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Your excellency Hon. Justice Effie Owour,

Member of the AU Panel of the Wise and Co-Chair of FemWise-Africa;

Your Excellency Ambassador Konjit Sinegorgis;

Distinguished Representatives from the African Union and IGAD;

Distinguished representative of women mediators across Ethiopia and FemWise members;

Distinguished Partners and Invited Guests; Ladies and Gentlemen;

Let me begin by expressing my profound gratitude and appreciation to the African Union warm hospitality is truly appreciated. Hosting the launch of FemWise Ethiopia in this significant building named after our great leader, Nelson Mandela, carries immense symbolism. A special acknowledgment goes to the members of FemWise Ethiopia for their collaboration on this timely initiative.  Thank you.

As a founding member of both the United Nations and the Organization for African Unity (now African Union), Ethiopia remains committed to the visions of these vital multilateral and regional bodies in maintaining global peace and security. Ethiopia consistently ranks among the top-troop contributing countries to the United Nations (UN) and African Union peace support mission, with the highest number of women deployed in peace operation. Our success in peace keeping and peace support missions must now be extended to the realms of peace making and peace building. This is why the Ministry of Peace strongly endorses and supports initiatives like FemWise Africa, dedicated to strengthening the role of women in conflict prevention and mediation.

The Ministry of Peace is enthusiastic about collaborating with African Union Commission as the initiative aligns with our vision that encourages peace processes and actively works to prevent conflicts in Ethiopia. Every citizen, particularly women, need to play a crucial role in these efforts. Studies show that integrating women into peace-building processes promotes democracy, good governance, long-term stability and development. This inclusive approach to peace making also yields greater dividends of peace to society.

As we speak, Ethiopia is in process of drafting the first ever National Action Plan for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. This will strengthen some of the ongoing efforts to empower women decision making process in peace making and peace building. It is an important milestone for the country that will ensure full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace process and decision making based on Ethiopia’s commitments at International and regional levels.

Ethiopia is a signatory to several international and regional normative frameworks, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Similarly at the regional level Ethiopia is committed to implementing frameworks such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa commonly known us Maputo Protocol; the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA).

Though much work lies ahead, the Ethiopian Government’s has shown strong commitment and dedication to promoting women's equal participation in peace and security. Several measures have been taken by the government in created enabling environment to empower women including the development of a conducive policy environment and activities like community and National Dialogue, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, mitigation of harmful traditional practices, capacitating the role of women on development and governance issues that are gender sensitive. 

Furthermore, the Ethiopian government is also committed to capacitate the role and power of women to increase African values and solidarity for ensuring sustainable peace in Ethiopia, in particular, and in the Horn of Africa in general.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen!! 

It is with this spirit in mind that we have agreed to host this important mechanism under our ministry, and we look forward to partner with several stakeholder in this initiative to realize and empower more women across Ethiopia to be agent of peace as well play active role in conflict prevention, mediation more so in our National Dialogue process.

This launch is not only timely but also historic coinciding with the commemoration of the 16 days of activism marked across globally and here in Ethiopia. This campaign runs annually from 25 November- 10 December and advocates for prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

I now declare the launch of FemWISE Ethiopia chapter.

I thank you so much !!!

Posted by Lulit Kebede

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