CULTURE

Women unite in aid of peace between nations

In June 2003, Egypt’s first lady, the wife of President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, founded the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement, devoted to promoting peace and tolerance among the world’s peoples via cooperation and coordination with other international peace-loving NGOs by strengthening women’s roles on peace issues, in political, economic and social action; by promoting coordinated international action against violence and armed conflicts and in favor of tolerance and dialogue between peoples; as well as setting up networks and alliances between a Citizens’ Society and governmental organizations for the participation of women in official and unofficial peace processes. Since it was founded, the Movement has been active in promoting the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on the participation of women and their representative organizations in decisions and peace processes and in protecting women. At the initiative of Suzanne Mubarak, a meeting was held in Cairo this month of the Movement’s board members, which was given a great deal of coverage in the media. Board members include Shaikha Sabikah bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, the queen of Bahrain, Princess Basma of Jordan, the former president of Lebanon’s wife Mona Harawy, former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Eurodeputy Emma Bonino, Director of the Alexandria Library Ismail Serageldin, and Leila Takla, who is chairperson of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and other international personalities. The member for Greece is UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyianni, who took part in the sessions, making specific proposals to increase the public’s awareness of peace issues and the promotion of dialogue between cultures. Vardinoyianni undertook the initiative to organize the UNESCO peace conferences in Paris and Athens.