The UAE has joined the Women, Peace and Security Chiefs of Defense Network, WPS CHODS.
The move comes with the support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Emirates news agency WAM reported.
The UAE aims to empower women in all sectors, including peace and security, and joining the network is counted as a monumental step that crowns years of hard work in reinforcing the global stature of women.
The WPS CHODS network exists to support UN member states' efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and work to build capacities and increase opportunities for women at the local, national, and regional levels. It seeks to implement UNSC Resolution 1325 which obliges all UN Member States to promote the participation of women at all levels in peace processes and in the prevention of conflict; to protect women from gender-based violence; and to take their specific needs into account as ex-combatants or refugees.
The UAE has expressed its commitment to empowering women in the areas of peace and security, as well as to develop their capacities and increase their participation in peacekeeping operations by joining the network, which is chaired by Canada.
Commenting on the announcement, Pilot Staff-Brigadier Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE National Service and Reserve Authority, said that the UAE is known for supporting women, peace and security, as well as for the participation of Emirati women in UN peacekeeping missions, highlighting the significant support of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for the role of women in peace and security.
The UAE has a long and significant history of involving women in military operations, especially in the Arab region, he added.
Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the GWU, said that joining the network is the outcome of the support for women from the country’s leadership and Sheikha Fatima.
Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Executive Director of the UN Women - UAE Liaison Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council, stressed that the network is a priority of UN Women and the UN in general, noting that UN Women has cooperated with the UAE government in implementing a successful training program related to women in peace and security.
She added that she is looking forward to advancing this cooperation in 2020 and the UAE’s participation in the network, to reinforce women’s empowerment in the peace and security sectors.
The Khawla Bint Al Azwar Military School in Abu Dhabi hosted the UN Women training program, which trained women in the areas of security and peace, with the participation of 134 women from seven Arab countries, which are Egypt, Sudan, the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The program aims to encourage the participation of women in UN peacekeeping operations, increase the number of women qualified to work in the military, and establish networks to support women working in the military and peacekeeping sectors.
After the success of the program’s first edition, which began in early 2019, the second edition will start in Abu Dhabi in January 2020.