NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security takes office
Clare Hutchinson took office as the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) on Monday (8 January 2018). A Canadian national, Ms Hutchinson's past experience includes more than ten years as a Gender Adviser with the United Nations, including in Kosovo and Lebanon.
Ms Hutchinson said: “Having worked many years in the United Nations as a partner to NATO, I have testified to the Alliance’s growing commitment and dedication to this agenda. I am eager to build on the successes achieved so far on the WPS mandate.”
Announcing Ms Hutchinson's appointment in November, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "Empowering women is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do: it makes countries safer and more stable. NATO is determined to make a difference, including through our training and operations". He added: "We still need to do more, but for NATO, peace and security are not just a man’s world."
NATO has long recognised the importance of women in the armed forces: the Committee on Women in NATO Forces was formed in 1976. Today, the Alliance focuses on gender issues in training and operations; works with international organisations like the Red Cross to protect civilians; and aims to promote women at all levels in the organisation, starting with Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller.
Clare Hutchinson succeeds Ambassador Marriët Schuurman of the Netherlands, who served as Special Representative from 2014 to 2017. The post's inaugural holder was Mari Skåre of Norway, who served from 2012 to 2014.