Bela Kapur

Senior Advisor

Bela Kapur holds a master’s degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center and an LL.B from the University of Buckingham. Bela advises on women, peace and security.
Bela’s work is informed by her experiences over more than two decades on conflict issues at the multilateral level. Much of this work has been undertaken with the United Nations (the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Political Affairs). She has also worked with the UK’s Department for International Development, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Multinational Force & Observers in the Sinai. These engagements have enabled Bela to gain direct operational experience of the nexus between human rights, politics and conflict in many conflict countries, including: Bosnia-Herzegovina; Colombia; Egypt; Israel; Palestine; Pakistan; and, Sudan. Bela also served as the interim Women’s Empowerment Adviser in the UN Support Mission in Libya and the Political Affairs Adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Syria in Damascus. Her most recent staff position with the UN was as Head of the Secretariat of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.
Since 2016, Bela has focused her efforts on working and researching the role of women in peace and political processes and the linkages between local and national processes, as well as transformational coalition-building, agenda-setting and influencing of women’s and feminist movements. Bela also coaches women living in and working on conflict-affected contexts.
Bela is the sole or lead author of numerous United Nations publications including reports of the High Commissioner on Human Rights on East Timor, as well as reports of the Secretary-General on the situation of Women in Afghanistan, and, most recently, the 2015 Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.
In 2013, while on special leave from the UN, Bela was the Robert Drinan S.J. Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., undertaking research and delivering a seminar to JD and LL.M students (Protection of Human Rights in Conflict Situations: Law and Practice).

Regional Specialization

The Middle East

Thematic Specialization

Inclusive peace processes and peacebuilding; protection of human rights in conflict; women, peace and security


English, Spanish and French

Selected Publications

  • 'A Right Not A Gift: Women Building Feminist Peace' with Ola Saleh, Kvinna till Kvinna, 2020
  • 'Feminist Leadership, A Call for Action', Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, 2020
  • 'Syrian Women’s Political Movement Hopes to Bring Feminist Approach to Peace and Transition', LSE Centre for Women Peace and Security, 2018
  • 'Women and Conflict Prevention' with Madeleine Rees, Oxford Handbook of Women Peace and Security, 2018
  • 'The Participation of Syrian Women in Political Processes 2012-2016', Literature Review, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, May 2017
  • 'From War to Sustainable Peace: A Solidarity Dialogue between Ukrainian and Bosnian Women Activists', Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Kvinna Till Kvinna, October 2016
  • '5 Stations on the Way to Damascus: Protecting Human Rights During and After Conflict', Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute 'Perspectives on Human Rights', Volume 1, Number 1, November 2014
  • 'Voices from Ukraine: Civil Society as A Driver of Peace', Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, September 2014