FAS Invited to Share Expertise at International Women Leaders Global Security Summit

New York, USA

15-17 November 2007

The International Women Leaders Security Initiative aims to bring the voice of women leaders to the international discourse on security. As an NGO working in issues of women, peace and security, Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) was invited to share its expertise at the International Women Leaders Global Security Summit on 17 November, 2007. 

Bineta Diop, Executive Director of FAS, participated in the panel discussion at the Summit’s Gala Celebration. Mme Diop spoke about FAS’ work on Track II diplomacy, citing examples of FAS initiatives in the Mano River region and the Great Lakes region. FAS has facilitated the participation of women in peace negotiations in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, the DR Congo and Burundi, making use of Track II diplomacy to convince government leaders to sign ceasefires and negotiate peace agreements. 

Track II diplomacy refers to non-official diplomacy which is conducted or facilitated by influential individuals, often initiated as a way to address issues which have not or cannot yet be addressed via official channels. Most recently, FAS has been using Track II diplomacy to convince leaders worldwide to take action to protect the rights of women and civilians in Darfur and eastern Chad. 

The International Women Leaders Security Initiative is a project organised by the Annenberg Foundation Trust, the Council of Women World Leaders, the White House Project, and the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum. The initiative runs until 2008 and includes advocacy activities and conferences such as the Summit held in November.

Liberian Minister Olubanke King Akerele (left), Bineta Diop (right) and other delegates 

From left to right: The Honourable Olubanke King-Akerele, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liberia; Carol Jenkins (behind), President, The Women's Media Centre, USA; Betty Bigombe, United States Institute of Peace, USA; Bineta Diop, Executive Director, Femmes Africa Solidarite, Senegal .(Photo: The Whitehouse Project)