Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Alice Walpole, yesterday addressed the launch of a Regional Forum aimed at advancing women's rights in Iraq and across the Middle Eastern region, with participants from Iraq, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen. The forum is being held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Iraq, with support from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), UN Women, the Women's International League for Peace and the Dutch Embassy.
DSRSG Walpole called on women representatives attending the Forum to use this unique gathering to learn from one another in facing the challenges and difficulties that continue to obstruct the advancement of women in the region.
She recalled that implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, remains a key priority for the (female) leadership of UNAMI and urged the Iraqi authorities to pursue a national action plan to enable the meaningful representation of women in political and decision-making processes in Iraq.
"Iraq, at this critical moment of its post-conflict development, simply cannot afford to ignore the energy and expertise of half its population" DSRSG Walpole underlined.
The Baghdad Regional Forum will include two days of interactive workshops on 26-27 August, discussing the role and achievements of regional mechanisms in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, reducing violence against women and empowering women in politics.