GNWP Welcomes first Cora Weiss Fellow
|by Mavic Cabera-Balleza & Rachel Ford
New York, USA – June 27, 2016 – The Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) is delighted to welcome Patience Ikpeh from Lagos, Nigeria as the first recipient of the Cora Weiss Fellowship for Young Women Peacebuilders. Ikpeh, who holds a master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Lagos, is a peace activist and has contributed to many important projects toward the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security through education and the inclusion of women in Nigeria’s peacebuilding agenda.
Through this fellowship, Ikpeh will have the opportunity to work with GNWP for one year on its global and regional advocacy work in the UN and other intergovernmental institutions to promote the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its supporting resolutions, as well as related laws and policies on women’s empowerment, and gender equality. In addition, Ikpeh will participate in GNWP’s Localization of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 training for local authorities to integrate women and peace and security commitments in local development planning. Moreover, Ikpeh will take part in training young women and adolescent girls on leadership and peacebuilding under the Girl Ambassadors for Peace program.
Asked about what she hopes to achieve as the first Cora Weiss Fellow, she answered, “This program will enable me share expertise and learn best practices in actualizing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and other related resolutions towards promoting peaceful coexistence globally.”
When Ikpeh finishes her fellowship with GNWP, she will return to Nigeria to bring her enhanced skills and expertise back to her home organization.
The Cora Weiss Fellowship was established to honor Cora Weiss, a long time peace and social justice leader and activist. Weiss is a supporter of the United Nations, an early member of Women Strike for Peace, serving on the National Board of WSP from 1961-1973. She was a leader in the anti-Vietnam war movement in the United States. She was the co-chair and director of the Committee of Liaison with Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam from 1969-1972. As part of this group Weiss organized the exchange of mail between Prisoners of War (POW) held in Vietnam and their families. Weiss and the COL arranged for the return of some POWs. She was the president and a co-founder of The Hague Appeal for Peace. Always interested in the international aspects of the peace movement Weiss was president of the International Peace Bureau from 2000-2006. She is the recipient of numerous peace awards from all over the world.