Press release 162/2014
10 July 2014
We need more women in senior positions as OSCE mission leaders and deputies, lead mediators and advisers to them,” said Development Minister Pekka Haavisto in his address as a keynote speaker at the High-level Opening Session of the OSCE Gender Equality Review Conference in Vienna on 10 July.
In his speech, Haavisto highlighted Finland’s strong commitment to promoting gender equality. Minister Haavisto stressed that Finland has herself benefited enormously from increasing gender equality and women's participation in all sectors of society.
Haavisto’s speech focused especially on women’s participation in peace and security, and on the significance of the gender equality perspective in comprehensive security thinking. He stressed in particular the importance of women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution, and in crisis management and mediation.
Haavisto called for the OSCE to adopt its own OSCE Wide Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, for which the initiative was presented by Finland together with Austria, Turkey and Kazakhstan.
Minister Haavisto also drew attention to the position and empowerment of Roma women as an example of how the promotion of women’s rights and the empowerment of minorities in the most vulnerable position strengthen society and increase security.
“We should see the potential of Roma women for the whole Roma minority and the broader society, and empower them to act as agents for change. I hope that the OSCE deepens its cooperation with other international and European organizations to promote the rights of the Roma. Finland is prepared to support this work,” Haavisto stated.
In conjunction with the conference, Minister Haavisto met among others with Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergiy Kyslytsya of Ukaraine, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Commissioner on National Minorities AstridThors, Michael Link, the new Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, women parliamentarians from Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and with representatives of NGOs.
Additional information: Johanna Sumuvuori, Special Adviser to Minister Haavisto, mobile tel. +358 40 505 9285; Ambassador Katja Pehrman, Permanent Representative of Finland to the OSCE, tel. +43 676 848 350 350