NATO discusses women and defence at Munich conference

  • 29 Jun. 2011 - 30 Jun. 2011
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  • Last updated: 01 Jul. 2011 17:10

Female role models from all over the world gathered in Munich, Germany on 29 and 30 June for a two-day conference entitled, “DLD women: Female Decade”.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 29:  (L-R) Sabine Bapst of NATO, Abigail Disney of Daphne Foundation, Alison Smale of the International Herald Tribune and Ziko Abzuk of Cisco speak during the Digital Life Design women conference (DLDwomen) at Bavarian National Museum on June 29, 2011 in Munich, Germany. The conference features discussions, case studies and lectures and brings together an extraordinary group of international high-profile speakers and more than 500 participants from business, media, technology, society, health, education, politics and science.  (Photo by Sascha Baumann/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sabine Bapst; Abigail Disney; Alison Smale; Ziko Abzu

The aim of the DLD (Digital Life Design) conference was to help shed light on current and future developments in female markets, leaderships, politics, media, science, digital, business, society, education and health.

The conference, which was hosted by German TV celebrity and physician Dr Maria Furtwängler-Burda attracted high-level women from all over the world.  These included Ms Regina Sixt, owner of the Sixt Group, Ms Irene Natividad, Summit President for Global Summit of Women, Joanna Shields, Facebook Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Honourable Senator Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Minister for Women, Family and Community Development in Malaysia and many more.

An important role for women

During the conference, NATO’s Acting Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Dr. Stefanie Babst raised the importance for women to be fully engaged in international security matters.

Dr Babst outlined the steps NATO has taken in order to implement United Nations Resolution 1325, including the continued efforts to protect and empower women and girls in Afghanistan.

“Many people take peace and security for granted, but they do not come for free,” Dr Babst said. “In many parts around this world women and girls suffer from the consequences of conflict and war. They deserve all full support and protection." She called for more women to be included in peacekeeping negotiations and reconstruction efforts.

"Issues of war and peace are far too important to only be discussed by men,” said Dr Babst.  “Women too can bring many important assets, experiences and perspectives to the forefront.”

Dr Babst addressed an audience of more than 500 high-level women from various international organisations, private companies, ministries, NGOs and even royalty. It was the first time a representative from NATO was invited.

The conference, created in 2010 as a networking forum for women, was organised by the DLD Burda Media Corporation.