governments as well. The focus on data collection on real budgets targeting women needs and interests during the crisis times was found in Lara Tassan Zanin’s message, Head of European Investment Bank Group Office in Romania.
European and national institutions underlined the importance of adapting existing National Action Plans for Women Peace and Security and bringing more women to the table of discussions around impact of wars on women and girls lives through the direct or recorded messages of H.E. Ramona Chiriac, Head of the Representation in Romania of European Commission’s Representation in Romania, Lt.col. Manuela Bercea, Ministry of National Defense, Head of the Gender Issues Management Office in Ministry of Defense, Daniela Gîtman, State Secretary (written message) and H.E. Sorin Tănăsescu, UN Directorate, from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Mădălina Turza, Strategic Coordinator of Humanitarian Assistance for Ukraine (recorded message). In the full room with guests at Diplomat National Institute - among participants were present also young women students to Military Academy in Bucharest.
Women civil society organizations from entire Europe were vocal to request hearing and really listening to women voices - message brought by Dina Vardaramatou, Secretary General of European Women’s Lobby (EWL). EWL is dedicated to continuing to offer trough the network of more than 2500 European women NGOs - resources and platforms to women’s organizations in Ukraine and Moldova and support them to take part in setting the agenda to shape a peaceful, inclusive and feminist Europe. Kai Brand-Jacobsen, President of the Romanian Peace Institute, noted that armed conflicts have shown the failure of military approaches and the war in Ukraine underscores the negative effect of decisions made by men. He advocates putting women at the forefront of decision-making power on war and peace and liberating men from “the intoxication of war”. Malgorzata Tarasiewicz, Director of East West Women Network Poland (recorded message), Angela Ciocîrlan, President of Făclia Association from Republic of Moldova and Tatiana Kolot, Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender - A.L.E.G volunteer and empowerment through self-defense trainer from Ukraine, underlined that women affected by crisis and war are powerful and resourceful and should be treated with respect and made equal partners in participation to preventing and solving conflicts. Concrete examples of women civil society organizations support to women affected by gender-based violence in Ukraine were brought by Catalina Mitel, Communication officer to Helena Helpline program of Community Safety and Mediation Center established in Iasi near the border with Ukraine and Republic of Moldova.
Finally, Laura Albu, President of the Romanian Women’s Lobby and Executive President of Community Safety and Mediation Center, read a declaration which calls for governments to fully fund National Action Plans for Women Pace and Security for Romania, Moldova and the Ukraine and to ensure that women are protected from gender-based violence at all times, including during war.
The event was organized within the project ‘GLORIA - feminism and strategic approach of gender equality’.
The project is implemented by Community Safety and Mediation Center Foundation in partnership with the Romanian Women’s Lobby Association, Foreningen Hedda; Network of East West Women; Bulgarian Platform of European Women’s Lobby; MagyarNöi Erdekérvényesitö Szövetség/Hungarian Women’s Lobby and benefits from a 249,943 euros grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, program funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014 -2021. The project aims to support 21 member NGOs in the Romanian Women’s Lobby (ROWL) through organizational development, strengthening the role of monitoring and advocacy on women’s rights, gender equality, and combating gender-based violence in order to achieve a strategic approach, strengthen financial resources and increase the capacity to raise public awareness of the problems faced by women beneficiaries of NGO services.
The projects and services of Community Safety and Mediation Center Foundation are based on the development and promotion of public policies and models of community development, cooperation and development of good practices, as well as campaigns or legislative initiatives that can contribute to a safer life for our communities. CMSC has coordinated over 30 regional projects since 2000 and continues its activities constantly focused on introducing new and better standards in community development and victim support. Introduction of European and international Community safety models, adapted to the needs and realities of the underdeveloped region in which it develops its programs (both in rural and urban areas, in 9 counties and almost 20 communities - in the NE part of Romania) constituted the highest priority since its establishment.
About the Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.
Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.
For more information about the project, please visit: https://www.cmsc.ro/projects-programs/gloria-feminism-and-strategic-approach-of-gender-equality
President Romanian Women’s Lobby Association/Executive President Community Safety and Mediation Center