Joint press conference
by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie
It is really a great pleasure to welcome Special Envoy Jolie to NATO Headquarters.
Angelina, you have really a strong voice and we admire your great leadership in the fight for empowering women and the fight against sexual violence. And therefore I’m also pleased that we have agreed to work together, and I really look forward to work together with you, addressing these very important issues. NATO is a military alliance providing defence against military threats.
But we are also a political alliance based on our core values: democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, and the UN Charter. Therefore, NATO has the responsibility to be a leading protector of women’s rights.We know from experience that strengthening the role of women in the armed forces is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. NATO has a long record of fighting extremist groups, such as the Taliban and ISIS. These groups have the oppression of women at their very core.
Therefore, I welcome the progress NATO and NATO allies have made on the battlefield against extremism. We remain committed to this fight. Sexual violence is a tactic of war. Against women and girls, but also men and boys. NATO is already doing a lot to tackle this issue. But there is more we can do.
Today, Special Envoy Jolie and I have decided to work together. Focusing on three points: training; monitoring and reporting;
First, training. NATO expects that all our troops live up to the highest standard of professionalism and respect for others. We already have extensive pre-deployment training for soldiers and civilians operating in the field. We deploy gender advisors in our operations. For instance, in Kosovo and in Afghanistan.
In fact, you will meet some of our gender advisors later on today. You will also meet some of our top military commanders and there you can discuss how we can work together, addressing training of NATO soldiers. In addition, every day, NATO is training partner militaries around the world. We will look to strengthening existing training on combatting sexual violence.
Second, monitoring and reporting on sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. This is a core task for NATO commanders in the field. We must be faster and more systematic in our reporting. Better data will help identify patterns and trends. So that NATO can respond more quickly to prevent violence and help bring perpetrators to justice.
Third, awareness. We must shine a bright light on these darkest of crimes. Increased awareness will help put gender violence higher on the agenda, and contribute to changing behaviour. Awareness triggers action.
So thank you once again for being with us today and for being a powerful advocate for those who are the most vulnerable. Your presence helps raise awareness of what we are doing and especially of what more we must do together. I look forward to working with you to turn our words into actions.
So Angelina, please you have the floor.