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The European Union Advisory Mission in Iraq (EUAM Iraq) and the NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) hosted the first joint event on 21 August at the Al Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies. The overall goal of the event was to discuss the lessons identified from the first Iraq National Action Plan (INAP) for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security) and identify ways forward in the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Representatives from the Directorates of Human Resources, Training, Planning, and Inspector General Offices of the MoI and the MoD attended the event.
The Head of Mission of EUAM Iraq, Dr. Markus Ritter, gave the opening remarks.
- The implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Iraq is an important and timely policy indicating the government’s commitment to the ‘’Women, Peace and Security’’ agenda. Iraq’s National Action plan identifies actions which include protection and security of women.
Ambassador of Canada to Iraq H.E. Paul Gibbard presented and introduced Canada’s contribution to the implementation of UNSCR 1325. Canada chairs a group on Women, Peace and Security that involves 50 Member States of the United Nations.
In 1995, the Government of Canada committed to using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to advance gender equality in Canada.
- The GBA+ is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men, elderly and religious groups may experience policies, programs and initiatives.
The keynote speaker of the event Mrs. Suzan Aref, Coordinator of Iraq Cross Sector Task Force on UNSCR 1325 gave an overview over the INAP and the lessons learned therefrom.
- Iraq was the first country in the Middle Eastern and North African region to develop a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325 in year 2014. Other countries such as Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia have developed their own action plans based on the Iraqi National Action Plan. Women’s role in peacebuilding is crucial and women should be engaged in all sectors of the society.
NMI Commander Major General Dany Fortin gave the closing remarks and emphasised the importance of involving women in the decision making.
- By gathering representatives of the both Ministries and discussing the issues of gender and inclusivity, I am confident that Iraq can move forward on these issues. NATO Mission Iraq will continue to assist the MoD on these important topics.
The resolution was adopted on 31 October 2000 by the United Nations Security Council and reaffirmed the vital role of women in conflict prevention and resolution, as well as in peace negotiations, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and any humanitarian response or post-conflict-reconstruction.
The launch of the INAP to implement the UNSCR 1325 was a significant step toward enabling women’s participation and protection in the processes of conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Iraq. It also indicated the government’s commitment to the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda. Iraq’s National Action Plan identifies actions which include protection and security of women.
Building up of strong partnerships within the engagement of security sector reform is a strategic priority for NMI and EUAM Iraq. Both organisations look forward to a continued dialogue and cooperation with their Iraqi counterparts regarding the implementation of UNSCR 1325.