Why a meeting of Women Foreign Ministers

Why a meeting of Women Foreign Ministers

I write as I travel from Montreal to New York – where a very intense working week starts today, because of the United Nations’ General Assembly. Over the last two days in Montreal, Canada, we gathered the world’s Women Foreign Ministers for the first time in a long while, together with Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

When Chrystia and I had this idea, it was first and foremost because we realised, through our daily work, what a special contribution women bring to foreign policy, to peace negotiations, to national reconciliation processes. For this reason, during Montreal’s meeting we discussed the main international crises, from Syria to Ukraine, not only among Foreign Ministers but inviting other women who work to solve conflicts: we want to support them in their difficult – yet vital – work.

But we also decided to hold this meeting to tell our stories to girls and women all around the world: we wanted to show that there are no jobs “for men only”, and that every girl has the right to do anything she wants with her life. We will continue to work together, in the coming weeks and with a new meeting next year. Here is my opening speech, here the final press conference.

In Canada we also decided to remember a shooting from almost thirty years ago: fourteen young women were killed simply because they were women who dared to study, be bright and be free. Here is the video.

My week started in Brussels, where we presented our Strategy to better connect Europe and Asia. This is a crucial issue for our economies’ future: great infrastructure projects between our continents must create new opportunities and new jobs, both in Europe and in Asia. Here is our press conference on the Strategy.

In Brussels, over the week, I met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with Colombia’s new Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Oman’s Foreign Minister Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. And I spoke to Ukraine’s Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, to discuss the situation in Idlib.

From Brussels to Salzburg, on Wednesday, to discuss migration and the work we are doing with the African Union and the United Nations, at the informal meeting of the European Union’s heads of State and government. Here is what I told journalists in Salzburg.

In the coming days, starting today, we will push forward our trilateral cooperation with the United Nations and the African Union, in the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. And like every year, the General Assembly will be the opportunity to work on all the most important dossiers for Europe and the world.