Let me join others in thanking the Albanian Chair for putting the anniversary of UNSCR 1325 on today’s agenda, and ambassador Verveer for the presentation. This decision made it clear that everyone, women and men, are affected by conflict, and that we all, women and men, have a role to play in preventing and resolving conflicts. Norway stands align with the statement made by Georgia, but I would like to add a few Norwegian perspectives.
The resolution acknowledges that women suffer disproportionately from armed conflict and commits to a gender perspective in the efforts to reduce this suffering. The 1325 gives the OSCE, as a Chapter VIII organisation under the Charter of the UN, clear marching orders on how to approach the work we do in preventing and resolving conflicts.
Inclusion of women as well as men is the only way to a safe, secure and prosperous future. Inclusion is not only the right thing to do; it is also the most effective way to achieve stability and peace. Equal opportunity for all – independent of your gender – is not only about moral, democracy and representation. It is also about the efficient utilization of available human resources with a view to achieve the best possible results.
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.
Mixed teams build legitimacy, and secure recruitment of the most capable candidates. And to be clear and concise: Making use of talented women in the defence sector, as well as in every other sector, is the best way forward to improve the quality of what is done. Gender mainstreaming signals modernisation.
There is a long-standing tradition to promote women’s right in Norway’s domestic and foreign policy. Our armed forces are no exception. Gender equality in the Armed Forces makes them better, more competent and more effective.
We sometimes hear that gender mainstreaming is given disproportionate attention. Most often by those who would prefer the attention to be less. Our experience is that gender mainstreaming helps us achieve better results, using our resources more efficiently while at the same time respecting our commitments in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
We appreciate the efforts of the chair and several participating countries in putting the issue of women, peace and security on the OSCE agenda this week. Until gender mainstreaming has become a natural part of all of OSCE’s work, it must be given more attention. And we can show this attention by agreeing on moving this agenda forward through a strong deliverable for the Tirana ministerial in December.