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NATO official calls for greater role of women in global affairs

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A NATO representative called on Tuesday for women to be allowed greater representation in international negotiations and conflict resolution.

A NATO representative called on Tuesday for women to be allowed greater representation in international negotiations and conflict resolution.

"Women still remain underrepresented at all political levels," Assistant Deputy Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Dr. Stephanie Babst said at a video news conference.

"They [women] represent roughly speaking half of the world population but less than one fifth of the positions in national governments and very often they are excluded from negotiating tables of conflicts to be resolved," she added.

The conference, which focused on women's role in global peace and security, marks International Women's Day, a major national holiday in Russia,

Babst said that major government and economic challenges cannot be solved without the participation of women at all levels of society.

In 2000 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1325, which strives to protect women and children from war crimes and heighten the role of women in negotiations of pressing global issues.

"Women are victims of conflicts but they are not just victims, they must also be an effective part of the solution," Babst said on Tuesday.

But the director of Moscow's NATO Information Office, Robert Pszczel says countries hold just as much responsibility as international organizations to ensure women play a greater role in global decision making.

"The more we talk about women's rights, the more we talk about human rights," he said. "Human rights are part of a universal body of norms, which, irrespective of geographic location, history, and other factors, must be observed."

"That requires attention and specific solutions in daily life," Pszczel continued. "It is not about what NATO can do, but what other organizations, individual countries, and their people can do."

 

MOSCOW, March 8 (RIA Novosti, Ekaterina Chernyaeva)

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