NATO organises second workshop on military guidelines on the prevention of, and response to, conflict-related sexual and gender based violence

  • 28 Mar. 2018 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Apr. 2018 15:28

On 28 March 2018, the Belgium Royal Military Academy in Brussels hosted the second workshop on military guidelines on the prevention of, and response to, Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

The workshop allowed NATO personnel, international and field subject matter experts, current gender advisors, representatives of UN, EU, ICRC and civil society to come together, discuss and evaluate the progress made by NATO in regards to the implementation of the NATO Military Guidelines on the prevention of, and response to, Conflict-Related Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and the work that still lies ahead.

During the Opening Session, Commodore Darren Bone, Secretary to the NATO Military Committee and Executive Coordinator to the NATO International Military Staff (IMS), welcomed participants and recognised that Conflict-Related SGBV is part of the wide continuum of violence. He also highlighted that “NATO’s aim is to reduce the risk of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence and improve the responsive measures that take protection needs into consideration”.

NATO and its partners are taking actions to promote the role of women in peace and security. This demonstrates their commitment to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and related Resolutions (1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122 and 2422) that call upon all parties of armed conflicts to take special measures to protect women, men, boys and girls from such violence. On the 1st of June 2015, NATO adopted the Military Guidelines as the recognition of the need to prevent and respond to Conflict-Related SGBV.

These Military Guidelines are being implemented in all of NATO’s operations, missions and activities. “From a military perspective, the main message is that gender perspective is an important element of operational planning. It is not only about the ethical imperative but also about the operational efficiency of NATO. Conflict-Related SGBV affects NATO mission’s success so it is more important than ever to implement these military guidelines. Empowering and protecting women is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do”, stressed Brigadier General Gianmarco Badialetti, Deputy Director of the Operations and Planning Divisions of the NATO International Military Staff.

Ambassador Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, concluded the panel discussion by reminding the audience that “Conflict-Related SGBV is not just an evitable consequence of conflict but that is can also be one of the root causes of it. We have translate these guidelines into operational effective practices that will enhance the protection of women and girls because if we don’t address this head on, this violation of the human rights will continue to torment whole populations”.