Call for the inclusion of Syrian women in political process

September 24, 2013

No women – no peace in MENA region

A high-level meeting during the United Nations General Assembly hosted by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Morocco and co-organized by development organization Hivos and ICAN will feature a prominent delegation of women from Syria and Egypt. 


Their core message is that sustainable peace in Syria with dignity for all people and respect for human rights is only possible through full inclusion of women in the political process right from the start. In the meeting the participants, some of whom from inside Syria, will voice specific demands – for instance an active role in the peace process as a third party – in support of their overall aim.  

In the awakening of the Arab Revolutions women and men stood side by side in the streets of Tunis, Caïro and Daraa in their united call for dignity, prosperity and human rights. Two and a half years later hope for positive change – the rebuilding of institutions in the MENA region amongst others – is still alive despite everything. To bring about this change participants will stress that leadership of women is essential.

The side event will start with introductory statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Saad Eddine Elothmani from Morocco and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans from the Netherlands followed by a panel discussion, moderated by BBC correspondent Ms. Kim Ghattas.

Panel members
Panel members include Ms. Fatma al-Khafagy (Ombudsman, Egypt), Mr. Oscar Fernández-Taranco (ASG DPA) and members of the delegation of Syrian women, including Bassma Kodmani of the Syrian Women’s Network, amongst others. 

Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (executive director of the UN Women) will present the closing remarks of the panel discussion.

Members of the Syrian/ Egyptian delegations of women are available for interviews.

Time and date
Tuesday, 24 September 2013, 4:30 – 6.00 p.m. local time.

Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
666 Third Av. 19th Floor (between 42nd and 43rd street)
New York

For further information about the event please contact: Ahmed Dadou (Dutch MoFA),;