Published on: 31 October 2017

Speech of Minister Ditmir Bushati on the event "Women empowerment" in the framework of the United Nations Day in Albania

Good evening everyone,

Ladies and gentleman,

First of all, I would like to thank Mrs. Margot in absentia, for her encouraging words for Albania and for the support her country has given to the organization of this meeting.

The annual tradition of celebrating United Nations Day shows how far mankind has gone in his aspiration for a safer and more prosperous world.

The United Nations organization is often at the center of debates for reform in the conditions of an international order in mutation where the unpredictability, instability and lack of a strategy to face the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution prevail.

On the other hand, this ever-changing reality justifies the existence of this organism, which despite being insufficient remains indispensable.

Dag Hammarskjöld said that, "The United Nations was not created to bring mankind to paradise, but to save it from hell."

72 years after the birth of the organization and more than half a trillion dollars in expenses, it seems that salvation from hell is no longer enough to justify it.

However, no one can deny the UN's contribution to poverty reduction, the treatment of deadly diseases, the fragile balance of the Nuclear War, and the improvement of living conditions for millions of people thanks to development programs.

But the highest aspiration of mankind cannot diminish in a molded mechanism by bureaucracy, and as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres rightly says, "... focused on the processes and not on humans".

Nevertheless, one thing is clear: Today, the UN is inextricably linked with respect for human rights, the need for multilateral cooperation and a fair international order. In the context of human rights, respect for women's rights plays a decisive role, not just about numbers.

We as Albanians are particularly sensitive to this, because our history, our national epic, the proverbial words and the Albanian language speak for the important role that the Albanian woman plays in our society.

Albania is involved in a transformation process that actually surpasses the goals of a generation. From the total isolation and lack of human rights, our path to the European democratization of society has not been easy. This path is guided by a vision based on the values of a European Nation in soul and spirit.

In this journey we have had the help and valuable contribution of the United Nations team, whose activity in Albania remains closely linked to our national objective, which is the integration into the common European family.

It was no coincidence that Albania was selected as a pilot country for the 16th objective of Sustainable Development Objective. As it is no coincidence the link of the 5th Objective, which aims at achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls, with our efforts as a society to empower and improve the role of women.

These efforts are not a solitary attempt, but an important part of our vision for the comprehensive democratic transformation of our society. Significant expression of this vision was also the initiative that we undertook with Italy and "UN Women" for the creation of the "Mediterranean Women Mediators Network".

Activating this network will enable women and girls to contribute directly to peace, stability and security in what can be called the cradle of European civilization in the Mediterranean.

This network is a mechanism created following the UN Resolution 1325, when the Security Council set women and girls at the center of crisis management issues.

That's not a coincidence. Women and girls are on the first front of the war and insecurity. They are the ones who face most often the challenge of protecting the family, their future, and their security. Therefore, the inclusion of women in security affairs responds to today's reality rather than conventions of traditional security field.

For us, the country's economic and social development cannot be understood without treatment and without concrete achievements in promoting gender issues and their inclusion in all country development policies. In this context, the collaboration of the United Nations team with government and civil society has played an important role in enhancing and strengthening the role of women in society.

Of equal importance is the contribution of countries like Sweden, which work continuously not only for the achievement of gender equality, but also for women's direct representation and engagement in development processes in the country.

Albania has undertaken important legal commitments to fight against discrimination, promote and make gender equality a reality. Some of these commitments relate to the consistent harmonization of national legislation with international standards, as well as with the drafting and implementation of the national strategy on gender equality and against domestic violence.

Our efforts have paid off: women and girls make up 45% of the public administration, 30% of the Assembly and 50% of the cabinet.

This is not simply a matter of numbers. My experience as a spouse, father and politician confirms that women's involvement in decision-making means improving and expanding the agenda of discussions, the development vision and the contextualization of our work.

The lenses, through which we see the world, change: They focus more on man than on letters; on the community than on the papers and projects; on solutions rather than problems. Therefore, women's involvement in decision-making is not a privilege for a group of society, because women and girls are not a group of society, but they make up half of it. Involvement of women and girls is an organic part of our vision for a fairer and inclusive society.

I would like to conclude by giving you a successful example of one of the most prominent officials of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Director of the Archives, Pranvera Dibra. I would like to say that thanks to her professionalism and high level of responsibility at work, Pranvera has played an important role in preserving institutional memory, not just of a ministry, but of our people. I am convinced that Pranvera is one of many silent heroines whose work speaks more than the words of those who reflect it.

Thank you!


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