Statement by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka on the establishment of the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board to contribute to peace talks

Date: 03 February 2016

UN Women welcomes the invitation by UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Staffan de Mistura of 12 independent civil society representatives to contribute to the peace talks through the establishment of a Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. This is a historic moment. It is the first time that a Women’s Advisory Board to a UN Special Envoy has been formally established. It is a tribute to the courage and contribution of Syrian women to exploring solutions for peace. 

The Women's Advisory Board and the Special Envoy will consult regularly whenever the talks are in session. Among other responsibilities, the Board will important raise matters missing from the agenda, provide options, form consensus positions and make recommendations to assist peace talks, address key points of contention and offer creative solutions, propose gender-responsive perspectives and channel relevant civil society expertise.

Women are essential partners in the peace process. The Women's Advisory Board has a unique and vital role that no one else can play. In order to create lasting peace, society as a whole has to be represented. The inclusion of women in the Syrian peace talks finally allows plans to be made that hold the seeds of a sustainable solution.

The inclusion of women is a breakthrough that the Syrian Women's Initiative for Peace and Democracy has been working towards for three years, in close partnership with UN Women and with the support of the governments of the Netherlands and of Norway, and in close collaboration with the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria.