Women’s Empowerment in South Sudan: Gender Responsive Peacekeeping in Practice

Event Date: 
Monday, March 4, 2013
Event Time: 
1:00 p.m.
Location: 
UN North Lawn Building (CR D), New York

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination co-sponsored a lecture and discussion, "Women’s Empowerment in South Sudan: Gender Responsive Peacekeeping in Practice," on Monday, March 4, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the UN North Lawn Building (CR D). The featured speaker was Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). Johnson discussed her responsibilities and experiences as UNMISS Head of Mission, and the importance of gender mainstreaming within UN missions for implementation of the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda (WPS) on the ground. Opening remarks were presented by Aurelia Frick, Foreign Minister of the Principality Liechtenstein.

A webcast of the event is available on LISD's YouTube channel.

The event was a side event of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women, and is part of a series of lectures and panels on the UN's Women, Peace, and Security Agenda, organized by LISD's program on Women in the Global Community, the Permanent Mission of Liechtenstein to the United Nations, and the PeaceWomen Project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Hilde F. Johnson currently serves as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan. She is a former Minister of International Development of Norway, and member of the Norwegian Government. Johnson previously served as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), a position she held from 2007-2011.

She served as Minister and member of the Norwegian government/cabinet from 1997-2000 and 2001-2005. She was Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2001. Throughout her tenure as Minister for International Development, Johnson was a strong advocate for human rights, poverty eradication, and reform of international aid. She has been actively involved in efforts to build coalitions for change, both of the UN, in the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) and bilateral aid. In 1998, Johnson initiated the Utstein-group, a group of key likeminded development ministers from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway to spearhead this agenda. She worked closely with the senior leadership of the UN, the International Financial Institutions and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and leaders of developing countries, to bring about better pro-poor development policies. She has also served as Governor and member of the Board of the World Bank for Norway and the Nordic/Baltic Constituency.

As Minister, Johnson played a pivotal role in the peace process in Sudan, leading to the completion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement in 2005. She has also engaged extensively in peace building efforts and post crisis-transition processes in relation to a number of countries in Africa, Asia and Central America, notably the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Timor Leste, Guatemala and the Great Lakes-region. Prior to joining UNICEF she served as Senior Advisor to the President of the African Development Bank in charge of Fragile States policies. Johnson was the co-chair of the Global Coalition for Africa for several years. She was selected a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 2001 and has received a number of international awards, including the ‘Commitment to Development Award’ by Foreign Policy and Centre for Global Development (2003). Johnson was also member of the High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor led by Madeleine Albright, and has served as a member of the Oxford University Taskforce on UK Energy, Development Assistance and Foreign Policy, led by Sir Chris Patten. Johnson was a leading member of the UNDP hosted Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.