Dear EU Special Representative for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, Mr. Miroslav Lajčák,
On the 20th Anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, we, the Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN), as a network of 156 organisations and a leading women’s rights group in Kosovo and the region, are writing to express our deep concern that we were not invited to take part in your recent consultations with civil society in Kosovo concerning the Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. We would like to remind you that the EU, according to UNSCR 1325 and the EU’s Strategic Approach to Women, Peace, and Security, has the responsibility to ensure that women are part of peace processes.
Women and their priorities have not been appropriately included in the negotiations or dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, which represents a failure to implement UNSCR 1325. For 20 years, KWN has used UNSCR 1325 to advocate for women’s right to participate in peace processes. Moreover, KWN and its members have been engaged in cross-border peacebuilding in the region, including with Serbia, for 30 years. Our members include women’s rights groups of all ethnicities. We monitor the situation and liaise with diverse women to identify their needs and priorities.
Given our vast experience in these matters, and in accordance with UNSCR 1325, we urge you to include KWN in your future consultations with civil society in Kosovo. Moreover, we ask you to ensure that the key points raised by 434 women from different ethnic groups in Kosovo, identified in our recent research entitled, Where Is My Seat at the Table?, be included in the agenda and addressed in the ongoing dialogue with Serbia:
- Ensure the meaningful participation of women in decision-making related to the negotiations and dialogue, both through participation in the official negotiation teams and through public consultations;
- Request that Serbia recognise publicly and apologise for crimes committed against civilians by the state;
- Ensure the return of missing persons;
- Prosecute people who committed war crimes, including sexual violence perpetrated during the war, thereby ensuring justice; and
- Secure compensation and reparations for the destruction of civilians’ livelihoods, including the return of pensions.
We also have shared these issues with our government in a letter sent yesterday and in media.
KWN will continue to monitor the implementation of UNSCR 1325 by the EU, Government of Kosovo and other stakeholders. We remain at your service to provide names of qualified persons to engage in the dialogue, as well as to support the organising of public consultations, towards ensuring a democratic, transparent, and participatory process, crucial for lasting peace and security in Kosovo, Serbia, and the region. Thank you for your attention and immediate action to address these issues.
Kosovo Women’s Network