NATO Special Representative calls for greater participation of women in defence and security

  • 30 Nov. 2012 -
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  • Last updated: 30 Nov. 2012 22:48

Mari Skåre, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, stressed the importance of fully involving women in security issues such as conflict resolution in a speech at the United Nations Security Council on Friday.

We encourage states and our partners to ensure women’s participation in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts,” Ms. Skåre said at the UN Security Council’s open debate on women, peace and security. “The overall aim is to raise awareness and work toward greater female participation in the areas of defence and security.

At the NATO Lisbon Summit in November 2010, NATO Heads of State and Government endorsed an Action Plan on Mainstreaming UN Security Council Resolution 1325 into NATO-led missions and operations. “NATO, as a political-military organization, is playing its part,” said Ms. Skåre. “We have a policy, we have an action plan, and together with partners we are turning words into deeds.”

The deployment of gender advisors as part of operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo , and the enhancement of gender-related training and education have proven to be invaluable tools to increase the role of women in security forces she said. Enhancing cooperation with other international organisations, non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives are among NATO’s priorities to ensure the full implementation of UN resolutions on women, peace and security.

Ms. Skåre was appointed as the NATO Special Representative in August 2012. Her mandate is to reinforce and promote the implementation by NATO of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and other related resolutions. This is the first time NATO has appointed a special representative for these issues. The UNSCR 1325 was adopted in 2000, marking the first formal recognition by the international community of both the impact of conflict on women, and the contribution that women can make to building and consolidating peace.