Edita Tahiri is a key founder and leader of the movement for independence of Kosovo. She was Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs for ten years during the hard times of Kosovo’s liberation (1990-2000), Minister of Dialogue, Minister of Public Administration, Peace Negotiator and Member of Parliament in five terms.
She has a long-standing experience in foreign policy and security, international relations, conflict resolution, international peace negotiations and post-conflict transitions. She is a distinguished peace negotiator and chief negotiator for Kosovo and the Balkan region with about 30 years’ experience. She is recognized as the only woman peace negotiator in the Balkans participating in the international peace processes such as the Rambouillet International Peace Conference on Kosovo (1999), Pre-Rambouillet Peace Negotiation (1998), London Conference on Disintegration of Former Yugoslavia (1992) and Chief Negotiator of Kosovo at the EU facilitated Dialogue on normalization of neighborly relations between Kosovo and Serbia (2011-2017). As the Chief Negotiator of Kosovo in the EU mediated peace talks with Serbia, she is the signatory of first ever-reached agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, after 20 years of peace talks.
She is dedicated to empowerment of women and WPS agenda and has been serving as Chair of the Regional Women’s Lobby in South East Europe for the past 14 years. She is a member of the Women Waging Peace Network.
She is a graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a major in international relations. She holds a PhD in Political Sciences focused in the international state-building from Prishtina University in cooperation with SAIS Johns Hopkins University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.
Laura Bologna is a Political Affairs Officer at the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) at UNHQ in New York since 2000, after having served in the diplomatic service at the Permanent Mission of San Marino to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where she focused on human rights and gender. Laura is part of the Network as Member from the Mediterranean region and can contribute thanks to her extensive and direct experience in mediation processes as well as her wide network of contacts in the region and in Africa. She brings over 20 years of experience in diplomacy, international relations in the field of peace and security, intergovernmental processes, conflict prevention, mediation, elections and gender. For several years, she focused on Africa, in particular the Great Lakes region, Eastern and Southern Africa and Sudan. She served in UN peace operations including Nepal in 2007, in Sudan in the Office of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel for the Sudan Referenda in 2011, and in Nicosia in the Office of the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus where she assisted during the negotiations in 2016. Over the last few years, she focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the relative peace process. She has extensive knowledge on UNSR 1325 and women peace and security issues as well as gender parity. She holds a master degree in Political Science and International Affairs from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.