The adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 was an historic event. It marked the first formal recognition by the international community of both the impact of conflict on women, and the contribution women can make to building and consolidating peace. NATO’s approach towards the implementation of UNSCR 1325 is founded on the principle of building and maintaining sustainable peace and security.
In November 2010, at the NATO Summit Meeting in Lisbon, Allied Heads of State and Government underscored NATO’s commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 by endorsing both a comprehensive report, which had been developed jointly by Allies and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) partners, and an Action Plan on Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 into NATO-led missions and operations, developed jointly with ISAF and KFOR contributors. In June 2011, as mandated at Lisbon, a revised NATO/EAPC Policy on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions was approved, together with an Implementation Plan to underpin that Policy. One of the goals of the Implementation Plan is to ensure unabated high-level commitment by NATO and its Allies and partners to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and Related Resolutions (UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889 and UNSCR 1960). This first annual progress report by the NATO Secretary General reflects that commitment.
NATO’s revised Policy on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions is based on a practical, six-track approach: operations; mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in policies, programmes and documentation; cooperating with International Organisations, NGOs and civil society; education and training; public diplomacy; and national initiatives. Over the past year, there has been progress in each of these areas, as highlighted below.
Mainstreaming in Operations
The NATO Action Plan on Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 into NATO-led Operations and Missions was endorsed at the Lisbon Summit meeting. It was subsequently revised in August 2011 in order to include an initial set of primarily quantitative indicators. The intention is to update this report regularly and to evolve the initial set of indicators in a way that will allow a more qualitative measurement of success over time.
Both of NATO’s Strategic Headquarters (Allied Command Transformation, ACT and Allied Command Operations, ACO) now have deployed Gender Advisers. Within the ISAF command structure, more than ten gender-related positions have been created and filled in various headquarters. Additional gender related positions, or points of contact with similar responsibilities, have been deployed by nations in their Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). One gender adviser has been deployed at KFOR HQ.
A workshop was heldin early November at the NATO Defence College in Rome, with the objective of assessing and enhancing gender perspective training practices, in order to improve implementation of UNSCR 1325 in NATO-led operations and missions.
Mainstreaming UNSCR 1325 in Policies, Programmes and Documentation
The revised NATO/EAPC Policy and related practical activities have been extended to NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative Partners, as well as to the Alliance’s partners across the globe, thus multiplying efforts to implement UNSCR 1325 through dialogue and practical cooperation. NATO will continue actively to pursue greater partner involvement in the future.
UNSCR 1325 is fully integrated in the Building Integrity Initiative for Afghanistan under the NATO-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership.
Cooperating with International Organisations, NGOs and Civil Society
Cooperation was further consolidated during the course of 2011, with UNSCR 1325 being included for the first time on the formal agendas of NATO staff talks with the UN and the OSCE. An informal staff-level network has been established of gender experts working within NATO, OSCE, EU, UNDPKO and UN Women. A VTC meeting of these experts took place in February this year. NATO is also currently coordinating a mapping exercise of gender-related education and training activities in these organisations.
Education and Training
Nations and ACT have included gender perspective-related modules in most of their pre-deployment training. Also, a template for gender pre-deployment training has been developed by NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP). As a tool for transformation within NATO structures, gender is being included in staff exercises.
NATO is also contributing to a UNDP project aimed at “Supporting Gender Mainstreaming in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans”.
Public Diplomacy – Raising Awareness
Over the past year, NATO has actively continued its dual-approach UNSCR 1325 public diplomacy strategy of communication through internet and engagement. A special NATO TV Channel on Internet (NITV) module was launched on “Empowering Women”, with a strong focus on Afghanistan. Also, an international discussion was held, via VTC, on the Role of Women, Peace and Security, connecting NATO Headquarters with universities of Moscow (Russia), Tbilisi (Georgia), and Kabul and Herat (Afghanistan). Furthermore, information programmes have been prepared for female officers, human rights activists, and experts on UNSCR 1325 from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Georgia. Conferences and seminars have been organised on the subject throughout 2011, and on 1st December 2011, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, in cooperation with the Club of Madrid, will hold a workshop with International Organisations and NGOs at NATO Headquarters on “Lessons Learnt from Implementing UNSCR 1325”.
At national level, implementation of UNSCR 1325 is supported through National Action Plans and other national level strategies. Twenty-oneNATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations have such plans or strategies(Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany,Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Slovenia,Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, and United Kingdom).