The Syrian Women’s Advisory Board (WAB) was established by the Office of the Special Envoy in January 2016, in partnership with UN Women and with the support of the UN Department of Political Affairs. This came after several years of efforts and advocacy by Syrian women’s rights activists for a direct and meaningful role in the peace talks.
The core idea behind the WAB is to ensure diverse women’s perspectives and the gender equality agenda are considered throughout the political process and at key junctures including when peace talks are convened in Geneva. This is in line with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000); other Women, Peace and Security-related resolutions; and Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) which “encourages the meaningful participation of women in the UN-facilitated political process for Syria.”
The 17 women of the WAB come from diverse backgrounds and affiliations, however they share a commitment to engage in dialogue with all sides, uphold and champion women’s rights, and support efforts to bring about a fair, just and sustainable political settlement responding to the aspirations of all Syrians, men and women. To this end, they are committed to supporting a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process facilitated by the UN.
The WAB have convened at pivotal moments in the UN-led, Syrian-owned and -led political process, including around meetings of the Constitutional Committee, and regularly consult with the Special Envoy, his team, and relevant stakeholders.
The Women’s Advisory Board is supported by the governments of the Netherlands, Norway and Finland, and appreciates further support from the EU .The WAB has also benefited from generous support from the Government of Italy, which funded a mission of the WAB to Rome in September 2023.