SGSR WPS and the Head of Human Security had the pleasure of meeting SHAPE Chief of Staff (COS), who together with the SHAPE GENAD, informed the NATO HQ representatives on the status of the integration of gender perspective. As an active advocate for gender equality and inclusion, COS has been a key figure for the advancement of the WPS agenda and for the progress made by the SHAPE over the years.
Secretary General's Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security, Ms. Irene Fellin poses for a photo with Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Chief of Staff Admiral Joachim Rühle during a scheduled visit with SHAPE leadership. (Photo by SHAPE Public Affairs).
Ms Fellin held fruitful discussions with Maj. Sanja PEJOVIC (SHAPE GENAD) and her team. The SGSR WPS was informed on the steady progress of the gender discipline in the last four years of service of the GENAD, highlighting multiple high-level events, the shaping of the Gender Focal Point (GFP) network, the gradual progress regarding the inclusion of gender aspects in planning processes, exercises and training, as well as the growing gender awareness within the headquarters.
The series of meetings with the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for the Partnerships Directorate (PD) and the SHAPE J9 Team served as opportunity to discuss on the current war in Ukraine among other topics. The Special Representative emphasized the crucial role of women in peace processes and highlighted the need for enhanced understanding and action when it comes to the handling of victims/survivors of Gender-based Violence. The importance of taking the specific needs of the different groups concerned into account, which in this situation include mostly women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities, has proven more than ever to be key for a comprehensive understanding of the situation in Ukraine.
Ms Fellin, put an emphasis on the generation of youth in relation to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015). Her vision for the future of NATO includes giving a platform for the young generations and fostering their inclusion, including with a gender lens.
Both, SHAPE and NATO HQ representatives are ready and willing to cooperate closely in the months to come, especially with regard to engaging with NATO and Partner nations on gender-related topics, and in the organization of awareness-raising events in promotion of the goals within the WPS agenda. The stakeholders agreed further, on maintaining regular contact to facilitate cooperation in the areas of protection of civilians, cooperative security, and in the operationalisation of gender, including in connection to new emerging security threats, climate change, and the empowerment of youth.