UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér on first official visit to Kosovo, together with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde

Date: Friday, July 9, 2021

The high-level meeting gathered representatives from the civil society and women’s organizations to exchange approaches on advancing the WPS agenda in Kosovo.
During Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Åsa Regnér's visit, a high-level meeting gathered representatives from the civil society and women’s organizations to exchange approaches on advancing the women, peace and security agenda in Kosovo. Photo: UN Women Kosovo/Arben Llapashtica

On 7 and 8 July, Åsa Regnér, Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director visited Kosovo[1], together with OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Chairperson-in-Office and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ann Linde. The main theme of the visit was advancing the women, peace and security agenda in Kosovo. The visit also involved meetings with Kosovo government officials, and civil society representatives, further deepening the partnership and cooperation with UN Women and the OSCE in advancing gender equality, women’s empowerment and the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda.

During their visit, Regnér and Chairperson Linde met with the President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz.

Gender equality, women’s participation in building and sustaining peace over the past years, as well as women’s leadership and participation in decision making processes were discussed in various meetings during the visit. These discussions also reflected on successful strategies for inclusion, women’s empowerment, and support for young women’s peacebuilding and conflict prevention, transitional justice as well as women’s trust-building potential.

As part of the visit, UN Women and the UN Kosovo Team (UNKT) organized a high-level meeting in the National Public Library in Pristina with women’s rights civil society organizations to exchange approaches on advancing the WPS agenda in Kosovo. Highlighting that women’s rights organizations are core partners in operationalizing the WPS agenda, the meeting brought together representatives from women’s and civil society organizations who shared insights on their approaches, experiences and contributions towards advancing the WPS agenda in Kosovo. Over the years, these efforts have contributed to remarkable achievements in transitional justice and the WPS agenda in Kosovo.

UN Women Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary General, Åsa Regnér holds remarks during a high level meeting with civil society representatives on first official visit to Kosovo. Photo: UN Women Kosovo/Arben Llapashtica
UN Women Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary General, Åsa Regnér holds remarks during a high level meeting with civil society representatives on her first official visit to Kosovo. Photo: UN Women Kosovo/Arben Llapashtica

During her opening remarks, Regnér acknowledged that women’s organizations are indispensable in bringing women together, amplifying their voices, and mobilizing their collective power to demand accountability and change. Regnér also reaffirmed that UN Women will remain a strong supporter of their work in Kosovo. She also underlined the importance of women’s economic empowerment, "if women are not economically empowered, they cannot be fully involved in the women, peace and security agenda. Women need economic stability to take part in peace activities,” she stated.

Since 1999 UN Women (then UNIFEM) has worked in Kosovo to advance the WPS agenda in Kosovo, in close cooperation with the women’s organizations, local authorities and law enforcement. Since 2006, UN Women has been working with civil society organizations and Kosovo authorities to get legal recognition and redress for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Kosovo. This has resulted in thousands of conflict-related sexual violence survivors became eligible to receive monthly reparations from 2018. Women’s organizations have also made significant efforts in collaborating with international partners and institutions to implement the National Action Plan on 1325, after its approval in 2014. The National Action Plan on 1325 aims to promote and protect women’s human rights, and the recognition of the rights of survivors of conflict.

After the meeting in Pristina, Regnér and Chairperson Linde travelled to the municipality of Gjilan, for an event organized by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, which brought together key local actors in the field of security and domestic violence. During the meeting participants acknowledged UN Women’s role in establishing the Association of Women in Kosovo Police, and establishing the Municipal Coordination Mechanism on dealing with cases of domestic violence. This meeting marked the end of the mission’s visit.

Regnér has served as Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director for the Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships Bureau since May 2018.


[1] All references to Kosovo on this website should be understood to be in the context of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).