First ladies call for dialogue with UN panel on human security


Shaikha Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, First Lady of the Kingdom of Bahrain and former president of the AWO, suggested that the organisation establish dialogue with the UN Commission on Human Security, an international commission established in 2001 in response to UN Secretary-General’s call at the 2000 Millennium Summit for a world “free of want” and “free of fear”.

“I suggest that we initiate a dialogue between the UN Commission on Human Security based on the results and recommendations of this conference. This will draw attention to the Arab vision of this concept, benefit from the plans and programmes of the UN Commission and help resolve the obstacles in the way of development in the Arab world,” she said.

Leila ben Ali, First Lady of Tunisia, recommended that the AWO establish an international law committee to safeguard the legal rights of women. “It would be useful to think today of establishing an Arab Women Committee for International Humanitarian Law to support international, regional and national efforts aimed at defending, respecting and disseminating the culture of international humanitarian law in the service of women.

“It is necessary, in addition to enacting appropriate legislation, to continuously adopt programmes of action designed to anchor equality and disseminate a human rights culture,” she said. Queen Rania, First Lady of Jordan, stressed the importance of education as an instrumental tool in ensuring the security of women. “In Jordan, we realised early on the role of education in achieving all of our goals, and we have worked for years to make it the basis for all other facets of development,” she said.

Asma Al Assad, First Lady of Syria, said the current global financial crisis could actually afford more opportunities for women than in the past. “Despite the challenges we face amidst the current global financial crisis, I believe that we also have an opportunity. Any crisis, especially one of this magnitude, requires the total mobilisation of a nation’s resources and capabilities, particularly the fuller participation of women in our societies. This can no longer be considered optional; it is a national, regional, and global necessity,” she said. According to a WAM report, the Arab First Ladies also called for greater empowerment of women in the Arab World so as to play their vested role in serving and building their countries and communities on equal footing with their male partners and communicating with other peace-loving nations for the sake of maintaining and bolstering human security collectively.

They stressed the need for promoting Arab-Arab and Arab-international dialogue cooperation for the service of human security causes.

They affirmed that woman is a proactive, vital factor in attaining human security and should be engaged in efforts seeking to realize that goal.

High profile speakers also paid a rich tribute to Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of Arab Women’s Organisation (AWO), for her dedication and commitment to progress of Arab women.

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