NATO officials attend high-level political military seminar on UNSCR 1325 in NATO-led Operations and Missions

  • 17 Dec. 2012 - 18 Dec. 2012
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  • Last updated: 21 Dec. 2012 16:07

Earlier this week NATO co-hosted a political-military seminar with the Swedish Government on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which was held on 17-18 December 2012 in Stockholm.

Chaired by the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Operations, Ambassador Stephen Evans, the seminar attracted more than 100 senior level political and military decision makers and specialists from Allied and relevant partner nations.  They discussed the operational realities and challenges of implementing the Women Peace and Security agenda when conducting operations and missions.

The event was opened by the Swedish Minister for Defence, Her Excellency Ms Karin Enström, who thanked NATO for the significant steps it has taken in implementing UNSCR 1325.

“What organizations have become more aware of in recent years, are the operational effects and hands-on results which come when we include 1325 in strategies – be it military or civilian.  The full and equal participation of women in conflict prevention, crisis management, conflict resolution and peace-building, contributes to international peace and security.  Through seminars like this, we can raise the work to a more concrete level”, Minister Enström said. 

Other speakers included the Executive Director of UN Women, the former Australian Secretary for Defence, the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women Peace and Security, the Commander of the Italian Carabinieri Mobile Training Unit, and the NATO Deputy Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan.

During the two day seminar there was an overall agreement that women are relevant to military operations as part of the peace support effort and that operations must take into consideration the different security needs of men, women, boys and girls.  The integration of gender aspects in military operations is therefore key to effectiveness and accountability. 

It was noted that Allies and operational partners have come a long way since the NATO Action Plan was endorsed at the Lisbon Summit in 2010, but that there are still some challenges that NATO faces. 

“As our operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo will change over the next few years, we need to ensure that we can help the Afghan National Security Forces and Kosovo Security Forces live up to their obligations to respect human rights, in particular those of women and girls”, Ambassador Evans said in his closing statement.      

To help overcome some of these challenges, many pragmatic recommendations were put on the table during the seminar.  These will be used as further guidance to the UNSCR 1325 review which was tasked by heads of state and government at the May Chicago Summit.  NATO has asked the Nordic Centre for Gender in Operations, based in Sweden, to conduct this review, which they hope to complete in mid-2013.