WASHINGTON DC, December 21 (IPS) – There are two sides to the issue of Gender Equality at the United Nations.
On the one hand, member states need to appoint more women to their ranks of senior ambassadors. There is always stiff competition for the position of UN ambassador, especially if a member state is on the UN Security Council.
It’s a pipeline question for member states. To achieve that level of seniority, a diplomat must have many years of service. It may take time for countries to get the approval of female ambassadors. So the UN Secretary-General (SG) is right to assign responsibility to Member States to change or accelerate their systems.
That said, there is still a problem within the United Nations itself.
Over the past 5 years, many governments such as the United Kingdom, Italy, and Scandinavia have funded women’s mediation networks in the region. Eg. I am a member of Women Mediators Across the Commonwealth (WMC).
The vision is to identify women with the necessary skills and experience in mediation efforts and provide a new pathway into high-level UN positions, particularly as Special Envoys and work. reconcile. In WMC, we have 50 women of great experience from across the Commonwealth of Nations.
Similarly, the Mediterranean Women’s Reconciliation Network has members from that region. For senior positions, our government had to support our candidacy and they did.
But the UN system is a bottleneck, because when determining eligibility their criteria still include things like ’15 years of UN experience’. Well, the whole point is that most of us have gained experience outside of the United Nations bureaucracy or as UN consultants, but not as employees of the United Nations. United Nations.
We bring a wealth of other valuable expertise, but the skills and knowledge that outsiders can bring seem less valuable to employers than knowledge. organization’s traditions. As a result, female candidates that member states could endorse were blocked by the United Nations.
If they are serious about having more women in the peace and security sector, especially women with relevant experience in peacemaking, gender-responsive peace and human security, religion, then they need to find us in civil society. This is where most of the innovation has been and is happening.
The work done by the women on the ground and sharing the lessons that take place through our network is invaluable. That’s exactly what the UN needed to be more fit for purpose. It is also the path towards reform and renewal of the structural and practical realities of the United Nations.
But that can only happen if member states, UN leadership and bureaucracy have the vision, political will and willingness to change their recruitment priorities and practices.
Anyone who claims that they can’t find the women is deliberately ignoring the truth.
Sanam Naraghi AnderliniMBE, Founder & CEO, International Civil Society Action Network in Washington DC.
IPS UN Office
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