Wrap up on Day 1: NATO Summit Wales and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

In the run up to NATO’s  Summit in Wales (September 4th to 5th) I will be blogging on issues related to the future of the Alliance, with a particular focus on the place of UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security on the agenda. You can read my first and second blogs on the topic here and here.

Day 1 of the NATO Summit included several announcements related to women, peace and security.

NATO has released the Wales Summit Declaration on Afghanistan. In respect of the women, peace and security agenda the text indicates that NATO has ‘helped Afghanistan  make significant advances in education, health, economic development, human rights and fundamental freedoms, notably for women’. And calls for further progress to be made on women, peace and security in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s support for the country to become a ‘stable, sovereign, democratic and united country’. Despite this proclamation Afghanistan has yet to adopt a National Action Plan to support the implementation of UNSCR 1325. The emphasis is on what NATO can do for women in Afghanistan, rather than on what the participation of Afghan women can do for Afghanistan.

In addition the new NATO Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security was announced as Dutch Ambassador Marriet Schuurman. In a welcome move Amb Schuurman has experience of working on UNSCR 1325 related issues in conflict related situations. However, unlike her predecessor Mari Skåre – Schuurman is new to NATO and will have to master the bureaucratic politics of the institution in order to support women, peace and security both internally and externally to the Alliance.

William Hague and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security, Mari Skåre

Another development was the hosting of an event on preventing sexual violence in conflict (PSVI), co-hosted by the UK’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict William Hague and NATO’s current Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security Mari Skåre. This followed on from the UK’s Global Summit on PSVI held in June this year. Interestingly, the was attended by ‘Foreign Ministerial PSVI leads’ although no details were given on who these individuals are.

The focus of the event (according to the report) was however on women’s participation in peace and security. NATO acknowledged that ‘women’s participation in conflict resolution is seen and taken forward as an integral part of the peace and security agenda’. Despite the under-representation of women at the Summit (and Afghan women in particular) making headlines.