Leymah Gbowee is joining 1,300 peace activists in The Hague from 27 – 29 April to set a new peacemaking agenda for the 21st century. It is the first conference of its kind in 100 years.

Leymah Gbowee, Liberian peace activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner and member of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, will be a keynote speaker at the Women’s Power to Stop War Conference, an event hosted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – the oldest women’s peace organisation.

Gbowee led the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Her efforts to end the war helped usher in a period of peace and enable a free election in 2005, won by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Leymah Gbowee will share her experience in peacemaking with activists attending the Conference, which will be hosted at the World Forum from 27 – 29 April in The Hague, the Netherlands.

“A radical shift in the approach to peace is necessary,” explains Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of WILPF, who is known for speaking out against human rights abuses, as portrayed in the feature film The Whistleblower (2010).“First we have to believe in it and not make war and violence just more manageable. Second we have to build inclusive investment into sustaining peace, placing human rights, the environment and justice – in particular economic and social – at the core of policy making and address inequalities. We can only do this with real and inclusive participation – by all of us.”

“You cannot build peace unless you deal with the root causes of conflict. You have to understand how power works, who has it, who wants it, and how it impacts on men and women differently and affects our abilities to reach out to each other across national, religious, ethnic and political divides,” says Rees.

The Conference is supported by organisations like the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the International Peace Bureau, and it is aimed at coming up with a new, holistic peacebuilding agenda for the 21st century.

Registration for the Conference is now open on www.womenstopwar.org.

Pictures of Leymah Gbowee can be downloaded on – http://bit.ly/1E08z17

Pictures of Madeleine Rees can be downloaded on – http://bit.ly/1PfE4wU