Women in Diplomacy Network event
Women in Diplomacy Network eventIsrael Mission to the UN

The Israel "Women in Diplomacy Network" organization, together with the governments of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain held a panel on Thursday examining the role of women in diplomacy 20 years after adoption of UN Resolution 1325, which acknowledged the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women and girls.

The diplomats on the panel included Ambassador Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Houda Nonoo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain and former Ambassador to the United States, and Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates 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. The virtual event was attended by diplomats from around the globe, spanning from Abu Dhabi to Bahrain to Israel to Geneva and New York.

Ambassador Gilad Erdan, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN in New York, 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 UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for the active inclusion and participation of women in promoting peace and security. Ambassador Erdan also 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 Ambassador 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.

Ambassador Eilon Shahar stated during the event: “Women need to be an integral part of advancing peace in the Middle East.”

Ambassador Nonoo said: “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 said: “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 was one of the first official joint events between the governments of Israel, Bahrain and the UAE, just months after the signing of the Abraham Accords. The three ambassadors pledged to continue the important dialogue on gender and other issues of mutual interest.