Women Mediator’s Networks meeting in Oslo: Connecting for Inclusive Peace-Making

This past March 2018, the CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre Monika Froehler participated in the inaugural meeting of regional women mediators’ networks in Oslo, Norway. The gathering brought together members from the already established womens’ networks, including the Nordic Women Mediators Network (est. 2015), FemWise-Africa (est. 2017), and the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (est. 2017). They were joined by representatives from the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation and UN entities including the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the Department of Political Affairs and UN Women. In addition, representatives from the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as members of the Commonwealth Secretariat, civil society and academia, took part in the meeting to discuss the vital role of women in peace processes.

17 years have passed since the adaption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Since its adaption, the positive and decisive role played by women in peace processes has been widely acknowledged by the international community. The inclusion of women has been shown to be crucial, not only in matters of women’s rights, but also to improve operational effectiveness, build resilience, prevent and resolve conflicts, and to sustain peace. Despite this widespread knowledge supported by evidence and robust research, women remain drastically underrepresented in peace and security talks.

The gathering discussed ways to increase the representation of women in peace and security processes. The Nordic Women Mediators Network hosted the meeting along with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution (NOREF), and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, UN Under-Secretary-General Ana Maria Menendez, Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, and former UN Under-Secretarty-General Noeleen Heyzer, all spoke at the event.

All attendees agreed to continue working together to promote the inclusion of women in peace processes by seeking-out synergies and looking into the option of creating a global network of women mediators. As a first step towards the goal of creating an alliance of regional women mediator networks, an initial contact group was formed.

Summarizing the goals and aspirations of the group, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Søreide stated,
“It is my hope that this initiative will contribute to progress in this field, and that the next reports of the Secretary-General on women, peace and security will show an increase in women’s participation in mediation, and an increase in women’s influence in peace processes.”

Ban Ki-moon elected chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)

This week Former United Nations Secretary-General and Co-Chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, was elected chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), replacing former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The Boao Forum is often referred to as the “Davos” of Asia.

Founded in 2001, the Boao Forum for Asia is a non-profit organisation and non-governmental organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large. It is committed to promoting regional economic integration and bringing Asian countries closer to their development goals.

During the BFA Board of Directors meeting the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong was appointed BFA Secretary-General.

The theme of this year’s BFA conference, which runs from April 8 to 11 in Boao, a town in the southern island province of Hainan, is “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.” Find more information on their website: http://english.boaoforum.org 

At this year´s Boao Forum for Asia the Republic of Austria was represented by a delegation of more than 250 governmental officials and entrepreneurs led by the Federal President of the Republic of Autria, H.E. Alexander Van der Bellen and the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, H.E. Sebastian Kurz.

Photo: Giles Clarke

“Let´s join together to  find common solutions for common challenges and new solutions for new challenges” – said H.E. Alexander Van der Bellen during his speech at the Boao Forum for Asia earlier this week.

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens saddened by the death of Advisory Board Member H.E. Hans Kyrle

Vienna 16 January 2018 – The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens regrets to report the death of H.E. Dr. Hans Kyrle, a member of the Advisory Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. The two co-chairmen of the Centre, Mr. Ban Ki-moon and Dr. Heinz Fischer, the fellow Board members and the Centre´s staff are deeply saddened by the sudden death of Hans Kyrle, who was a strong supporter of the Centre for Global Citizens since its inception.

Johannes Kyrle had a long and distinguished career. He had served as Secretary-General of Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for many years and had been a member of the National Security Council, advising the Austrian Federal Government on principal matters of foreign, security and defense policy. From 1997 to 2002 he was the Chief of Protocol at the Austrian Foreign Ministry and the Austrian Ambassador to the Principality of Liechtenstein with residence in Vienna from 1991 to 2002.

He was an appreciated member of the Advisory Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. He will be missed and thoughts are with his family and friends in these challenging times.