under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the second round of the “Women, Peace, and Security Training Programme” training programme has launched in Abu Dhabi today in a ceremony that was organised by the UAE Ministry of Defence and UN Women. Participation in this round of the training programme includes women from 11 African, Asian, and Arab countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Jordan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Senegal, Yemen, along with the UAE.

The training programme aims at building women’s capacities and supporting their participation in military and peacekeeping operations. Nearly 50% of the participants come from military and police backgrounds, as they served in their countries’ national forces and have been nominated by their respective governments, to participate in this pioneering training programme, which is organized by UN Women, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence in the UAE and General Women’s Union.

The kickoff ceremony was held at Khawla Bint Al Azwar Military School for Women, and organised by the Ministry of Defence and UN Women, with the presence of HE Matar Salem Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence and Major General Pilot Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the National Service and Reserve Authority (NSR), HE Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and a group of dignitaries, ambassadors, and diplomatic missions operating in the country.

On this occasion, Major General Pilot Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the National Service and Reserve Authority (NSR), stated “The UAE is proud to implement the second round of this programme, which contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of Security Council Resolution 1325  by training female officers to participate in maintaining security and peace in areas of conflict or disaster and we are proud of our growing partnership with UN Women, showcasing our firm belief in protection. Empowering women through rehabilitation to participate in peacekeeping in their communities and around the world is the aim of the programme.”

HE Noura Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Women’s Union commented, “With the start of a new decade, we are pleased to take our close partnership with UN Women to a new level, by involving hundreds of women from friendly countries in this pioneering programme.  We aim to train these cadets on security operations and peacekeeping, in line with the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak on the importance of working to empower women in military sectors, not only in the region but around the world. Participants will benefit from the field expertise provided by the programme and serve their communities and countries in a practical and effective way.”

“This year, the United Nations commemorates the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which emphasizes the need to involve women in peace-building processes,” said Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women’s Liaison Office for the GCC. Dr Mouza continued, “through initiatives that train women to take on peacekeeping duties, we are taking important steps towards enabling them to play a greater role in shaping the future and ensuring that they have an opportunity to establish security in their communities.”

The “Women, Peace and Security Training programme” promotes women’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, increases the number of women qualified to work in the military sector and establishes networks to support women in the military and peacekeeping sectors. Following the success of the first round of the programme, which launched at the beginning of 2019, 134 Arab women successfully completed the training. Afterwards, the UAE Government and UN Women agreed to expand participation to include countries from Africa and Asia, in an initiative that is unprecedented in the history of the international organization.