Barbra Bearden (Kosovo)

Barbra Bearden (Kosova Women’s Network – KWN): Barbra Bearden graduated in 2004 with a BA in Communications from Centenary College of Louisiana. She then worked in non-profit development and external communications; corporate public relations and marketing; and website design. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Louisiana Chapter), Sigma Tau Delta honors society, and the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. At the time of her fellowship, Barbra was pursuing her Masters in International Communications at American University in Washington, DC.

Blog # 16

08 Aug

Before I begin my blog for the week I wanted to make note of a news story I heard on BBC World Report today. They brought experts on the Balkan region to discuss the recent actions by the Security Council regarding Kosova’s political status. The basic gist is that Serbia is posturing to the international community; if Kosova is independent it will mean more war. Most experts (and non-experts) agree that this is impossible because of Serbia’s economic situation and the desire to enter the EU. It was a well rounded and well-informed story – so if you would like to know more please visit BBC and look up the article. I will have a bit more commentary on the situation as soon as I can make a coherent sentence about it.

Central to the mission of KWN is advocacy and networking with organizations worldwide for peace and women’s rights. I have already spoken about the Women’s Peace Coalition (WPC), a joint project between the Women in Black, Serbia and KWN. Most recently, KWN has embarked on a new cooperation called the Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe. The group brings together a diverse group of women from Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosova, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; they are representatives from government, civil society, media, and regional political parties. Most recently they issued a statement condemning the recent actions (or inaction) in Lebanon. The statement they issued to the international press follows:

Zagreb, July 19, 2006 – Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security, and Justice in South East Europe wholeheartedly supports appeal of the International Women’s Commission (IWC) for a Just and Sustainable Peace between Israel and Palestine of July 13, calling an end to the violence in Israel, Lebanon, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

A group of women political leaders and women’s rights activists from countries of South East Europe still struggling to recover from the aftermath of a brutal war, met in Zagreb, Croatia on 15-19 July 2006 with support from UNIFEM, to deliberate recent and ongoing political developments in their countries and their implication for peace and security for the region’s citizens, and for women in particular.

Following intensive dialogue, the group decided to establish a regional Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in South East Europe dedicated to advocating for political action to advance peace and stability in South East Europe as well as for full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (October, 2000) that calls upon all state parties to ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels.

On the background of resurging violence in the Middle East, the South East Europe Women’s Lobby expresses its alarm at the absence of national, regional and international leadership in bringing the violence in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine to a halt. The Lobby urges political leaders to heed the call of the IWC, as well as involve its members, themselves leaders and experts that are capable in supporting mediation efforts aimed at encouraging all parties to restart political dialogue and negotiation.

Women’s Lobby for Peace, Security, and Justice in South East Europe members:

Albania Marieta Zaqe
Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Social Welfare and Equal Opportunities

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Memnuna Zvezdic
Director of Zene Zenama

Gordana Sobol
Head of the Parliamentary Commission for Gender Equality

Morana Palikovic
Head of Members from HNS political party in Zagreb City Assembly, Head
of Municipal Committee for National Minorities

Nekibe Kelmendi
Head of the Parliamentary Commission for Public Services, Local
Administration and Media

Edita Tahiri
Head of Democratic Alternative of Kosova, Member of the Kosova Women’s Lobby

Teuta Sahatqija
Vice President of ORA political party, Chief of the parliamentarian group of ORA

Igballe Rogova
Executive Director of Kosova Women’s Network, Member of the Kosova
Women’s Lobby

Irina Pockova
President of Women’s Chapter of Social Democratic Alliance political
party in Sv. Nikola

Nada Drobnjak
Director of the Office for Gender Equality in Office of the Prime Minister

Sonja Biserko
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights

Natasa Kandic
Human Rights Fund

Slavica Stojanovic
Member of Women in Black

Click here to read AP’s press release on the new Lobby.

Posted By Barbra Bearden (Kosovo)

Posted Aug 8th, 2006

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