Annual conference on gender perspectives
Gender representatives from NATO member states, partner countries, international organisations and academia came together for the annual conference of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives from 30 May to 2 June 2017. This year’s theme was “Beyond the Stereotypes – Integrating Gender Perspectives in Projecting Stability”.
The aim was to discuss how to integrate a gender perspective into NATO’s efforts to work with partners to project stability beyond its territory in areas such as maritime operations, the refugee and migrant crisis, terrorism and extremism, and capacity-building.
General Petr Pavel, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, officially opened the 41st annual conference of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives, along with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
“The Alliance’s ability to succeed in projecting stability will require a comprehensive approach, embracing diversity and equality – an all-inclusive approach. While we cannot impose our values on others, we can export those crucial values and share our perspectives,” said General Pavel. Furthermore, he challenged conference participants “to push boundaries, break stereotypes and give us some fresh perspectives and ideas.”
Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller underlined that “we have seen the effects and added value of integrating the gender perspective in our operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, in particular. Women’s equal and meaningful participation is not just a question of equality and doing the right thing, it’s a question of how you engage and it’s a question about achieving your objective in a more efficient, more effective manner. It’s about bringing different perspectives, different capabilities to the table, it’s about making our militaries and institutions more capable, more credible, and better equipped. It’s doing things right, it’s the smart thing to do.”
The conference brought together more than 100 national delegates and observers from NATO member and partner countries, experts from NATO, the United Nations, the European Union, academia and civil society.
On the last day of the conference, Lieutenant Colonel Katrien D’Hert of the Belgian Armed Forces was introduced as the new Chair of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives. She takes over from Lieutenant Colonel Nevena Miteva of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The new Chair said she hoped to bring further the work of Allies, partners and international organisations on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. “The integration of the principles of UNCSR 1325 and gender perspectives, should be a common endeavour and inherent to our daily work in the political, civilian and military environments.”