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Statement on United Nations Security Council resolution 1325, Women, Peace and Security

Delivered by Military Adviser Arne H. Knapskog at the 976th meeting of the Forum for Security Cooperation, Vienna, 19 May 2021.

Mr. Chair,

First, we join others in complementing the FSC chair for setting the important issue of Women, Peace and Security on the agenda once again in the FSC and we urge future Chairs to continue to do so.

Norway warmly welcome todays distinguished Speakers and thank them for insightful presentations. The different angels to the topic WPS show how important this is for the OSCE and the participating States.

Norway believes that inclusion of both women and men in all aspects of life is the only way to a safe, secure, and prosperous future - following this, all positions in all parts of the Norwegian Armed Forces are open for all Norwegians, regardless of gender.

The efforts to implement UNSCR 1325 in the Norwegian armed forces is an ongoing process. Among the identified challenges are implementation of a gender perspective in operational planning. Challenges remain concerning academically contextualizing the gender thematic into the wider military theories.

Through universal conscription we safeguard a constant flow of young people into our human resources pool without excluding a large amount of our talents.

We build ourselves a diverse base of future leaders – which again are believed to pave the way for new generations leaders depending on their abilities not their gender.

For a more thorough description on WPS in the Norwegian Armed Forces we recommend studying the Voluntary Information Exchange on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 contained in last month’s Information Exchange on the Code of Conduct on Politico – Military aspects of Security. We urge more participating states to use this opportunity to report on their work.

Mr. Chair,

Norway whole heartedly supported the joint statement on the UNSCR 1325 given at the MC in Tirana, supported by 52 participating states. We regret that a OSCE decision could not be reached on this topic. We call on the last states to come on board allowing for a decision in the 2021 MC meeting in Stockholm. At the same time, we 52 supporting states should not wait to implement what we already agree on. The joint statement lists concrete ideas and proposals on improving our existing commitments, let us start with them.

Looking back on the work that has been done the last 20 years, we may be frustrated by the slow progress and the persistent gaps in the implementation of women, peace and security commitments, and by women’s continued suffering and underrepresentation in peace and security structures. We should be, because the failure to include women and integrate women’s rights is not only unjust, it also makes our efforts less effective.

National action plans on women, peace and security have proven useful in this regard.

Inclusion is a process. Therefore, it is timely to remind each other – that true diversity, true equality between the genders depend on continuous work, continuous attention to the matter. Nice statements in the FSC and elsewhere is not enough. We must educate our personnel and leaders to take responsibility, be sensitive, to act when the opportunity for equal participation is violated and being open for possible improvements.

This is how we can make our armed forces, but also all other organisations as the OSCE, stronger, more efficient, smarter and thus more capable.

Thank you.