Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, Ambassador Sinka, Ambassador Arbeiter, Commissioner Carrilho, Chief Warrant Officer Kinda,
First and foremost, I would like to congratulate our awardee, Chief Warrant Officer Alizeta Kinda.
It is an honour for Norway to once again co-host this distinguished prize. Well-qualified policewomen and men constitute the backbone of the rule of law in any society. They form the foundation on which public trust in authorities rest.
The same applies to UN peacekeeping operations: Chief Warrant Officer Kinda, and her colleagues who work in the field, are the international community’s most important representatives. They build trust within, and among, host countries.
The essential role of women in building sustainable peace is indisputable. Be it female participation in public institutions writ large, or specifically among the ranks of uniformed personnel.
The police are society’s only civilian institution authorized to use force. They are on the frontlines tool in our complex, cross-sectoral efforts against criminality. Such a critical institution must reflect the diversity of the society it serves in order to maintain its trust. Gender is among the most important factors in this regard. Women comprise half of society’s population. They are therefore an indispensable part of all aspects of police work. It is crucial that their numbers in the police force match that of society as a whole.
In Norway, there has been a broad, and shared, commitment over several decades to increase women’s participation. Not just within the police, but generally across all sectors of employment. Typically male-dominated jobs have slowly but surely adjusted to a new, more inclusive working environment. Certain changes have been relatively straightforward, such as introducing gender-sensitive uniforms and equipment. Others require more work, such as ensuring women’s job security during and after pregnancy.
From Norway, to Burkina Faso, to the UN itself, all changes in culture and practice require political will to realize. In this respect, Norway welcomes the Secretary-General’s gender parity strategy as one of the top priorities of ongoing UN reform.
And we are striving to do our part; for instance, Norway supports a UN-led initiative to train female police officers from participating Police Contributing Countries to help them pass certification for UN service.
The purpose of this award is first and foremost to honour accomplished policewomen who have a record of exceptional service. Chief Warrant Officer Kinda is a most worthy recipient. Having proven extraordinary commitment, professionalism and skill through the course of a remarkable career. One spanning a wide variety of police positions, across several UN missions, including MINUSMA and MONUSCO.
In a broader perspective, however, this award also extends beyond recognition of its exceptional recipients. It is also about institutionalizing positive role models who in turn, will help pave the way and inspire even more qualified policewomen to serve the UN.
This overarching goal cannot be achieved solely through policies and resolutions here at UN headquarters- although such work is also important. To truly take effect, the UN must pursue the objective of gender parity across every level of its operations. From central leadership, all the way down to field operations. Where we rely on exemplary practitioners such as Chief Warrant Officer Kinda.
On behalf of Norway, it is my honour to congratulate you for this highly important and deserved award.