Gender Strat

UN Uniformed Personnel Gender Parity Strategy

Statement by Deputy Military Adviser Ms. Mette Birkelund O'Connor on presentation of the UN Uniformed Personnel Gender Parity Strategy, 21 January 2019.

Thank you to the UN for organizing this important meeting and thank you to Under Secretary-General Lacroix for the briefing and to the panelists for being with us here today.

Gender Parity for Uniformed Personnel is a key priority for Norway and we strongly support the development of the Gender Parity Strategy and its goals as presented here today.

We are very proud to work with a UN Secretary-General and a UN leadership who is so committed to and outspoken about the important role of women at all levels in UN peacekeeping.

Norway particularly supports the recommended actions for recruitment and training, stating amongst others that OMA will “consistently fill contracted military positions with a woman from the recommended list as long as their qualifications are equal or superior to the other candidates.”

We also fully support and strongly encourage the creation of more female networks and more outreach activity to reach women who want to serve but does not receive the necessary information to do so.

Norway, together with Sweden, established the Women Military Network here in NY one year ago. Currently Norway is chairing the Network.

Norway launched its most recent Action Plan for Women Peace and Security less than two weeks ago. The goal of the Action Plan is to ensure that the rights, needs and priorities of both women and men are safeguarded throughout all Norwegian efforts aimed at peace and security.

Norway is currently working on a more detailed media campaign to increase the knowledge of UN operations in general and the important role of female peacekeepers in particular – for the latter part it will amongst others focus on female officers’ right to serve.

I will finish off with a few words on the status in the Norwegian Armed Forces and National Police Service:

  • All branches, including the Special Forces, are open to women in the NOR Armed Forces. Due to long-term commitment, we are proud to say that we today have 12% female officers and 26% female conscripts. We are continuously working to keep our 15% female peacekeepers.
  • Gender balance has also been a priority for our National Police Service. Today we have about 46% women in the Police Service. With an all-time high of 46 percent women among the students admitted to the Police University College the future looks bright.

Numbers count, but it is important to look beyond the numbers and focus on the operational benefits of having more female peacekeepers.

We commend Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and the Member States for their continued commitment to reach the goals when it comes to female peacekeepers.

Thank you.