NATO starts talks with civil society on Women, Peace and Security Policy update

  • 22 Jan. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 26 Jan. 2024 12:10

On 18-19 January 2024, NATO held its first talks with Civil Society representatives on the update of NATO’s policy on Women, Peace and Security. The talks were carried out as part of the first meeting of the new Civil Society Advisory Panel (CSAP) on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) under the leadership of NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for WPS Irene Fellin.

Civil Society Advisory Panel on Women, Peace and Security - Annual meeting

Ms Fellin said: “the CSAP provides a unique platform to engage with civil society experts with outstanding expertise and from a diverse range of backgrounds. Their perspectives bring invaluable insights for the WPS Policy update, and will support the advancement of NATO’s WPS agenda”.

At the Vilnius Summit, Allies agreed to update NATO’s 2018 policy on WPS, adapting it to the current security environment, in particular Russia’s war in Ukraine, and its implications for women and girls. The policy, which drives NATO’s work on WPS, is set to be endorsed at the NATO Summit in July 2024. 

The CSAP was first established in 2016. In 2023, Allies agreed to revise its terms of reference to increase its representation and inclusiveness, and expand its areas of expertise to include gender implications related to climate change, cyber security, emerging disruptive technologies and counterterrorism. It comprises 24 civil society experts from across the Alliance, partner nations, and conflict-affected regions, from diverse backgrounds working on women's rights, peacebuilding, human rights advocacy, community leadership and mediation. 

In his opening address on 18 January, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană welcomed the re-establishment of the CSAP, which “comes at a critical time as the Alliance is facing a multitude of complex security challenges”. He thanked the Secretary General’s Special Representative for WPS for her efforts in making this happen.