Closing remarks by Angela Muvumba Sellström. Photo: IPI
Closing remarks by Angela Muvumba Sellström. Photo: IPI

On Wednesday, March 6th, PRIO Research Director Louise Olsson contributed to the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) event Shattering Glass: The United Nations Security Council, its Elected Ten, and Women, Peace and Security. The event took place in relation to the Commission on the Status of Women and brought together senior diplomats from Norway, Ireland, and Sierra Leone, as well as researchers and experts from Futurelect and UN Women.

Within the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) mandate of maintaining international peace and security, the promotion of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) has become a prominent theme. While most research focus on the permanent five (P5) member states of the UNSC, the event shed light on the work of the ten members elected for a two-year period by the General Assembly, the so-called E10. The E10 has been critical for advancing WPS and the seminar brought forward ideas on how to strengthen ongoing work as well as the levels of understanding between the practitioners and researchers.

Olsson’s presentation emphasized the evolving nature of research surrounding the UNSC's dynamics, and how we now see the Council as a platform for continuous negotiation. In these, the P5 members can respond to organized pressure, underlining the role of Share commitments and alliances when pushing for normative expectations by the E10 in the Council. Seen in this context, Olsson’s et al. research has found that the strategic decisions of the E10 regarding when and how to push for WPS are central, and ensuring accountability is important.

Additionally, the forum served as an arena for discussions about how the E10 member states conduct WPS diplomacy and raised issues about how the agenda can flourish, despite a global context of more organized pushback.

Alongside Olsson, the full panel included H.E. Merete Fjeld Brattested, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN, H.E. Fergal Mythen, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, Ms. Roselynn Finda Senesi, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the UN, Dr. Sithembile Mbete, Independent Consultant, former Director of Programmes, Futurelect and Dr. Pablo Castillo Díaz, Policy Specialist on Peace and Security, UN Women. The event was moderated by Dr. Phoebe Donnelly, Senior Fellow and Head of WPS, IPI. The event was based on research conducted by NAI in collaboration with PRIO, and can be viewed in its entirety here.