NATO Secretary General’s third annual public report on implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and related resolutions
- NATO remains committed to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions and the Alliance has continued to make progress in this field over the course of 2013, particularly in the area of cooperative security and in NATO-led operations and missions. My Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, Mari Skåre, continues to raise awareness of our work and to ensure that NATO’s commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda is part of our everyday business.
Progress in 2013
- Within our partnerships the political commitment to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and Related Resolutions is growing. Our cooperation focuses on joint political leadership and on practical cooperation in the security and defence fields. NATO is for example encouraging partner nations to adopt specific goals to raise gender awareness and to ensure gender training and education in the defence sector. To date, ten Partner countries have included goals related to Women, Peace and Security as part of their individual cooperation programmes with NATO. The Alliance is also encouraging partner nations to make use of the training and education activities developed by the Allied Command Transformation (ACT). In particular, the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) in Sweden, which is NATO’s “Department Head” for Gender Training in Operations, is focusing on gender training for commanders and key leaders, as well as on the training of gender advisers and gender focal points.
- Co-operative work with other international organizations has been further consolidated and strengthened. Women, Peace and Security issues were included in the formal agenda of the staff talks between NATO and the United Nations and between NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. NATO and the European Union continue to meet at staff level to discuss this issue.
- In October, my Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security addressed the United Nations Security Council at the annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security. Earlier this year, in May, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, gave the keynote speech at the annual event organized by the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives (NCGP).
- NATO and UN gender training activities are being mapped, with the aim of identifying possible synergies and areas for cooperation.
NATO-led Operations and Missions
- The Alliance incorporates the objectives set out in the UNSCRs on Women, Peace and Security in all NATO-led operations and missions. Along with the rest of the international community, NATO attaches the highest importance to the protection and empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan. In this context, recent priorities of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) have included: training on gender issues for the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF); support for the recruitment and retention of women in the security sector; and ensuring that there are sufficient numbers of female personnel to support the ongoing election registration process and the 2014 presidential elections. ISAF and the Office of the Senior Civilian Representative regularly engage with Afghan security ministries, the international community and international non-governmental organizations to coordinate efforts aimed at safeguarding women’s rights.
- In 2013 the Alliance completed its “Review of the Practical Implications of UNSCR 1325 for the Conduct of NATO-led Operations and Missions”. The Review was mandated by Heads of State and Government at the 2012 Chicago Summit, and was led by the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM) in Sweden.
- This independent Review was submitted in May 2013 and presented to NATO Defence Ministers in October 2013. It recognized the significant progress made in integrating the gender perspective into our operations and missions, but at the same time highlighted shortcomings in a number of areas such as training and education, the provision of adequate numbers of gender advisers in NATO military structures and the integration of gender into operational planning and assessment tools.
- NATO has taken immediate action to address the shortcomings, with the NATO Military Authorities developing a robust implementation plan that identifies specific ways in which to take forward the Review’s recommendations. This plan was endorsed by Defence Ministers in October 2013.
- The Review constitutes an essential tool for the Alliance in refining its future policies, action plans, and military guidelines on Women, Peace and Security issues. Furthermore, the implementation plan which has been developed should enable the establishment of a more accurate, NATO-wide process of reporting, monitoring, and evaluating the effects of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 in operations and missions. This in turn will support our operational effectiveness, and help strengthen our commitment to providing sustainable security to both men and women.
- In order to achieve further progress, our actions will be directed, with priority, to the following areas:
- Further deepening our cooperation with partners and other international organizations, both politically and practically.
- Implementing the recommendations of the “Review of the Practical Implications of UNSCR 1325 for the Conduct of NATO-led Operations and Missions”.
- Ensuring that the objectives of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions are fully taken into account in planning any new mission to train, advise and assist in Afghanistan.
- The NATO Summit in 2014 will provide an opportunity not only to assess the progress we have made in this area, but also to drive forward the Women, Peace and Security agenda with the aim of further strengthening NATO’s effectiveness. In this regard we will be working to streamline our policy framework in order to reflect latest developments– for example the most recent UNSCRs adopted in 2013 (UNSCR 2106 and UNSCR 2122) and the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence. For my part, I will continue to raise awareness and to push for the further integration of our Women, Peace and Security policy into all our structures, operations and programmes.