NATO Secretary General discusses women, peace and security with influential female activists from the Middle East and North Africa

  • Last updated: 29 Mar. 2012 14:38

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met today with Nobel Peace Prize winner Mrs Tawakkol Karman, from Yemen, and peace activist Ms Hibaaq Osman, from Somalia, in the margins of a NATO-sponsored conference on women, peace and security.

Left to right: V-Day Special Representative for Africa, Middle East, and Asia, Hibaaq Osman; NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2011, Tawakul Karman

Mrs Karman and Ms Osman were visiting NATO Headquarters as part of a group of sixteen female activists from Middle Eastern and North African countries, who discussed the implementation of the United Nation’s Resolution on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325).

During the meeting, the NATO Secretary General underlined that improving the role of women in conflict resolution and peace building can play a major role in addressing many of our common challenges.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen also highlighted that NATO is already implementing UNSCR 1325 throughout the Alliance’s military structure, and stressed that there is a lot NATO can do with partner countries toward reaching the goals of this Resolution, starting with gender-related education and training.

The NATO Secretary General expressed his appreciation for the work done by Mrs Karman and Ms Osman in raising awareness among the civil societies in Middle Eastern and North African countries and the broader Arab world in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

Mr Rasmussen agreed with Mrs Karman and Ms Osman that more than 10 years after the adoption of UNSCR 1325, there is still some way to go before women across the globe have assumed their rightful place in matters of peace and security.  And they agreed that this will be a challenge, not least, in North Africa and the Middle East.