The UAE affirms its commitment to advancing the role of women in peace and security, building capacities and increasing opportunities for women’s participation in peacekeeping by joining the Women, Peace, and Security Chiefs of Defense Network (WPS CHOD Network), currently chaired by Canada. This network, which was established in 2017 to accelerate the integration of gender perspectives in the military around the world.

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, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the UAE continues to make strong strides towards women’s empowerment across all sectors, including in peace and security. The significant step of joining the WPS CHOD Network is a cumulation of years of work to empower women around the world.

The WPS CHOD Network comprises the most senior military leaders; it provides platforms for exploring how the participation of women within the armed forces can be increased and advocates the importance of a gender perspective in peace operations and military affairs.

The network also works to achieve greater understanding of how gender roles improve military operations and peacekeeping negotiations by improving situational awareness and enhancing the military’s understanding of local dynamics.

His Excellency Major General Pilot Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the National Service and Reserve Authority (NSR), commented “The UAE has a growing reputation as a strong supporter of the WPS agenda, the deployment of women in UN peacekeeping forces and their increased participation at all levels of peace and security frameworks and processes. H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s unwavering support of women’s role in peace and security cemented the UAE’s stand regarding the progression of the WPS agenda.”

“Regionally, the UAE has an outstanding track record in women’s participation in the military sector. Joining the Women, Peace, and Security Chiefs of Defense Network enables the UAE to work with other UN member states and peacekeeping superpowers to share expertise and work collectively and collaborate to advance this important agenda globally.” He concluded.

HE Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the General Women’s Union, commented “UAE joining the WPS CHOD Network comes with unprecedented commitment of the leadership of the UAE and Sheikha Fatima’s support to empower women across all sectors.”

“Emirati women have become models of progress and empowerment among women across the globe and were able to participate in all sectors with utmost competency and dedication. Joining the Network will further advance Emirati women’s participation in the military adding to their ongoing achievements.”

Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women’s Liaison Office for the GCC said, “The Women, Peace and Security agenda is a top priority for UN Women and the UN at large. By joining the WPS CHOD Network, the UAE is pledging to effect transformational change, which I believe is achievable because of the alignment of all stakeholders on the importance of pushing the WPS agenda forward.”

“Our collaboration with the UAE Government on the implementation of the UN Women-UAE Women, Peace, and Security Training Programme is case in point, and we are looking forward to expanding this collaboration in 2020, as the UAE fulfills its role within the network.” Al Shehhi concludes.

The UN Women-UAE Women, Peace, and Security Training Programme was hosted at the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military School in Abu Dhabi with the participation of 134 women from 7 countries; Egypt, Sudan, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The programme contributes to the preparation of female officers for the United Nations peacekeeping operations, increases the number of women qualified to serve as officers in the security sector, and establishes support networks for women interested in careers in military and peacekeeping. This comes after the success of the inaugural UN Women-UAE Women, Peace, and Security Training Programme this year and the announcement of a second round, which will kick off in Abu Dhabi in January 2020

It contributes towards advancing the strategic objectives of Security Council Resolution 1325, focusing on the importance of capacity-building and training, increasing the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations by engaging more women in missions, promoting global peace and stability and advancing the agenda of women, peace and security.

The UAE’s ongoing commitment to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda dates to the year 2000 when UN Security Council adopted this resolution which committed all member states to advance women’s participation in all aspects of peacekeeping, peace-building and conflict prevention in addition to protecting women against all forms of violence.