Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and UNODA partner to empower women for peace and security

March 5th, 2018

Forty-six young professional women from OSCE countries participated in the “OSCE Scholarship for Peace and Security” training, which took place from 12 to 16 February in Vienna. The training is part of an eight-week online course entitled “Conflict Prevention and Resolution through Arms Control, Disarmament, and Non-proliferation.” The aim of the training is to empower women by strengthening their knowledge and expertise in these fields. Over 800 young professional women participants from diverse backgrounds were received.

One of the trainees working for a peace research institute explained her interest in taking this training: “My passion for living in peaceful and just societies brought me here and being a woman brings a unique perspective to the table such as love and empathy, but we really need technical knowledge in order to make a real difference. The takeaway from this training course was the extensive knowledge from leading experts in a variety of topics and the chance to see the important role that women play in resolving conflicts and promoting peace.”

CTBTO interactive presentation showing real equipment on-site to participants

During the training, participants were involved in interactive sessions on topics such as nuclear safeguards, chemical and biological weapons, gender equality, arms control and arms trade.  In addition to presentations by Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Vienna office, the trainees heard presentations by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime to name a few.

The participants also had the opportunity to visit the OSCE Secretariat located in the Hofburg palace and to observe a weekly meeting on security sector governance and reform. They also heard a presentation by the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) on how it uses its International Monitoring System to ensure that all nuclear explosions are promptly detected and for many civilian applications such as the real-time tsunami warning.

The course was made possible through the cooperation between the UNODA and OSCE, under the DNP Education Partnership [1] with generous financial support from Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

[1] The Disarmament and Non-proliferation (DNP) Education Partnership is an initiative coordinated by UNODA in Vienna with 30 global and regional organisations, NGOs, media and research centres which joined forces to take common action on assembling educational opportunities on a broad range of issues related to disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation and development.