Top women diplomats from Israel, UAE, Bahrain come together in trailblazing event

December 6, 2020 by TPS
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The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s “Women in Diplomacy Network” together with the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain held a first of its kind panel examining the role of women in diplomacy 20 years after the adoption of UN Resolution 1325.

Meirav Eilon Shahar

In 2000, the UN’s Security Council (UNSC) formally acknowledged through Resolution 1325 the changing nature of warfare, in which civilians are increasingly targeted, and women continue to be excluded from participation in peace processes.

The resolution specifically addresses how women and girls are disproportionally impacted by violent conflict and war and recognizes the critical role that women can and already do play in peacebuilding efforts.

Thursday’s virtual event featured three distinguished and pioneering diplomats, Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Houda Nonoo, Bahraini Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the US, and Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN in New York

The event “stressed the importance of the active involvement of women in promoting peace and security in the Middle East and beyond,” Israel’s Mission to the UN said in a stamen.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who proposed holding this unique Women in Diplomacy Network event in his first meeting with his Gulf partners, opened the session by stressing the importance of implementing UNSC1325and spoke of the essential need for advancing gender equality worldwide, in line with UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 5.

“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 Erdan.

During the event, moderated by Network founder and board member, Sarah Weiss Ma’udi, currently the Legal Adviser of Israel’s UN Mission in New York, Ambassadors Eilon Shahar, Nonoo, and Nusseibeh highlighted a number of challenging issues facing women diplomats in today’s Middle East.

“The panelists emphasized the importance of the active inclusion of women at the highest levels of decision-making in their three respective countries and discussed their own visions for how gender must play a role in the newfound peace between their countries,” the statement said.

Ambassador Nonoo noted that “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.”

Ambassador Nusseibeh asserted that “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.”

The three ambassadors also shared their own personal experiences as women working in the field of diplomacy.

This event was one of the first official joint events between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, just a month and a half after the signing of the Abraham Accords.

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 of Foreign Affairs aimed at creating partnerships between Israeli and foreign women diplomats and promoting the advancement of women in foreign service.


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