UAE ambassador: “The UAE and Israel are champions of gender equality in our region.”
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Twenty years after the adoption of UN Resolution 1325, which calls for the active inclusion and participation of women in promoting peace and security, the “Women in Diplomacy Network” of Israel’s Foreign Ministry joined the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in an online ZOOM panel discussing the role of women in diplomacy.
Also present on the call were Bahrain’s former ambassador to the US Houda Nonoo, the first Jewish ambassador from any Middle Eastern Arab country, and UAE Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh.
The three examined the role of women in diplomacy two decades after the adoption of the landmark UN resolution, with an emphasis on the importance of the active involvement of women in promoting peace and security in the Middle East and beyond.
“I was delighted to share the stage with my fellow colleagues from the UAE & Bahrain. The participation of women in peace and security processes is key to ensuring stability in the Middle East and across the globe,” tweeted Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, who represents Israel at the UN’s office in Geneva.
The ZOOM conference was attended by diplomats from around the globe, spanning from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain to Israel to Geneva to New York.
“It is essential that women are included on every level of decision-making because a world with gender equality is a better world for all its inhabitants,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the UN.
Ambassadors Shahar, Nonoo, and Nusseibeh were the three keynote speakers . They highlighted a number of challenging issues facing women diplomats in today’s Middle East, including the importance of the active inclusion of women at the highest levels of decision-making in their countries.
The three women also discussed their own visions for how gender must play a role in the newfound peace agreement.
“I am Bahraini. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am Jewish. I come from a progressive nation that allows the best leaders to lead no matter who they are,” said Nonoo, who was born in Bahrain’s capital city Manama to a family of Jewish business entrepreneurs who came from Iraq.
“The UAE and Israel are champions of gender equality in our region, and we believe that the peace agreement between our two countries is already beginning to foster partnerships that will unlock enormous opportunities for women in the region,” said Nusseibeh.
The Foreign Ministry said the conference, held just three months after the signing of the historic Abraham Accords, was one of the first official joint events between the governments of Israel, Bahrain and the UAE. The three ambassadors pledged to continue the important dialogue on gender and other issues of mutual interest.
The “Women in Diplomacy Network” is an initiative run by the Israeli ministry aimed at creating partnerships between Israeli and foreign women diplomats and promoting the advancement of women in foreign service.
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