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It is a decade since the formal establishment of Operation 1325. Most of the founding organizations are still here and with others we have chiseled out better forms of cooperation. Supporters, visionaries, strategists and hard-working activists have brought us where we are today. It is an honor to direct this strong network of women peace-makers into the next decade in which we are sure to harvest more fruits of truth, justice and security for women in conflict areas.

Last year UNSCR 1325 turned 15 years and we made a Global Review and benefitted of the Global Study. It showed that there is change, more women in peace keeping operations but no change in gender parity high level decision making about pace and security in the UN. It is time for a female Secretary General and we support the women candidates presented here. 

We fulfilled our plan to strengthen women media actor ship in matters of women, peace and security and cooperated with partners in five countries. Together we have produced a media toolkit which shows easy steps to use media as a tool – for peace work and core of feminist communication strategy. Having partners visiting in Sweden, speaking at Parliament, at university and at meetings gave a positive image of their strength and true hope for visionary future women leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Our work showed us the direction of putting more effort into women mediators, peace brokers, which is planned for 2016. We will engage an inter-continental network of women peace-builders for cross-learning and promotion so that we strengthen the visibility and make it clear to the world that the needed resource of female  mediators are ready to work. We are pleased that for the first time, collaborate with partners in Colombia and in Nicaragua, increasing our scope and widening our knowledge pools. In Albania we will still continue one of our core works for relevant and empowering national action plans on UNSCR 1325. In Turkey and the Kurdish region we will contribute to dialogue for new negotiations and for the freedom of expression. The Swedish Charter for Freedom of Press is 250 years and with that tradition comes an obligation to spread it in the world.

As we have started out our activities for 2016 with a recruitment process, applicants showing an enormous wealth of expertise and experience, I treasure the people who work with and for Operation 1325. Our board, our interns and staff, our partners, our member organizations make the vision brilliant and together we will have a great year.

Annika Schabbauer,
Director of Operation