Author: Bibby, Claire1
Published in National Security Journal, 05 April 2021
Download full PDF version – Using Communication Strategies to Operationalise United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (931 KB)
United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security was adopted by the United Nations Security Council in 2000 and is founded on the principle of building and maintaining sustainable peace and security. Importance is placed on communication with women to implement the resolution and the role of women as leaders, not victims, in the peace and security discussion. This study researches the New Zealand Police approach to implementing resolution 1325 in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines the role of police communication in enabling the voice of women to be heard in decision making to prevent conflict, conflict resolution and in post conflict situations. In doing so, it highlights barriers and opportunities for NZ Police personnel communicating with people of a different gender to their own. This research provides evidence of the value of studying NZ Police communication approaches to inform an evidence-based communication strategy that benefits the agency and its personnel implementing the resolution.
Keywords: New Zealand Police, International Security, Peacekeeping, Asia-Pacific, Gender, Communication, Image, Visual Representation, Language, Culture and Religion, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security is founded on the principle of building and maintaining sustainable peace and security.1 UN member states are urged to seek wider representation and decision-making of women for the prevention and resolution of conflict.2
When resolution 1325 was adopted by the UNSC in 2000, it was the first time the international community recognised the experience and impact of conflict on women and the contribution women make in the decision-making process for peace and security.3 The UN also released a media statement in 2000, outlining the importance of communication to implement the resolution and the role of women as leaders, not victims, in peace and security.4 Member states implement the resolution through National Action Plans.5 As at December 2020, 89 countries have adopted a National Action Plan in support of resolution 1325.6
The year 2015 marked New Zealand’s election to the UNSC as a non-permanent member and the 15th anniversary of the UNSC adopting resolution 1325. It was the year New Zealand introduced its National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security to the UNSC. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) led the development of the plan in partnership with NZ Police, NZ Defence and the Ministry for Women.7 MFAT is the lead agency for co-ordinating annual reports to the respective Ministers on its implementation from MFAT, NZ Police, NZ Defence Force, and the Ministry for Women, and for presenting a combined report to the public, consulted with the civil sector.8
This article argues that communication strategies are crucial in achieving implementation of resolution 1325 and that relevant, gender representative imagery (visual representation) in police communication will contribute positively to operationalizing the resolution. The work brings a focus to the significant role of New Zealand policing in the Pacific. Many of the small island states in the Pacific do not have a military and reply on their police for security. This means countries like New Zealand, which provide police as mentors and trainers to police in the Pacific and other parts of the world, have an important role to play in regional and international security and that police communication, representative and inclusive of women, is critical to that role. Furthermore, the 2016 Asia-Pacific Regional Symposium on National Action Plans for Women, Peace and Security identified three emerging drivers of conflict – violent extremism, climate change and population displacement – and reinforced the need for gender-inclusive knowledge and gender responsive solutions.9 As resolution 1325 focuses on enabling women’s voice to be heard in decision making, this study researches the communication approaches of NZ Police personnel toward achieving this intent.
1 Claire Bibby is a graduate of the Master of International Security programme at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University. This article is abridged from a research project, for which Claire received the 2018 Australasian Council of Women and Policing Award for Excellence in Research to Improve Law Enforcement for Women. The supervision of Dr Negar Partow, Massey University, is acknowledged. A New Zealand police officer for 35 years, Claire retired in 2021. Contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.