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UNFPA Work Praised at High Level Panel Discussion on “Women, Peace and Security: International and Armenian Practice”

15 March 2019

On 15 March, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia held a panel discussion on “Women, Peace and Security: International and Armenian Practice”. The particular focus of the event was the adoption by the Armenian Government of the first National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, “Women, Peace and Security”.

High-level representatives of the Government, international organizations including the UN and the UNFPA in Armenia, diplomatic missions and civil society organizations participated at the event.

H.E Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the republic of Armenia, Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, and Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender of Armenia welcomed the participants.

H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke about the importance of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and involvement of women in the region and globally as they have not become more secure in the last years. Mr. Mnatsakanyan also praised the members of civil society, partners in the Government and international community, who have worked hard to move forward the Resolution 1325 agenda.

Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, mentioned that with the adoption of the National Action Plan on the Resolution 1325 demonstrates that Armenia stood firmly together with the international community in implementing the Resolution. 

Mr. Sharp spoke about the involvement of different UN agencies, UNHCR, UNDP, and others in this area. The UN Resident Coordinator spoke highly of the already five-year long cooperation of the UNFPA with the Ministry of Defence of Armenia to increase women’s participation in the defence sector, enhance international human and women rights standards among armed forces personnel, and to ensure women’s protection and equal opportunities in the armed forces. Mr. Sharp also mentioned UNFPA support to the Ministry of Defense in helping women graduates of military universities build their careers, and facilitating their social-psychological adaptation to their workplace.

“Last year I was invited to meet with women from the female peacekeeping subdivision of the Armed Forces. I was amazed by how, most of them not having had a military female role model in their families or among their friends, they have step by step walked the way and become role models themselves for other women and girls”, UN Resident Coordinator said.

Mr. Sharp reiterated the UN’s commitment to continue the fruitful cooperation and to provide support in implementation of the National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

The Human Rights Defender stressed the importance of gender equality and the achievement of human and women’s rights. He also spoke about fruitful cooperation with the UN, in particular with UNFPA, in the frames of the EU-funded “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Armenia” project implemented together with UNICEF and UNDP.

The welcoming remarks were followed by a keynote address by Clare Hutchinson, NATO General Secretary Special Representative on Women, Peace and Security.

Karine Sujyan, Head of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Coordinator of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, presented the details of the National Action Plan, and the road leading to its adoption.

Col. Alik Avetisyan, Head of the Centre for Human Rights and Building Integrity, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia, member of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for UNSCR 1325 presented the process from the perspective of the Ministry of Defence. Mr. Avetisyan highly valued the past and future cooperation with UNFPA Armenia country office in increasing the role of women in the defense system and ensuring their protection and equal opportunities in the armed forces. 

The panel discussion was organized within the 2019 NATO Week in Armenia, supported by the British Embassy in Yerevan.