Parliaments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia have joined forces to make sure that women are able to contribute to peace and security.
The countries meet every year in Cetinje, Montenegro and this year's 10th Cetinje Parliamentary Forum on 21 and 22 June coincided with the 10th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for international security institutions to address the different impacts of conflict on women and men, and to engage women fully in conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace building.
The consensus is that the suffering and denial of the rights of women and the instability of nations go hand in hand, and countries are using the anniversary as an opportunity to share experiences and best practices related to the implementation of the Resolution. Parliaments in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia have committed to working towards increased participation of women in the security sector, and they will support activities that prevent and suppress gender based violence, prevent human trafficking and that protect children's rights. They acknowledge progress made so far in security sector reform, including laws and policies, but see the need for strategies for implementing them.
"Greater engagement of women in the security sector will be one of the key priorities in future reform processes," said H.E. Mr. Boro Vučinić, Minister of Defence of Montenegro.
The parliamentarians have agreed to establish mutual cooperation, strengthen control functions over state bodies that relate to security, review reports from Ombudspeople related to gender equality in the security field, and establish cooperation between the parliamentary committees on gender equality, security and defence, and international relations and European integration.
It is clear that one of the main indicators of the maturity level of modern societies is status of women in all segments of work and life,” said H.E. Mr. �eljko Šturanović, Vice President of the Parliament of Montenegro.
Mr. Šturanović said that the meeting was also an opportunity to dedicate more attention to the issue of violence against women and to identify concrete steps in order to prevent sexual violence in war times as well as in everyday life, through empowering women and strengthening their vital role in establishing stability.
"Experience shows that it is only when women are meaningfully involved in politics and security that there is real, lasting change in societies," said H.E. Ambassador Paraschiva Badescu, Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.
UNDP supports countries with programmes that address violence against women, promote women's political participation, and ensure that gender equality is integrated throughout all national policies. UNDP's commitment to implementation of Resolution 1325 focuses particularly on the integration of gender concerns in its post-conflict interventions and transition to recovery programmes. For example, UNDP has supported a programme for witness and victim protection in Croatia.
Throughout the last decade, more than 550 members of parliament from countries in the region as well as partner countries and EU member states have gathered each year – improving cooperation and sharing experiences.
The forum was organized by Parliament of Montenegro, with support from UNDP Montenegro and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Montenegro.