Hillary Clinton Launches National Action Plan Academy
Ambassador Swanee Hunt gives concluding remarks at the launch of the National Action Plan Academy convened by Inclusive Security and Georgetown University.
WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the inaugural National Action Plan Academy, calling it a pivotal moment in the global campaign to advance women’s leadership in building and sustaining peace and security.
Secretary Clinton addressed the 55 delegates from 10 countries who assembled for three days of workshops on crafting high-impact national action plans for achieving inclusive security. Hundreds of Georgetown University students also turned out for the opening session, held in the university’s ornate Gaston Hall.
“Today marks a very important next step, shifting from saying the right things to doing the right things—putting into action the steps necessary not only to protect women and children, but to find ways to utilize women as makers and keepers of peace,” Clinton told the audience in an address titled, “Smart Power: Security through Inclusive Leadership.”
The nation’s former chief diplomat—and likely 2016 presidential candidate—delivered the keynote address on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the opening of the three-day academy, convened by The Institute for Inclusive Security and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.
“It’s important to underscore this overriding fact: women are not just victims of conflict—they are agents of peace and agents of change,” Clinton said.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomes delegates from 10 different countries.
Ambassador Swanee Hunt, the chair of The Institute for Inclusive Security, told the delegates to challenge each other and examine failures as well as successes. The academy, she said, should be an opportunity for “learning, not lecturing.”
Participants traveled to Washington from as far as Afghanistan, Japan, Indonesia, and Ghana. The United States and Canada also sent delegations, along with several European countries—Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Netherlands, Norway, and Serbia. NATO, which has created its own action plan to advance women’s leadership, was represented by Ambassador Marriet Schuurman, special representative to the NATO Secretary General.
Ambassador Hunt, who is also chair and president of Hunt Alternatives, a Cambridge-based foundation that supports The Institute for Inclusive Security, lauded the delegates as “a cadre of catalysts” who are part of a watershed moment for the global movement. A total of 48 countries—one-fourth of UN member nations—have now created national action plans to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which was adopted 14 years ago.
The academy’s working sessions include workshops on how to build political will to implement as well as adopt a national action plan, and how to build effective systems to measure and monitor progress. The first afternoon session featured small-group assessments of the key ingredients in high-impact national action plans.
Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Soreide said it was essential to enlist more men as allies in the campaign for inclusive security, and make them feel accountable for change. Soreide noted that Norway recently approved a change in its system of military conscription to include women as well as men.
“We were missing out on half the nation’s resources,” she said.
In a question-and-answer session, Clinton said Ukraine’s military needs to be strengthened in the wake of the Russian seizure of Crimea—and that women should play a greater role. She also pointed out that a woman commander is playing a key role for Kurdish forces in their battle against ISIS extremists in Syria.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, chaired a panel discussion including Schuurman, British Maj. General Adrian Foster, a senior UN adviser for peacekeeping operations; Lt. General Daniel Leaf, an American who directs the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies; and Akihiko Tanaka, president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Foster, who spent four years leading peacekeeping operations in the Congo, said, “gender is no longer an add-on—it is an operational necessity.”
Watch the full video “Smart Power: Security through Inclusive Leadership” here.
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