25 February 2009

Stephen Lewis: "No funding for peace talks unless women are at the table"

Stephen Lewis is a brilliant and truly inspiring individual. This is the text of his recent address to the 10th Annual Policy Forum of the Institute for Inclusive Security.
As I read through the avalanche of briefing notes that Jacqueline O’Neill sent to me on behalf of the IIS, two things struck home. First, the simple, unvarnished truth that men make war, and women lead lives without resorting to violence, so it makes unassailable logic to have women at the centre of peacemaking and peacebuilding initiatives. They are indispensable to negotiating peace agreements that last, and indeed, will never be sustained without the leadership of women.

But the other item was in a way transformative. In a Christian Science Monitor op-ed back in October, 2007, written by Carla Koppell, Director of the Initiative for Inclusive Security, she argues, and I quote “We could reserve seats at the table for those who have not borne arms but have a stake in peace. Most radically, mediators could invite non-belligerents to the table first and have them set the agenda for talks.” It means, says Carla “ … that those who haven’t picked up weapons get to choose priorities.”
Read the entire article - it's worth it.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for covering this important event on your blog.

The Institute for Inclusive Security has a number of resources for readers who might be interested in learning more about the themes discussed in Liberia - check them out at http://www.huntalternatives.org/pages/83_research_and_recommendations.cfm