Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Redzepi.
Dear Mrs. Ziadeh and Mrs. Richardson,
Dear Ambassadorial Excellences present here today,
Distinguished representatives of civil society in Kosovo and representatives of the security institutions,
Welcome to this Global Open Day, organized under the umbrella of the United Nations which aims to serve as an important platform for us to review the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. But most of all, it is an additional platform to empower the voice of girls and women.
I welcome the fact that Kosovo is part of the world map of the Global Open Days which focuses on the Agenda for Women, Peace and Security.
That we take this agenda seriously and that we believe in its importance to transform our societies and peace and security processes is evidenced by the fact that Kosovo this year, for the first time ever, will organize a high-level international Forum on Women, Peace and Security. This was one of our main commitments in the framework of the Summit for Democracy organized by President Biden, and I am extremely happy that on October 22 and 23 together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, as well as in cooperation with many other partners, among whom many of you who are present here today, will make Kosovo part of the global discussions on the importance of this agenda, as well as on the challenges and opportunities for its successful implementation.
Almost 22 years since the adoption of Resolution 1325, which was then followed by 9 other resolutions known to all as the Agenda for Women, Peace and Security, we are clear that we still have a lot of work to do. But, above all, we have so many new challenges and worrying dynamics which make the discussion on the implementation of this agenda extremely important.
This meeting and this discussion today are taking place at a time when peace, freedom and security are once again under attack in the heart of Europe and when Ukrainian girls and women are the targets of violence, torture and inhuman treatment.
Therefore, while we are witnessing these sufferings which remind us of the pain, and touch upon our fresh war wounds, it is more than natural that as Kosovo we are extremely committed to the implementation of this agenda inside and outside our borders.
The initial premise of any discussion should be that the participation of women and girls in peace and security processes is our best guarantee for lasting and long-term peace and security.
If security is a precondition for maintaining world peace, then it is dialogue, communication and coordination that directly contribute to maintaining and maintaining peace. And in this regard, it is girls and women who have always helped, can help and will continue to help us achieve this goal together.
Kosovo has adopted Resolution 1325 and we believe in its transformative power. However, while we talk today about the challenges associated with its implementation, it is inevitable not to address the part of the cultural and social context in our country and beyond. It is impossible to neglect the direct influence of patriarchal thought in terms of implementing and fulfilling the commitments and goals that are part of this agenda.
But it is equally important to understand that the empowerment of girls and women can never be treated as an isolated agenda. Current institutions clearly understand the importance of integrating the empowerment of women and girls as a concept, as a policy and as a practice in every sector and in every strategy without distinction. We have a new momentum and a new window of opportunity to create the right preconditions for the implementation of this agenda.
The integration of women and girls into peace and security processes is undoubtedly a daily goal, but we can only achieve this when we guarantee equality in all other areas as well. When we think of the participation of girls and women in the security sector, we certainly understand that this is not just about creating the preconditions for placing women in certain positions. On the contrary, it is about the transformation of the leadership, management and administrative structures themselves, as well as the transformation of the overall mentality. We understand that this can be a long and difficult journey, but the will exists and the vision also.
We need more women in leadership structures. This is not just a wish – it is based on clear facts and evidence that women can do it, but more importantly, because our society wants it, needs it and is willing to guarantee it.
The clear proof of this is the extraordinary presence and success of our girls and women in the Kosovo Security Force and the Kosovo Police. Therefore, we are working together with our military and our police to help women and girls get where they deserve to be.
Therefore, even the promotion of Mrs. Irfete Spahiu as the first major general in the history of Kosovo, at the same time the inspector general of the KSF has been one of the proudest moments of my work as President. By building such models, as Major General Irfete Spahiu and many girls and women in our army and police have built with her work and merit, they are setting an excellent example for other young girls in Kosovo, about what a journey must follow.
Therefore, I strongly believe in the fact that no peace process can succeed when half of society is left behind. By making our direct contribution to both the security sector and other sectors, we have a chance to make our country and the world a better place and a safer place for all. Because, as daily studies and examples around the world show, when girls and women are present and their voice is heard in decision-making – we collectively perform better.
But above all, I am convinced that girls and women have the strength, knowledge, power and capacity to achieve our common goals. After all, when we increase women's participation in peace and security, we all together increase our chances of ensuring lasting peace in the world.
I want to conclude this speech by saying that the reforms we want to see in our society, whether in the security sector or other sectors, will not be successful if we focus only on short-term goals and actions. These reforms must be deeply rooted, must be structural, systematic and based on well-thought-out and long-term policies.
In this journey we are not just dealing with whether we have more women running an institution – this is obviously important, but we need to make sure that women leaders are also committed to empowering other women along the way; are committed to working with male colleagues in this regard, and we make sure that men also contribute to having this equality, and also together we commit to contributing to the presentation of new perspectives in terms of perceiving the roles of men and women in our society.
Seeing you who are present at this event, but also from my daily experience with extraordinary women in my cabinet, as well as in all the institutions I work with, and witnessing the many successes of women and girls throughout the world, I have full confidence that we can do things much better, much better than we have done so far, and above all do them together.
Today's discussions will undoubtedly be followed by discussions at the Forum that we will organize in October and I look forward to meeting you all within this event and see how we can together factorize Kosovo towards the implementation of the Agenda for Women, Peace and Security, and above all how can we together ensure more equality for all our citizens.