Marriët Schuurman in NY: ''We can do better''

  • 25 Oct. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 27 Oct. 2016 09:29

“NATO hosts what could well be the largest global coalition on UNSCR 1325,” said NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security Marriët Schuurman at a United Nations (UN) Security Council debate marking the landmark ‘No Women, No Peace’ Resolution’s anniversary. At the UN Headquarters in New York on 25 October 2016, Ambassador Schuurman discussed the need for inclusiveness in sustaining peace and explained recent efforts taken to cement the dialogue between NATO and representatives of civil society who work in conflict prevention, resolution and women’s empowerment. She also highlighted the importance of combatting sexual violence through the ongoing implementation of the Military Guidelines on the Prevention of, and Response to Conflict-related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

sc meeting on women peace and security

UN Photo/Evan Schneider

On women’s participation in NATO’s peace operations Ambassador Schuurman spoke frankly: “We can do better. Just 10% of NATO’s armed forces are women. Of those deployed on operations, it is just 5.5%.  We understand that improving this ratio will improve our effectiveness and urge member states to do their part.” She strongly supported the recent pledge to double the proportion of women in peacekeeping at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London in September 2016. She also applauded NATO as a role model for its recent high-level appointments of women to the most senior roles in the Alliance, most notably the NATO Deputy Secretary General (October 2016), the Commander of NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy in June 2016 and the Commandant of the NATO Defense College in September 2016.

The Security Council debate on UNSCR 1325 was chaired by the Russian Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin. Opening statements were given by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Ms Rita Lopidia, Executive Director and Co-founder of the EVE Organization for Women Development, South Sudan (on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security). Other participants in the meeting included representatives from the European Union, African Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and dozens of non-governmental organisations.