Progress report on the implementation of the NATO/EAPC Policy and Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security

Report to the Heads of State and Government

  • 05 Sep. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 05 Sep. 2014 18:54

  1. In accordance with paragraph 16 of the Chicago Summit Declaration issued by the Heads of States and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Chicago on 20 May 2012, this report is put forward for notation and to be released to the public. The reporting period is from May 2012 to August 2014.

Key Achievements

  1. Since the Chicago Summit, NATO has continued to make significant contributions to the overall implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions. While much still remains to be done, awareness is on the rise and the commitment from NATO and its partners to the agenda has strengthened. This commitment is reflected in practical steps to make the Women, Peace and Security agenda an integral part of NATO, Allied and partner nations’ every day business in both civilian and military structures. A gender perspective has been integrated in to NATO’s operational planning and reflected in NATO’s strategic defence planning. Projects have been developed and funded by the Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS) as well as through a Trust Fund. Significant steps have also been taken in developing NATO Human Resource Policies, including NATO-wide policies on protection against discrimination and harassment at work.
  2. A revised Policy and an Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security have been developed with our partners in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) as well as with Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. New Zealand has also associated itself with the Policy and Action Plan, which are annexed to this progress report.
  3. NATO’s cooperation with other actors has been strengthened; with partner nations, with other international organisations and with civil society. For the first time in NATO’s history a consultation conference was held with representatives from civil society, who were invited to provide their input into the development of the Action Plan.
  4. An important step has also been to make the NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security a permanent position within the International Staff.

Cooperative Security

  1. The revised Policy highlights the importance of cooperative security in providing a particular impetus for the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The wide network of relations between NATO and partner nations as well as other international organizations and civil society has proven to be a dynamic platform for mobilising political commitment and facilitating practical cooperation.
  2. Women, Peace and Security priorities are increasingly identified through the partnership frameworks: Individual Partnership Cooperation Programmes, Individual Partnership Action Plans, Planning and Review Process and Annual National Programmes. In the reporting period the number of partners addressing Women, Peace and Security priorities in a variety of partnership frameworks has increased to twelve.
  3. The Special Representative and other representatives of NATO have engaged actively with Allies and partner nations, have met with governmental representatives and representatives from civil society, including parliamentarians and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as military and civilian staff within defence and security structures. A major theme at the Partnership Symposium in January 2014 was Women, Peace and Security, which allowed for in-depth discussions between NATO and its partners.
  4. NATO and its partners have continued to explore mechanisms and practical collaboration to facilitate implementation of the Policy. To this end a Trust Fund has been set up to support a project on the recruitment and retention of women as well as gender training in the Jordanian Armed Forces. A project on ‘Gender Mainstreaming’ has been launched under the SPS Programme.
  5. NATO’s collaboration with other international organisations on issues relating to the Women, Peace and Security agenda, has been strengthened. This is particularly notable in the collaboration between NATO and the United Nations. Women, Peace and Security priorities are firmly on the agenda of regular staff-to-staff talks. A demonstration of the two Organisations’ willingness and commitment to cooperate and to share best practices was a joint high-level event organised in New York in March 2014 on gender in operations and missions. The Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security addressed the United Nations Security Council at the open debate on UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions both in November 2012 and October 2013.
  6. NATO continues to engage with other international organisations through staff-to- staff talks and practical collaboration. In December 2013, NATO arranged a work shop on sharing best practices in crisis management and peacekeeping with representatives from the United Nations, the African Union (AU), the Organisation for Co-operation and Security in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) and civil society.
  7. NATO’s engagement with civil society has continued to evolve. Representatives from civil society from nations, which have endorsed or associated themselves with the Policy, were invited to a consultation conference in June 2014. This conference was facilitated by the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces and resulted in a set of recommendations that were put forward to nations to inform the development of the Action Plan. Through NATO-led operations and missions, NATO engages with local civil society, for instance by involving women’s rights organisations in training and briefings.

Crisis Management and NATO-led Operations and Missions

  1. NATO and its partners continued to incorporate Women, Peace and Security priorities and a gender perspective into NATO-led operations and missions in the reporting period.
  2. 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 in Sweden. The review, which focused on the International Security and Assistance Force in Afghanistan and the Kosovo Force, recognised that while significant progress has been made, there is still a general lack of awareness among NATO military leaders and their troops. The review highlighted shortcomings in areas such as training and education, the provision of gender advisers and the integration of gender perspective into operational planning and assessment tools. To address these shortcomings, the NATO Military Authorities developed an implementation plan, which was endorsed by NATO Defence Ministers in October 2013.
  3. Priorities for the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) and NATO have included training on gender issues for the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and support for the recruitment and retention of women in the security sector. The first general officer to serve as the Gender Advisor in NATO-led operations deployed with ISAF in Afghanistan in April 2014. Gender perspective and support of the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions have been an integral part of the planning of NATO- led mission in Afghanistan post 2014.
  4. Priorities of the Kosovo Force and the NATO Advisory Team have included support to the Kosovo Security Force on the recruitment and retention of women, awareness raising and a strengthened dialogue with civil society. Support to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions will form an integral part of the anticipated NATO Liaison and Advisory Team to the Kosovo Security Force.

National Contributions

  1. As a step towards enhancing the NATO Defence Planning Process, the Policy has been included in initial documents as a reference point and for guidance for future developments.
  2. NATO collects information on national initiatives related to UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions through the NATO Defence Planning Capability Survey and through national reports on recruitment and retention of women and gender training in national armed forces.
  3. The Office of the Gender Advisor in the International Military Staff also requests on a yearly basis national reports on gender policies, recruitment and retention of women in the Armed Forces, Gender in Operations, national training and education related to gender and UNSCR 1325 as well as sex disaggregated data in the Armed Forces.
  4. NATO has also continued to facilitate exchanges of information on best practices among nations through the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives. The topic of the conference in May 2013 was Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Conflict and the recommendations from the Committee paved the way for a more focused approach by NATO on this issue. In May 2014 the committee discussed recruitment and retention issues. Exchanges of information on National Action Plans have also been conducted in the relevant Committees.
  5. Currently 17 NATO members and 12 partner nations have National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and related Resolutions. This represents an increase of 5 National Action Plans during the reporting period.Cross-Cutting Enablers

Human Resource Policies

  1. In the reporting period, a revised Human Resources Strategy for NATO and accompanying policies and regulations have been approved, including a policy on the Prevention and Management of Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying in the Work Place. Based on this framework, NATO is moving forward in developing measures that will promote equal opportunities for all. NATO is also strengthening the recruitment processes and mentoring programmes.

Education, Training and Exercises

  1. Education, training and exercises are recognised as key tools that enable NATO and its partners to move forward on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The gender training offered under the auspices of NATO has been significantly strengthened and the Alliance is also moving forward in integrating a gender perspective in NATO-led exercises.

Public Diplomacy

  1. The Women, Peace and Security agenda remains a key area for NATO’s public diplomacy efforts. The Special Representative and other representatives from NATO have engaged extensively in public diplomacy events, conferences and media engagements. The NATO Web page, NATOCHANNEL.TV and social media have been important tools for promoting this agenda.
  2. In 2014 the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen received the Hillary Clinton’s Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security in recognition of his leadership in this area.

Implementation – Monitoring and Reporting

  1. The establishment of the position of a NATO Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security has enabled high-level outreach and engagement, as well as internal oversight, coordination and a continued focus on implementation. The establishment of an internal Task Force in NATO has provided a vehicle and a platform for monitoring and reporting NATO wide.

The Way Ahead

  1. The Policy and the Action Plan annexed to this report1 provide guidance and direction for future NATO efforts, priorities and actions in the area of Women, Peace and Security.