Noura Al Suwaidi, Secretary-General of the General Women's Union, GWU, affirmed the UAE's commitment to advance the agenda related to women's engagement in peace and security.
Al Suwaidi said the UAE and UN WOMEN (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) announced the first and second round of the military and peacekeeping programme for Arab women (2019-2010) at the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military Academy for Women under the patronage of H.H. Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF. The programme was established in September 2018 by the UAE’s Ministry of Defence and the GWU to build and develop the capabilities of women in the military and peacekeeping sectors.
''The UAE is cooperating with other countries in partnership with the UN WOMEN to promote and support Arab and foreign women's participation in peace and security keeping operation in disaster and conflict zones as women and children are the most vulnerable segments from these events,'' Al Suwaidi told the first workshop of the National Steering Committee for Development National Action Plan, NAP, on Women, Peace and Security. The NAP seeks to activate the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), adopted in October 2000.
''We are working to come out with a framework that underscores the UAE's commitment to equal participation and full involvement of women in all efforts of maintaining and promoting peace and security and to promote these agenda regionally and globally,'' she concluded.
Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women-UAE Liaison Office for the GCC, said the adoption of the UNSCR 1325 on 31st October, 2000, recognised, for the first time, the role of women in peace-keeping operations.
She commended the UAE leading role in advancing the Women Peace and Security, WPS, agenda.
''We are hoping to work with all stakeholders to develop a national action plan that reflects the UAE firm position in this regard,'' she added.
The first workshop, which drew participation of 30 representatives of federal government ministries and entities, discussed the proposed model of key objectives of the UAE draft NAP and reviewed NAPs developed by Canada, Finland and Norway.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation assigned the GWU in June 2020 to start the process of developing its first National Action Plan, NAP, on Women, Peace and Security. So far, 84 UN member states have already developed their NAP.
The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction.
It urges all actors to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all UN peace and security efforts. It also calls on all parties to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, in situations of armed conflict.