On 21-23 March, PRIO, together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NOREF Norwegian Center for Conflict Resolution, hosted a gathering with representatives from different regional networks of women mediators, including FemWise-Africa, the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and the Nordic Women Mediators. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss opportunities for cooperation and seeking synergies, and the possible establishment of an alliance of regional women mediator networks.
Representatives from the UN Secretary-General's High Level Advisory Board on Mediation and representatives of several UN entities were also present. Other multilateral actors represented at the meeting were the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN), as well as country delegates from South Africa and the UK, and representatives of civil society and academia.
The meeting was formally opened by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, followed by speeches held by UN Under-Secretary-General Ana Maria Menendez, Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee and former UN Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer. The public event also included a panel discussion with representatives from the regional networks. Watch the full public event here.
The Chair's Statement from the Oslo meeting has now been published. The Statement reflects the intention of the participants to continue consolidating their respective networks, while seeking synergies between the networks and taking a first step towards the possible establishment of an alliance of Regional Women Mediators Networks. The common goals of such an alliance would include supporting women's participation and influence in peace processes at all levels; working for gendered outcomes of peace processes; develop creative approaches to inclusion and mediation; and enable a joint space for regional networks to liaise with and support each other. Read the full Chair's Statement here.