Estonia: 'Women, Peace and Security' conference to focus on war in Ukraine

  • 2023-10-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The ninth international conference "Women, Peace and Security," the focus of which is on the war in Ukraine, will start on Friday at the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn.

The conference, organized by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association, focuses on the situation of women and children in war and the role of women in ensuring peace and security.

Speakers include Kersti Kaljulaid, former president of Estonia and global advocate of the UN secretary-general for Every Woman Every Child, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna, Canadian Ambassador Laird Hindle, Olga Derkach, board member of the Ukrainian Association of Women in Law-enforcement (UAWLE), and many other experts.

A total of seven countries are represented: Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Slovakia and Canada.

Olga Derkach, board member of the Ukrainian Association of Women in Law-enforcement, noted that the peace and security agenda for women is extremely important for Ukraine. Ukraine's commitment to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 remains high, but its capabilities have been undermined by the Russian invasion, she said, describing Ukrainian women are agents of change in this war: about 60,000 women work in some position in the armed forces of Ukraine, 42,000 serve in uniform, and 5,000 with units deployed on the front lines.

The conference also explores the issue of war refugees, which is painfully linked to the fate of women and children who have lost their homes and have to live abroad. Using false information as a weapon will also be talked about.

Laird Hindle, Canada's ambassador to Estonia, said that Canada is working to prevent and mitigate the various risks posed by Russia's unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which are disproportionately felt by Ukraine's vulnerable populations, including women and girls. There can be no lasting peace in Ukraine without the full role of women, the ambassador added.

The conference is sponsored by the embassies of Canada and Germany, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the NATO Headquarters.