BRUSSELS: Kuwait’s Ambassador to NATO, EU and Belgium Jasem Al-Budaiwi (right) in a group photo during a lunch hosted for NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Clare Hutchinson. — KUNA

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security Clare Hutchinson, has expressed her admiration for the achievements made my women in Kuwait and the Gulf region. “We have heard today how we can learn in the euro-Atlantic region some of the step that have been taken by women in particular in Kuwait and the Gulf. I am really impressed,” she said after attending a farewell lunch hosted in her honor by Kuwait’s Ambassador to NATO, EU and Belgium Jasem Al-Budaiwi. “There is a lot that I have learnt and will take with me because I didn’t know some of this. We need to do more to get these good stories out that are happening in Kuwait and the Gulf region.”

Hutchison said it was a farewell lunch for her hosted by Kuwait’s ambassador with women from the region to discuss about women empowerment and about the progress in the region and the “wonderful” progress in the Gulf. “It is really very interesting for us to hear. We do not hear these stories. Women sitting together talking what is important to them. I am very impressed what I heard today,” she said.

Clare Hutchinson, a dual British-Canadian national, took office as the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security in January 2018. Her three-year term ends in June. Hutchinson also worked as a Senior Gender Adviser with the United Nations for over a decade. She has been instrumental in setting the strategic development of Women, Peace and Security for the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping in New York, Kosovo and Lebanon.

She is now planning with Kuwait to organize a course about women empowerment and women in peace and security later this year which will be the first of its kind in the region. “Thanks to the Ambassador and his leadership on this,” she said. Hutchinson said her task as the NATO representative was to raise awareness how women empowerment make a country more empowered. “Having more women in economics, political and security environment makes a country stronger. Our allies and partners work together to get more women empowered in security. We can learn from our partners and share good practices,” she said.

Meanwhile, Budaiwi, said that this was the fourth annual luncheon organized by the Kuwait embassy in Brussels to celebrate women achievement and women empowerment. He noted that this event was in honour of Clair Hutchison with the participation of women ambassadors and diplomats from the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) and the Arab world and officials from EU, NATO.

“It was a very good opportunity to discuss issues related to women. It was an opportunity for us to explain to them what Kuwait has done in empowering women and to integrate women in all sectors of the society,” he said. They talked about the achievements and challenges and about future plans to ensure that women are protected and fully integrated into the society, he said. “During the meeting we heard a lot of praises for Kuwait hosting an annual event for women. We are the only embassy in Brussels to host such events. It is unprecedented. I am honored that this is my fourth event for women issues,” he added. — KUNA