Ministry of Internal Affairs Hosts High-Level Conference ‘Women, Peace, and Security’

On December 11, 2023, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) organized the ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ Conference, bringing together dozens of women and men to discuss crucial topics in the current security context. The platform addressed the implementation of the National Program and the Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as well as the cohesion among stakeholders in the security and defense sector to reduce stereotypes and barriers in this field.

The event saw the participation of Adrian Efros, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova, Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Representative in Moldova, Doina Gherman and Marcela Adam, members of the Moldovan Parliament, Nicoleta Pauliuc, Senator in the Parliament of Romania, ambassadors, representatives of the UN, NATO, EU, OSCE, and civil society. 

The ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ agenda was highlighted as an essential element for the sustainable development of the Republic of Moldova. Thus, the key topics raised during the event included women in defense, internal affairs, and intelligence sectors; women in cybersecurity, and those involved in combating hybrid war and disinformation. Additionally, the conference provided an opportunity for participants to discuss best practices in implementing UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and improving funding and assistance programs.

The conference panels focused on the progress made and challenges faced in promoting gender equality, both from the perspective of civil society and in the international context. Special emphasis was placed on the role of implementing the ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ Agenda, highlighting contributions through information, awareness, lobbying, and advocacy.

In his speech, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Adrian Efros, emphasized that the National Program on the implementation of Resolution 1325 mirrors Moldova’s strong commitment to building an equitable and secure society, where women play a critical role in promoting peace, security and stability. 

“The implementation of this program is an opportunity to translate our commitments into actions. By involving women in decision-making processes and creating a secure and equitable environment, we can advance more quickly towards a safer future. Our commitment to the ‘Women, Peace, and Security’ agenda is a commitment to justice, equality, and human rights. It acknowledges that without active participation from women, our efforts for peace are incomplete. Today, we must dismantle the barriers limiting women’s involvement and make sure their voices are heard at all decision-making levels”, Mr Efros added.

Ambassador of Sweden Katarina Fried noted that new approaches and tools are essential in efficiently responding to the persistent security threats. 

“Inclusion needs more support to gain legitimacy, leading to negotiations for sustainable peace. Women represent more than half of the population and play a very active role in the peace-building efforts. (…) We will continue to support our allies in strategies and help them receive the necessary support, ensuring that the WPS Agenda is implemented both nationally and globally”, she said.

Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Representative in Moldova, noted that the conference was a key element in building peace, encouraging exchanges, and managing various challenges and that the other resolutions in place are key to women participation in building peace and in various processes involving recovery, peace building and addressing and responding to gender-based and other forms of violence.

In her welcoming speech, Doina GHERMAN, the chair of the foreign policy and European integration committee of the Moldovan Parliament, emphasized:

“Gender equality goes hand in hand with democracy, peace, and security. (…) In the last two years, we have gone through various crises, but the most important thing is to know that there is solidarity in society and this clear commitment to peace. I have a message for Ukrainian women, those who have demonstrated resilience, resistance, and are a model of courage for us, the women of the Republic of Moldova. We have succeeded to change the narrative in Moldova, turning Ukrainian women from victims into successful, courageous women who can survive and win.”

In her message, Nicoleta PAULIUC, the chair of the defense, public order, and national security committee of the Romanian Parliament, highlighted:

“The Republic of Moldova is a worthy example to follow when it comes to promoting women in line with the UN and NATO Agenda on Women, Peace, and Security. The women leadership of the Republic of Moldova is inspirational. (…) The Moldovan state has shown that it is strong and has managed to allow nearly two million refugees since the outbreak of the Russian against Ukraine to cross its borders”.

In this context, the participants noted that the number of women in leadership positions, in peace negotiations, and disarmament processes should be increased, and policies revised so as to respond to the specific needs of women, and strengthen their leadership capacities.

The conference represented a significant step towards promoting an equitable and resilient society in the Republic of Moldova, providing concrete solutions and strategies for the active involvement of women in ensuring sustainable security and peace throughout the region.

It is worth mentioning that women staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have been at the forefront since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Thus:

  • 1117 women from the MIA units have been involved in the management of the migration flow/maintenance of public order after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine;
  • The number of women in the MIA system is 4233, accounting for 26.4% of the total MIA staff;
  • The number of women in leadership positions in MIA system is 321, accounting for 15.1% of the total number of leadership positions.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs is the institution in charge of coordinating the implementation of the Program and the Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace, and security for the years 2023-2027.

The Program and the Action Plan are in line with the priorities of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2023, the European Union Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, the UN Women Strategic Plan 2022-2025, and the EU – Moldova Association Agenda 2021-2027.

The `Women, Peace, and Security` Conference was organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the support of Sweden.