Global: Women Peace & Humanitarian Activists Convene in Berlin to Define Key Priorities, Call on World to Invest in their Work on the Front Lines

26 May 2023

(Berlin) – 87 local women peacebuilders, humanitarian responders and human rights defenders convened in Berlin this week at the world’s second Global Women’s Forum for Peace and Humanitarian Action (GWF2023).

Organized by the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) — in partnership with Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) — GWF2023 convened a bold and diverse group of civil society activists representing women-led and women’s rights civil society organizations from 29 countries across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Arab States. These women leaders gathered in Berlin to exchange on their challenges and impacts, build new connections and solidarity, engage in capacity development and self-care, define their key priorities and to call on the international community to invest in their critical work in fragile settings.

“The women activists convening in Berlin this week are the most effective supporters of peace, stability and social cohesion,” said Heike Thiele, Director for Civilian Crisis Prevention and Stabilization at Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. “Germany is proud to host this event in collaboration with the United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, and we could not wish for a better partner in our fight for women’s rights and women’s participation in fragile settings worldwide.”

One highlight of GWF2023 was an interactive dialogue between the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock and two civil society representatives on how governments can better leverage their feminist foreign policies in support of local women’s rights organizations in fragile settings.

Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock (center), in conversation with WPHF partners Horia Mosadiq (left) from Afghanistan and Anny Modi (right) from the Democratic Republic of Congo. © May 2023/Thomas Ecke

“This forum is powered by the energy, expertise and tenacity of women civil society leaders and WPHF partners from across the globe, said Ghita El Khyari, Head of the WPHF Secretariat. “By coming together to foster new coalitions across borders, they are strengthening their global movement and accelerating support and visibility for their work on the front lines.”

The global convening culminated on Thursday with the drafting and adoption of the groundbreaking Berlin Declaration 2023, an outcome statement reflecting a wide range of women’s civil society voices defining local women’s organizations’ key priorities and calling on the world to take action and invest in their transformational work in conflict and crisis settings across the globe.

Convening a powerful group of women peacebuilders, humanitarians and human rights defenders from around the world, GWF2023 was a bold celebration of the unlimited power of women leaders on the front lines. © May 2023/Thomas Ecke

“I am so inspired by the agency and sorority of every woman at this forum,” said Natalia Brandler, founder and president of Cauce Civil Association, a WPHF-supported partner in Venezuela in her closing remarks. “The declaration we adopted today provides women civil society leaders with a valuable framework on how to shift from the sidelines to the center of transformative actions as we work collectively for more power in decision-making and influence over regional and global policies for inclusive and lasting peace.”

doc icon Berlin Declaration 2023 English doc icon BERLIN DECLARATION 2023 French doc icon BERLIN DECLARATION 2023 Arabic doc icon BERLIN DECLARATION 2023 Spanish doc icon GLOBAL WOMEN'S FORUM 2023 REPORT English