Covid-19 has silenced half of the world’s roads, skies, waters but not its guns. Deadly conflicts are still ravaging several African, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries and the virus is not sparing them either. In this context, the capacity of diplomacy to act and prevent worsening situations has been highly limited by travel restrictions and preventive measures. Peace talks have been cancelled or postponed, mediation efforts have been almost reset, and international attention towards fragile contexts has been totally diverted to the challenges that each country is facing in its own backyard – with significant political and financial consequences. In this context, women and girls are already carrying the burden of the pandemic.
Notwithstanding this, women peacebuilders have been in the front-line in places where the lack of economic, security and political resources may bring the countries into a spiral of violence and disease. The web meeting will address the following issues: has the pandemic increased tensions in war-torn countries? How is Covid-19 challenging mediation efforts? Is there an opportunity for women peacebuilders to emerge as pivotal actors in the field?
Anna Cervi, Syria Country Director, Norwegian Refugee Council and MWMN member
Mauro Garofalo, Head of the international relations, Community of Sant'Egidio
Richard Gowan, UN Director, International Crisis Group
Muna Luqman, Chairperson of #Food4Humanity Foundation and co-founder of the Women Solidarity Network
Francesca Caruso, Junior Researcher, Istituto Affari Internazionali