High Level Advisory Group

About the High Level Advisory Group

The High Level Advisory Group provided engaged advice on the Global Study process on a regular basis.

Currently serving as the Secretary General of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Ms. Reese began her career as a lawyer specializing in discrimination law. In 1998 she moved to more international work and started working as a gender expert and Head of Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Supporting the OHCHR’s extensive work on the issue of trafficking, she was a member of the expert coordination group of the trafficking task force of the Stability Pact. Ms. Rees served as the Head of the Women’s Rights and Gender Unit for the OHCHR from 2006 to 2010, a move that eventually led to her current work at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was recently awarded an OBE for her work on women, peace and security.
Ms. Rehn has a long history of working for human rights and equality in Europe. Among past employment she lists positions such as Finnish Member of Parliament (1979-1995), Finnish Minister of Equality Affairs (1991-1995), Finland’s first female Minister of Defense (1990-1995), UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Croatia, FY, Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYROM (1995-1997), and UN Under-Secretary-General for SRSG in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1998-1999). She was a UNIFEM Independent Expert on the impact of war on women and co-authored the report “Women, War, Peace” with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2002. Ms. Rehn is currently a member of the Global Leadership Foundation and works as an independent consultant, lending her expertise on crisis management and the role of women in the peace process for governments and UN agencies. She is also a member (and past chair) of the Board of Directors for the International Court of Justice’ Trust Fund for Victims.
Following a distinguished military career serving both the Netherlands and the UN, Major General Patrick Cammaert now works as a consultant and advocate on issues related to international peace and security. He has advised the senior management of DPKO, UNDP and UN Women and was the lead consultant for the drafting and implementation of the scenario based training on sexual violence in armed conflict. His responsibilities have included carrying out fact finding/assessment missions to several UN Missions and as Special Envoy to Sri Lanka for the SRSG for Children in Armed Conflict. He serves as Chairman of the Dutch Foundation for Refugees and is a member of the advisory board of the Mukomeze Foundation. He is also member of the Consortium Advisory Group of the Justice and Security Research Program of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
In her current role with Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas Ms. Luz Mendez works for gender equality, social justice and peacebuilding. She participated in the table of peace negotiations as part of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity’s delegation, where she dedicated special attention to the incorporation of gender equality commitments in the accords. After the end of the war, she was a member of the National Council for the Implementation of the Peace Accords. She was also the coordinator of the Women Agents for Change Consortium, an alliance of women's and human rights organizations working for the empowerment of women survivors of sexual violence during the armed conflict, seeking justice and reparations. 
A graduate of the Universidad Santo Tomás in Bogotá, Ms Liliana Silva Bello has worked seriously on issues of human rights, inclusion, and protection for the most vulnerable populations in Colombia. She worked for two years at the Instituto Distrital de la Participación y Acción Comunal (IDPAC), part of the office of the Mayor of Bogotá. There she coordinated with civil society organizations to strengthen and improve the democratic participation of diverse groups within the city. Ms. Silva Bello has been most recently working on issues of justice, truth, and memory with survivors of conflict in Colombia.
In 1999 Ms. Sharon Bhagwan Rolls switched careers from the mainstream media to dedicate herself to the women's movement in the Pacific region. In 2000 she co-founded FemLINKPacific, a women's media NGO. Since November of that same year, she has guided FemLINKPacific to work towards full implementation and integration of UNSC Resolution 1325 in Fiji. Her work on 1325 has not gone unnoticed by the international community, and in 2010 she was a member of the UN's Civil Society Advisory Group on the resolution.
A career diplomat, Amb. Anwarul Chowdhury has represented the government of Bangladesh as ambassador to six different countries and served as the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations from 2002 to 2007. Ambassador Chowdhury also served as President of the United Nations Security Council for two terms (2000 and 2001) and Chairman (1985-86) and President (2000) of the UNICEF Executive Board. His initiative in March 2000 as the President of the Security Council achieved the political and conceptual breakthrough that led to the adoption of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Currently he is the Chair of the International Drafting Committee on the Human Right to Peace and has been Chair of the International Day Peace NGO Committee at the UN since 2008.
Ms. Leymah Gbowee currently serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women, Peace and Security Network Africa, headquartered in Accra, Ghana. Ms. Gbowee has a long history as an activist and advocate for women in prolonged conflict – during the Liberian conflict she founded Liberian Mass Action for Peace and organized Muslim and Christian women to demonstrate together against Charles Taylor. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
After 20 years of work in development communication in government, Ms. Ruth Ochieng now serves as the Executive Director of Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE). She has also been one of the leaders who ensured women's voices were part of the agenda during the Juba Peace talks between the government of Uganda and the Lord's Resistance Movement. Additionally, Ms. Ochieng has served on several global boards such as the African Partnership for Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women and Girls, the Amnesty International Committee for Movement Growth, and the Women's Initiative for Gender Justice at The Hague. She has also presented at a number of national, regional, and international conferences advocating for the involvement of women in peace building processes as well as supporting the practical and strategic needs of women in post conflict settings.
Ms. Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) in South Africa. An expert in the field of transitional justice and gender, Ms. Sooka is a human rights lawyer who focuses on the legacy of Apartheid-specifically as it relates to issues such as poverty, HIV/AIDS and gender. Ms. Sooka';s experience in human rights includes serving as the Chair of the Legal Sub-Committee of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) from 1995-2002 and later as its Commissioner, acting as Judge of the Witwatersrand High Court, and being selected as Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone. Most recently, Ms. Sooka was appointed by Ban Ki-moon to serve on a Panel of Experts that will advise him on the issue of accountability with regard to alleged violations of international human rights law during the conflict in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Alaa Murabit founded The Voice of Libyan Women (VLW), a women's empowerment and development organization, in April 2011 in the midst of the Libyan Revolution. For her activities Murabit was listed by the Gaddafi regime as one of the "most wanted" women. VLW focuses on women, peace and security through both practical on the ground measures as well as legal and policy change. VLW established the Libyan Women's Charter as well as only national security assessment. Their "Noor Campaign" focusing on women and security is the largest campaign ever conducted in Libya, and has now been replicated in 6 countries in the MENA region. Recently Ms. Murabit was named the "Trust Women Hero" by The New York Times, "One of 25 women under 25 to watch" by Newsweek, and is the 2013 recipient of the Marisa Bellisario International Award for her "activities in favour of human rights" as awarded by the High Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic. She sits on the advisory board for the MENA Partnership Fund by the German Marshall Fund and has spoken at numerous international conferences about the importance of women's involvement at all levels, and is a medical doctor at Zawia Teaching Hospital.
An experienced peacebuilding professional, Mr. Youssef Mahmoud has held numerous senior positions at the UN, including as the Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and as Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Burundi (BINUB). Prior to these assignments, he served as UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana and Director in the UN Department of Political Affairs. Mr. Mahmoud currently serves as a Senior Advisor at the International Peace Institute, where he supports the Africa, Middle East, and peace operations programs and serves as a focal point on mediation policies and practices.
Originally a molecular biologist, Ms. Julia Kharashvili has been an active advocate for the rights of IDPs in Georgia since 1995. Since then she has worked for UNDP as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for their project on a new approach to IDP assistance and for the Georgian Department of International Relations in their Ministry of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia as Deputy Head of Department. Ms. Kharashvili currently acts as manager and chairperson of the NGO IDP Women Association Consent and has done so for the last 20 years.
As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Kosovo Women's Network (KWN), Ms. Igballe Rogova oversees a multi-ethnic network of 87 women's organizations that take on joint advocacy and initiatives to support, protect, and promote women's rights and interests throughout Kosovo. Since 2006, she has been a motor behind the establishment and initiatives of the Women's Peace Coalition, which joins KWN and Women in Black Network-Serbia in an independent citizens' initiative founded on women's solidarity that crosses divisions of ethnicity, religion and state borders. Ms. Rogova founded Kosovo's first women's organization, Motrat Qiriazi, in 1989.
Pramila Patten is the Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Chairperson of Working Group on General Recommendation 30 on "Women in Conflict Prevention, Conflict and Post Conflict Contexts" for which she conducted regional consultations in Thailand, Ethiopia, Turkey, Guatemala and Jordan. She also served as Commissioner on the International Commission of Inquiry into the massacre in Guinea Conakry (2009), an appointment made by the United Nations Secretary-General. She is the Founder and Member of WLAW (Women's Legal Action Watch) a non-governmental organization in Mauritius focusing on the promotion and protection of women's human rights.
Bandana Rana is currently the Executive President of Saathi, an NGO working on violenceagainst women and children in Nepal. She is also the regional coordinator of the South Asian Campaign for Gender Equality (SACGE) which collected a million signatures from South Asia in 2006 demanding for a resourceful and powerful Gender Architecture in the UN. Ms Rana has experience in leading advocacy programs for women's rights with focus on media interventions and enhancing participatory communication at all levels - community, national and regional. She has led and been a part of many studies and research programs related to Gender Based Violence during the conflict and post conflict situation of Nepal. Since 2004 she has been strongly advocating for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. She worked with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction as a lead consultant of the technical working group for developing the UNSCR 1325 & 1820 National Action Plan (NAP) of Nepal which was adopted on February 1, 2011. She is also a member of the Asia Pacific Advisory Group for Women Peace and Security for UN ESCAP. Ms Rana has in the past served as Chairperson of the National Women's Commission of Nepal. She is also currently a member of UN Women's Global Civil Society Advisory Group.

In Memoriam—Ms. Maha Abu Dayyeh (Palestine) (24 August 1951- 9 January 2015)

Ms. Maha Abu-Dayyeh was an active board member of Equality Now, and the founder and director of the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling in East Jerusalem. Ms. Abu-Dayyeh and also ran an NGO dedicated to advocating for the social and legal status of Palestinian women. Previously, Ms. Abu-Dayyeh worked as the head of the Quaker Service and Information Centre, the first organization to provide legal assistance to Palestinians held in Israeli jails.