Forty Libyan women from diverse backgrounds from inside and outside Libya have gathering in Geneva to reflect on their aspirations for peace and their role and contribution to building a new Libya.
“Libya for me is the face of my father whom I have not seen for the past two years,” said one participant. For other Libyan women participants, Libya means their identity, their home, their mother, and the place where they feel safe. It is their homeland.
The conference provides a safe space for Libyan women who agreed to come together at a very difficult time in Libya in order to discuss their vital role in peace-building in a transparent way. They aim to promote peace and prepare their plan of action by articulating the steps they consider vital to bring peace to their country.
On the first day, they confirmed that despite their different backgrounds and positions they are committed to working together as Libyan women to contribute to peace attainment in Libya. As one participant stated, they are tired of having two governments.
The Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), UN Women Regional Office of Arab States and the Women’s Empowerment Section at the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) are facilitating the conference.
In the opening statement of the conference, Ambassador Heidi Grau, Head of the Human Security Division of the FDFA, stressed: “The conference is an expression of our recognition of the tireless efforts by Libyan Women and a platform to join efforts and actions in favor of peace”, as unity, regardless of differences, is a powerful force for peace.