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This week, the world’s politicians are in New York to attend the 76th opening of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76). Prior to the Swedish delegation’s departure, Operation 1325, together with other actors within civil society, were invited to a digital meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and the Director-General for International Development Cooperation Helen Eduards. At the meeting, the Swedish priorities during the week were presented and participants had an opportunity to ask questions.  

A major focus for Sweden during UNGA 76 will be the pandemic, the situation in Afghanistan, the climate and issues related to the future of the UN. The Minister for Foreign Affairs further highlighted the humanitarian situation in Yemen as an important topic. 

During the meeting, Operation 1325’s Acting Director Charlotte Lind had the opportunity to describe our work in increasing women’s participation within the peace process in Yemen. She asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs to describe the Ministry’s future commitment in relation to women’s participation in a future peace process. In her response, the Minister for Foreign Affairs emphasized the importance of taking advantage of women’s perspectives and expertise on the matter. She explained that she has raised the issue during her two trips to Yemen and that she always emphasizes the participation of women in meetings with Yemeni representatives. 

The Minister for Foreign Affairs noted that it can be difficult to meet female activists and gain their perspectives, especially if they come from countries where women are not allowed to travel. The pandemic has however opened up new ways in connecting with these women. The Minister for Foreign Affairs said that digital meetings, and meetings in hybrid forms, have increased the opportunity to talk to women’s rights activists and that this is something that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to work with in the future. 

The influence and participation of women in Yemen is one of Operation 1325’s main areas, and it was therefore very gratifying to hear about the Minister for Foreign Affair’s involvement in the issue.