Addressing a Colombian Peace Process event at the European Parliament in Brussels today on ‘Women, Fundamental players in Peace-building’ Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson was joined by speakers from El Salvador and Colombia
Martina Anderson said:
“This is about learning from experiences and while our Colombian colleagues are basically still in the initial stages of their peace process, we in Ireland have been engaged in the public phase of our process for over 15 years.
“In Ireland’s peace negotiations, women made up a sizeable proportion of our negotiations team with the late Siobhan O’Hanlon and former MEP Bairbre de Brún playing prominent roles in the process. Sinn Féin put a major emphasis on the importance of inclusive dialogue and my party colleague Conor Murphy MP who took part in a cross party delegation to Havana recently in support of the Colombia peace initiative called on the International community to get behind the process in the same way in which it supported the Irish Peace Process.
“On behalf of Sinn Féin, we wish you well in your endeavours and we will assist your peace building efforts in whatever way we can. And today as part of Sinn Féin’s continuing support for and solidarity with the Colombia Peace Process I am honoured to speak at this event today and particularly about the role of women in Ireland’s peace process.
“Inclusivity, as we have learned in Ireland, is a fundamental principle on which peace processes should be built if they are to be successful. And given that women make up 51% of the population an inclusive process of any kind cannot succeed without the support and participation of women.
“In discussing the role of women in any Peace Process and the contributions we make to reconciliation, the role of women combatants must be acknowledged - and therefore their participation in suing for peace is essential.
“To that end, account has to be taken of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which was unanimously adopted by the UN on 31st Oct 2000 and called for the adoption of a gender perspective that included the specific needs of women during elements of post conflict resolution.“