UN, NATO Explore Ways to Enhance Gender Awareness, Cooperation

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Peggy Beauplet NATO HQ Public AffairsPublished on 04 March 2014


140303genderperspectives-400Promoting mutual awareness to further integrate the "gender" perspective in crisis management and peacekeeping operations was the focus of a joint NATO-United Nations (UN) policy forum at the International Peace Institute in New York City on Monday March 3rd.

Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations hosted the event: "The issue of Women, Peace and 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.

- The UN cannot work alone

"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 longer an optional-add on, it is an operational necessity ", stressed Major General Adrian 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.

"NATO can help [...] with a wide array of courses and training opportunities"

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 from civil society and international media participated in the event.

United Nations Resolutions

The UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on women's participation in prevention, management and resolution of conflicts was adopted in the year 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 of its work.

Released on March 2014  https://www.act.nato.int/un-nato-explore-ways-to-enhance-gender-awareness-cooperation




NATO ACT Promotes Global Gender Perspective Training

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Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Amanda L. KilpatrickPublished on 16 January 2015


150116gender01 400NORFOLK, Va. - NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) continues to raise the bar in gender perspective training around the world. In the most recent United Nations Security Council Report, NATO was recognised for having "strengthened the gender training delivered through the Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations."

Gender perspective includes all people and is described as a look into how society and culture affects individuals differently. It focuses on taking into consideration the mission objectives and ensuring that men, women and children are included.

"In a hospital setting, for example, we need to ensure there are females available to assist with female patients and males to assist with male patients," said French Army Major Stephanie Nicol, ACT's Gender Advisor.

As Gender Advisor, she advises the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros, about gender perspective issues, ideas and training.

150116gender03 250According to Major Nicol, gender perspective is a crucial aspect of operational effectiveness. Part of Major Nicol's job is to ensure gender is being considered at every level of planning.

"We need to take into consideration the gender perspective now, in the training, the preparation, and the doctrine," said Major Nicol. "You need to be trained and need to have strong knowledge about what gender is, and how to deal with it in your daily work."

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1325, which was a turning point for women's rights and participation.

"NATO follows the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and we take it very seriously," said Command Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson Jr., ACT Command Senior Enlisted Leader. "It is very clear on where we, as an Alliance, should be. As we help support the capability and development of a country we have a responsibility to ensure that gender and inclusion are a large part of what we do."

The UNSC Resolution brought to attention the need for gender perspective during times of conflict, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction. It focuses on women, peace and security and recognised the need for gender perspective in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian settings.

"Gender is not about equal opportunity, not about harassment and not just about women," said Major Nicol. "Gender is about how one situation can have an impact on a woman, man or child."

As the gender advisor, Major Nicol ensures a gender perspective is integrated in policies, training and doctrines as well as implementing UNSC Resolution 1325.

"The point is how to implement the United Nation Resolution everywhere, from the strategic level to tactical level," said Major Nicol. "If we don't start now, then it will be too late."

150116gender02 250Major Nicol is preparing an informational gender packet for the upcoming Annual Discipline Conference for Gender that will be held in June. The conference will focus on the importance of maintaining gender perspective and how to improve on the UNSC Resolution 1325 through training and discussions.

"Last year the Gender in Military Operations Strategic Training Plan was approved by the North Atlantic Council and that was huge," said Major Nicol. "It unified and synchronized the education and training effort by providing a holistic and deliberate planning approach."

Major Nicol has many plans for the future of promoting gender perspective while overcoming numerous obstacles.

"The most challenging part of my job is the lack of knowledge about what gender perspective is," said Major Nicol. "My main goal is to promote more awareness and training and to implement more 'gender' in the headquarters."

Published on 16 January 2015 at https://www.act.nato.int/nato-act-promotes-global-gender-perspective-training