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May 14 2021

SHAPE hosts Annual Allied Command Operations Gender Advisors Conference

MONS, Belgium – Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) hosted its annual Allied Command Operations (ACO) Gender Advisors (GENAD) Conference virtually on May 11 to 12, 2021.

The conference objective was to create an opportunity for all participants to strengthen the coordination and collaboration across various organisational structures in ACO and NATO, to discuss all the topics of interest and benefit from sharing experiences, information and best practices among the community.

Participants included SHAPE Flag Officers, Gender Advisors and Gender Focal Points across ACO, NATO HQ Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and International Military Staff (IMS) GENAD Office, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), NATO department Head Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM), NATO national armed forces representatives, as well as the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance.

Among other topics, the Gender Community discussed the new NATO/ Euro- Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Policy Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, NATO Policy on Preventing and Responding to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, the upcoming NATO Policy on Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV), use of Sex Disaggregated Data Manual, as well as the NCGM's Military Gender Analyses Tool and the guide on integrating gender perspective in military exercises. Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance presented their gender and security toolkit.

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Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) hosted its ninth annual Allied Command Operations (ACO) Gender Advisors (GENAD) Conference. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the conference took place virtually from May 11 to 12, 2021. Distinguished speakers included Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Tod D. Wolters, NATO's Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Ms. Clare Hutchinson amongst various GENADS, guest speakers and attendees from across the Alliance. (NATO Photo by SSgt R Fernie)

NATO is a modern, agile and inclusive organisation with continuous ability to adapt to the complex and challenging security landscape. Proper integration of gender perspective is a matter of security and stability in our nations and in conflict areas where NATO operates.

Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, acknowledged "progress has been made, thanks to tireless efforts from the community. It is the examples like KFOR engagement with the local population, all that we have learned from our mission in Afghanistan, our mission in Iraq being the first one integrating a Gender perspective from the start, and applying Gender perspective to Defence Planning Programmes, Early Warning Indicators, Artificial Intelligence, inclusiveness in language. Yet we can't be complacent. After twenty years of UNSCR 1325, what more is left to do? The challenge is to make this progress sustainable. Gender has to be in everything, it is not an add-on. WPS is everybody's responsibility. WPS is an operational tool and it must be driven by leadership."

Next year's ACO GENADs Conference will communicate which new developments the Alliance will achieve in this domain.

To learn more about gender integration at ACO, follow the links below to featured videos highlighting the anniversary of the UN Resolution 1325 https://youtu.be/yjS7JE9t_4c and International Women's Day https://youtu.be/O0xlO7lj6vg.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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