UN and NATO explore ways to enhance gender awareness, cooperation

  • 03 Mar. 2014 -
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  • Last updated: 05 Mar. 2014 16:36

Promoting mutual awareness to further integrate the gender perspective in crisis management and peacekeeping operations was the focus of a joint NATO-United Nations policy forum held at the International Peace Institute in New York City on Monday (3 March 2014).

Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations hosted the event. “The issue of Women, Peace & Security is a key priority of Italy’s International agenda,” he said. “Women deployed in all areas of crisis management and peacekeeping missions have a tremendous impact on the local environment, supporting the role of women in building peace and protecting women’s rights,” he added.

The meeting took stock of progress made to date and looked at key strategies for the future. It notably highlighted the critical importance of close cooperation amongst all international, regional and national stakeholders.

“We understand that we cannot work alone to forward this agenda, it must be a partnership model”, Carole Doucet, Senior Gender Adviser for the UN department of Peacekeeping Operations, said. “Today's joint event with NATO is a good example of a successful venture, reinforcing our organisational commitment to women peace and security as we move towards assessing our progress in the Global Review in 2015."

Increasing women’s representation at operational level and strengthening gender education and training were identified as priority areas of work for the future.

“Gender is no longeran optional-add on, it is an operational necessity ", stressed Major Adrian General Foster, Deputy Military Adviser, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

“Both men and women within our institutions need to acquire basic knowledge and a conceptual understanding of gender and security and both men and women within our institutions need to understand gender in the context where they operate,” said Mari Skåre, NATO Secretary General‘s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security.

General Jean-Paul Paloméros, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation NATO said that the Alliance can help the UN with a wide array of courses and training opportunities through the NATO network of training facilities. “When we cooperate in training our personnel can meet each other, exchange experiences and find about each other’s procedures in the pre-deployment phase, going more in-depth towards a comprehensive approach,” he said.

NATO, UN and national senior officials, as well as representatives fromcivil society and international media participated in the event.

The UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women’s participation in prevention, management and resolution of conflicts was adopted in 2000. UNSCR 1325 was the first international policy mechanism explicitly recognising the gendered nature of war and peace processes. Since then, six additional resolutions have been passed. The most recent resolution, UNSCR 2106 (adopted in 2013), focuses on the specific question of sexual violence in conflict. NATO is committed to promoting women’s participation in prevention, protection, participation, relief and recovery. A policy for implementing UNSCR 1325 was adopted in 2007. Revision of this policy is currently under way, notably to reflect the recent adoption of UNSCR 2106 and NATO’s commitment to enforcing it. The United Nations has approved a new gender strategy, outlining the organisation’s vision for gender in peacekeeping and reaffirming its commitment to achieving gender equality in all its work.