Assistant Secretary-General Puri,
Colleagues and friends,
Let me first of all thank UN Women for inviting me to this important event.
Eleven years ago atrocities in Somalia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia made even the hardliners soft – at least softer. For the first time, they let the United Nations Security Council discuss and agree on key questions for sustainable peace:
What do women want?
What do women need?
How can women contribute?
Thus came Resolution 1325.
This resolution gave women a voice, and better protection – at least on paper.
Several years past, however, without much happening on the ground. It was clear that concrete steps were needed to make the good intentions of Resolution 1325 a reality.
It was Norway’s assessment that we had to get better at explaining 1325, to the general public, to women themselves - and to policy makers, civil servants and public officials.
We also had to ensure greater accountability.
For both purposes, education and training are key!
Thus, when the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues - OSAGI - approached us with this project, we did not think twice.
We allocated the necessary funds to enable the United Nations to develop an on-line training course on the national implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, in partnership with the Peace Operations Training Institute.
Since then, OSAGI is gone, as part of perhaps the most important institutional development for gender equality and women’s rights in recent years – the establishment of UN Women.
Let me thank and congratulate you and your colleagues for the job you are doing, not only as a champion of women’s rights, but equally important in capacity building – to help women around the world actually make use of those rights.
This is precisely where the e-learning course on Security Council Resolution 1325 comes in. The course translates good intentions into practice – by raising awareness and educating decision-makers, helping them rethink their perceptions of the role of women in peace and security issues.
Norway is very pleased with the way you have spent our money on this one.
In the never-ending debate on UN efficiency and effectiveness, this is a tangible, concrete product that passes the test with honours.
So, thank you and congratulations.
Norway has been one of UN Women’s staunchest supporters since long before its conception, both politically and financially. We had the honour to host Madame Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, in Oslo just last week.
She met with the Prime Minister and several of his cabinet colleagues, as well as with Members of Parliament, Civil Society and the media.
Central to most, if not all of her meetings, was the role of women in peace and security.
Of course, the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision a week before, to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Twakkul Karman added relevance and flair to this conversation.
However, Mme. Bachelet also made a very important point to us, with direct relevance to our event today: We can all have the same good intentions on behalf of women in peace and security issues – but without skills, education, knowledge and awareness of their crucial role, there is a great risk that women will remain in the margins when important decisions are made.
This e-learning course therefore goes to the heart of the matter of empowering women – for peace and security.
We appreciate your plans to broaden the scope of the course, including translation to more languages, application in more regions, and further promotion of the course, including for the military.
Again - congratulations, thank you and good luck!