Vienna, 9 December 2005 Press release

Plassnik: “Women make a particular contribution to peace”


Foreign Minister on the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize award to Bertha von Suttner

Vienna, 9 December 2005 - "Bertha von Suttner was a great central European whose commitment to peace was consciously designed to inspire and motivate women," stressed Foreign Minister Plassnik on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Bertha von Suttner. "Only when women can participate actively, when they are listened to and are fully integrated in political decision-making processes will it be possible to change many of these processes. Only then will women be able to make a political contribution," emphasised Plassnik.

"Women make a particular contribution in connection with the avoidance of conflicts and also in post-conflict reconstruction. Just think of the reconstruction work carried out by women after the Second World War, or how untold numbers of women who are affected today by hostilities reorganise their lives under the most adverse circumstances," continued the Foreign Minister.

Plassnik pointed out that within the EU, OSCE and UN Austria supported greater involvement by women in peace negotiations. "This involvement should also be firmly anchored in the mandate of the new UN Commission for the Consolidation of Peace," added the Foreign Minister. "These initiatives, whose value and justification are obvious to us today, were pioneered by the visionary Bertha von Suttner a hundred years ago," said Plassnik.

Bertha von Suttner is one of the focuses of Austria’s international cultural activities for 2005/2006 and a series of events in over 30 countries will pay homage to her life and work.

Contact for further enquiries:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
From Austria: 050 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
From abroad: ++43 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: 050 1159 213 or ++43 50 1159 213