Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, today hosted a one-day workshop for young leaders aged between 18 and 35 years, titled ‘MENA Diplomacy Dialogue: The Role of Gender in Foreign and Security Policy’.
The interactive workshop was held at the Academy in conjunction with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), Hedayah – The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), and the Washington DC-based Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
The day-long event kicked off with a welcome address from Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Deputy Director General of EDA, followed by a keynote address from His Excellency Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director of Hedayah, who emphasised the need for policy makers and practitioners to increase and empower the role and responsibility of women in combatting extremism.
His Excellency said: “The role women play in countering violent extremism is an understudied but critical contemporary security issue. Women must be engaged at all levels, as they represent an effective medium against intolerance and extremism, and can act as positive agents of change in their families and communities to prevent radicalisation.
“My highest appreciation goes to the Emirates Diplomatic Academy for organising this critical workshop and for being at the forefront of driving the UAE’s commitment to empower youth to generate practical policy recommendations to the international community on issues related to gender inclusion in the domain of international peace and security.”
For her part, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany said: "The UAE is an integral global player in women’s empowerment and the promotion of tolerance and peace. As a firm supporter of the United Nations and its initiatives to promote gender equality, EDA aims to instil these principles in its future diplomats and to equip them with the skills necessary to address future challenges.”
She added: “We have organised this workshop to provide a platform for young diplomacy enthusiasts and future leaders to exchange insights and best practices as well as reflect on the importance of integrating gender perspectives into international peace and security.”
A panel discussion on ‘Gender Perspectives in International Peace and Security’ dominated the morning session. Panellists included Her Excellency Dominique Mineur, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the UAE, Her Excellency Francisca Elizabeth Mendez Escobar, Ambassador of Mexico to the UAE, and Sophie Barbey, Head of Mission at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the UAE.
Attendees were then assigned to one of four breakout sessions on Increasing the Participation of Women in Diplomacy, Promoting the Participation of Women in Peace Processes, The Role of Gender in Countering Extremism, and Women’s Empowerment as a Tool of Foreign Policy.
The sessions offered young leaders the opportunity to interact with and learn from renowned policy experts including His Excellency Abdulnasser Alshaali, Director of Policy Planning at MoFAIC, Dr Kent Davis-Packard, Coordinator of the SAIS Women Lead programme, Visiting Research Associate and Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies and Global Theory and History at SAIS, Hannah Beswick, Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Gender Advisor at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN, Noha Hefny, Head of Strategic Partnerships at the UN-Women Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi, and Wedad Al Hassen, Senior Programme Associate of Dialogue and Communications at Hedayah.
At the end of the workshop, participants presented their findings to a distinguished panel of experts.
EDA provides a holistic and streamlined educational experience that enhances the capabilities of the UAE’s future diplomats through a series of advanced teaching methods, interactive lectures and high-impact discussions with prominent diplomats and policy makers. The Academy aims to prepare young Emirati talent to face a variety of regional and global challenges when representing their country on the global stage.