Olta Xhaçka, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, outlined four recommendations in her first UN Security Council speech to expand the role of women in peace and security concerns. She used ethnic cleansing in Kosovo as an example of a violation of women’s rights.
Minister Xhaçka stated, “The issue of women, peace, and security is the top priority of Albania’s agenda in the next two years.”
She also mentioned ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, when women were specifically targeted.
“Even now, the quality of rights, representation, and education cannot be taken for granted if one is a woman. We as Albanians witnessed this in Kosovo, when women were left to care for children and were raped, tortured, and murdered as deliberate targets of an ethnic cleansing criminal campaign,” she added.
Minister Xhaçka added four more points aimed at enhancing women’s participation in peace and security matters.
“To begin, to assist and make resources available to appropriate UN entities to ensure that women human rights advocates have all essential protection and support. Second, build flexible finance systems capable of acting fast and effectively in the face of threats and reprisal against women leaders. Thirdly, expand support for women’s rights organizations and movements, particularly those led by women, in sensitive and conflict-affected areas. “Fourth, to improve accountability for women, peace, and security by instituting a zero-tolerance policy toward retaliatory acts against women activists and human rights defenders,” Xhaçka stated.
Among other things, the Foreign Minister noted in her speech that Albania is presently ranked among the top five governments in the world for gender equality, with women holding 75% of cabinet positions.