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GWL Voices for Change and Inclusion participated, once again, in the Reykjavik Global Forum.
GWL Voices was represented by one of its co-founders, Irina Bokova, former Director-General of UNESCO, and Alba Gavaliugov, President of the Spanish Alliance of MUN, under the HER TURN programe, aimed at promoting Intergenerational dialogue among women leaders.
The Reykjavik Global Forum has been organized by Women Political Leaders (WPL), the Government of Iceland and the Parliament of Iceland since 2018. This year it brought together more than 400 women leaders, from both the public and private sector, from across the world, who for two days have shared their knowledge, both speaking and listening to each other, on a wide range of topics, from women’s health, to gender equality in the metaverse, the current state of geopolitics, women peace and security, to climate change gender related challenges.
Irina Bokova and Alba Gavaliugov were conversationists at a panel  about UN reform entitled “Stress Test to the UN”, together with Aya Chebbi, pan-african feminist and founder of the Nala Feminist Collective and former Special Youth Envoy of the African Union. The conversation was chaired by Stephanie Fillion, Canadian journalist and UN correspondent.
During the conversation, hosted at Harpa Conference Centre in Reykjavik, they discussed the challenges to the UN reform, the possibilities of reform beyond Charter reform, the importance of giving youth a more prominent role inside of the organization and about the chances of a woman being elected as the 10th Secretary General of the UN.
“Around the world gender equality is suffering, women’s rights are in a difficult moment, girls are not going to school, FGM is still taking place, the economic inequality of women is on the rise and political freedoms are being shed, so I really think a female Secretary General of the UN would send a strong message” explained Irina Bokova when asked about the chances of the UN being lead by a woman in the near future.
“We need creativity, bravery and expertise at the service of the UN reform to make sure change, even beyond Charter reform, can start today, because it is possible”, “youth are a social majority in Africa, where they represent 70% of the population, in Europe they are less than 30%, becoming a social minority, but everywhere in the world young people are a political and economic minority and this needs to change”  said Alba Gavaliugov who also spoke about the need “for an alliance of generations between young people and the UN to guarantee the survival of multilateralism”.
In GWL Voices we believe in a future with a strengthened multilateralism and gender equality. In order to make this a reality we are certain intergenerational dialogue and support amongst women of present and future generations is key.