Hillary Clinton speaks at Gaston on female leadership in armed conflict resolution
Yesterday morning, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at “Smart Power: Security Through Inclusive Leadership”, an event on the importance of incorporating female voices into peace and security processes. This discussion was a collaborative effort between Harvard’s Institute for Inclusive Security, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS), and the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings Initiative to introduce the National Action Plan Academy.
Clinton started off by explaining the origins of this crucial discussion on female participation in peace and security efforts: the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 and esteemed Georgetown professor Madeline Albright‘s advocacy of this resolution.
“We were beginning to lay a groundwork, and over the years that followed, countries began developing National Action plans to implement Resolution 1325,” she said. “We launched the United State’s plan right here at Georgetown three years ago.”
According to Clinton, the Academy will provide training and workshops to yield tangible results in the inclusion women in armed conflict resolutions. “Today marks a very important next step,” she said. “Shifting from saying the right things to doing the right things, putting into action the steps that are necessary not only to protect women and children, but to find ways of utilizing women as makers and keepers of peace.”
She also described how women serve as key organizing and mediating forces that foster compromise. “Women leaders, it has been found, are good at building coalitions across ethnic and sectarian lines and speaking up for other marginalized groups,” Clinton said. “Women are not just victims of conflict–they are agents of peace and agents of change.”
Next to speak was the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Norway Ine Eriksen Søreide. “For us to succeed in meeting these challenges, we need a strong, value-based platform based on human rights, and on the one basic truth that women’s rights are human rights,” she said. “We also have to realize that even the most modest goals would not be possible to reach unless we engage men.”
A panel discussion between Ambassador Marriët Schuurman, special representative to the NATO Secretary General for Women, Peace and Security; Maj. Gen. Adrian Foster, deputy military adviser for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations; Akihiko Tanaka, president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency; Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, director of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies concluded the event.
When asked about his responsiveness to inclusive leadership coming from a male-dominant military background, Leaf asserted that through his years of experience, he has learned that women’s participation in armed conflict resolution is one of the single best investments he could make for the U.S. and other countries around the world. “It is because my background, not in spite of my background,” he said.
This was Clinton’s second appearance on the Hilltop this semester, and she spoke to a surprisingly empty Gaston Hall. Vox can only assume one thing about the sparse attendance: either Georgetown is (sadly) not #readyforHillary, or the prospect of camping out at 4 a.m. in a rain-soaked sleeping bag to see her does not seem as appealing the second time around.
Photo: Kenneth Lee/The Georgetown Voice