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DR. VJOSA OSMANI SADRIU
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
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Speech by President Osmani at a joint event by UN Women and Finland at COP28: “What’s your peace? Women leading the fight against climate change

Dear Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland, Ms. Tavio,

Dear Executive Director of UN Women, Ms. Bahous,

Dear participants,

I am honored to address you today following this very lively and inspiring discussion centered on the powerful role of women in mitigating the effects of climate change. Let me start by saying that the role of women in bold and transformative climate action is not only important – it is existential.

Recognizing the large, and at times irreparable, consequences of climate change on our wellbeing, on our surroundings, and on our lives, is the first step towards tackling the climate crisis. However, intervention through climate action is the sole pathway towards mitigating its effects, and in building resilience. That is why, collective, strategic and inclusive decisions are imperative for ensuring a safe, prosperous and more equitable future for all.

Today, while the world is facing a myriad of crises, with armed conflicts, social unrests, violations of fundamental human rights and economic hardships, the climate crisis does not remain a crisis of the past. It is very much present, and it is affecting livelihoods across our planet.

For women, challenges are even greater.

Disproportionate climate funding is leaving the needs of women behind. It is of urgent necessity to start implementing financial projects that have specific gender indicators to measure the overall results. Thus, we need to have more women in the local level engaged in this regard, more environmental human rights defenders, women peacebuilders and women civil society organizations, who can jointly contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change in their communities.

Equally important is the role of women in central institutions. This includes ensuring the integration of Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) National Action Plans (NAPs) in climate policies. By incorporating WPS frameworks, policies can bridge the gap between gender equity and environmental sustainability, leading to more resilient and equitable communities. Moreover, data shows that countries scoring best in WPS indices are the ones that are the most peaceful, stable, but also are well-prepared to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Over the years, Kosovo has not only promoted the WPS Agenda, it has become a true champion of it. Back in 2021, as part of the Summit for Democracy led by President Biden, Kosovo committed to important objectives and targets for women empowerment and fostering gender equality. Two years later, I am delighted to say that Kosovo has put itself on the global map by hosting the International Forum on Women, Peace and Security. Soon, our country will be home to a permanent regional Center of Excellence, where the correlation of climate crisis and security for women stand as an integral part.

History has shown that women and girls are subject to discrimination, and unfortunately, the climate crisis has not spared them. Increased level of competition over natural resources, water and land, lack of accessible financial services, food insecurity and advanced technology has exacerbated the level of poverty within women and girls. In this time of climate crisis, their wellbeing and security gets worse in conflict zones where there is an increased number of sexual violence victims, early child marriages, human trafficking and violence against human rights defenders, thus, deepening the gender inequality, increasing the chances of destabilization and tensions.

As we find ourselves in a crossroad of gender inequality and climate change, bold and decisive action is an imperative.

Dear participants,

We can tackle and mitigate our most pressing challenges through well-coordinated and bold action. The decisions we make today will impact generations to come. They will shape our very future. So, in our efforts for a more inclusive and equitable future, let’s make sure that those decisions are equally inclusive and equitable, with empowered women and girls. Thank you!

 

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