First, we join others in complementing the chair for setting the important issue of Women, Peace and Security on the FSC agenda. The landmark document UNSCR 1325 and the marking of its 20th anniversary, give us occasion to discuss the implementation of the resolution in the OSCE area.
We thank the speakers for insightful and interesting inputs to our discussion. A special thanks to the two graduates from the OSCE Scholarship for Peace and Security programme, for their contribution.
As we have stated many times before, Norway believes that inclusion is not only right; it is also the most effective way to achieve stability and peace.
Women’s participation and rights in peace and security have been priorities for Norway since long before 2000. Presently we are implementing our fourth national action plan on women, peace and security that demonstrates strong commitment to the cause.
Equal opportunity for all – independent of gender or other identities – is about moral, democracy and representation. But it is also about effective utilization of available human resources with a view to achieving the best possible results.
Because our human capital is vital for our prosperity. In this respect, all talents are needed. The best heads and hands, regardless of gender, are vital to secure and sustain the competitiveness of the economy, the rate of success in negotiations and the quality of leadership at every level.
Our civil servants, our police and troops must - to the extent possible - reflect the population they are set to serve. This is about trust, credibility and access, and therefore also abut ownership and effectivity. For that reason, gender equality has become a strategic priority and a core value of the armed forces of Norway.
The security sector is a place for both female and male professionals, working together. Mixed teams build legitimacy and enhance creativity. Making use of talented women in the defence sector is the best way forward for this sector as regards improvements in quality. Gender mainstreaming signals modernisation. Inclusion makes the armed forces of today more capable to operate effectively in an environment where challenges from multiple, complex threats and destabilizers have to be met.
There is a long-standing tradition to promote women’s rights in Norway’s domestic and foreign policy. This remains a strategic policy priority. Our armed forces are no exception. Universal conscription is one step on the way.
So to the question raised at this Security Dialogue, implementation of UNSCR 1325 in the OSCE area and the way ahead.
The arguments and positions mentioned earlier are valid for the work that OSCE does, and for the organisation itself. We commend the hard and important work of the OSCE Gender section.
CPCs work on mainstreaming gender into projects is followed closely by my delegation and is highly appreciated.
The FSC has a role in supporting the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and related resolutions in the OSCE area. We already committed to this on the OSCE ministerial in 2011. These resolutions are highly relevant to our organisation. We are therefore very much in favour of preparing a deliverable for the Tirana ministerial underlining the need for full participation of women in all aspects of peace and security, and support women building peace at all levels.
We would like to see more state parties voluntary reporting in the annual questionnaire on the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security.
We strongly support the work being done as part of the OSCE Scholarship for Peace and Security training program for young professionals and the Women in the First Dimension Network. These are important arenas to foster improvement within the WPS area and help us being a more efficient organization. There is still room for improvements within the politico-military dimension on this. We cannot afford not using these already established tools.
To conclude Chair,
Equality between women and men is important because it is right.
Just as important, gender equality in the Armed Forces makes them better, it makes them more competent and it makes them more effective.
This also goes for the OSCE as a whole. Let us therefore try to agree on how to move this agenda, if possible as a real and meaningful deliverable for the Tirana ministerial in December.