United Nations, April 15: India has offered to increase the participation of women peacekeepers in UN operations and called for putting women in “high decision making positions” in order to combat violence against women in areas of armed conflict.
“Our women peacekeepers have helped to reduce conflict and confrontation by imbibing a greater sense of security to local populations and inspiring women and girls to push for their own rights and participation in the peace process,” Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji told the Security Council on Wednesday. “We continue to lay emphasis on gender sensitive pre-deployment training and are willing to increase our contribution to peace operations.”
Mukerji singled out the role of the 103 strong Indian female police personnel in UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which “has been commended both by the national government of Liberia, and by world leaders”.
“More women at high decision making positions in multidimensional peace operations is undoubtedly essential,” he said.
India backs UN efforts “to take cognizance of, and reinforce the need for, deployment of more Women Peacekeepers, Women Protection Advisors and Gender Advisors in peace operations,” he added.
Most of those responsible for sexual violence in areas of armed conflict, he said, are “non-state actors” and these groups act “outside the pale of law” and to effectively fight them, national governments should be given support.
“National governments should be encouraged to realise their primary responsibility for leadership and responses in dealing with sexual violence through social sector reforms and establishing rule-of-law based systems,” he added.
Although Mukerji did not specify the “non-state actors”, the term embraces terrorist groups and militias like the Islamic State and Boko Haram. Tuesday was the anniversary of the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls who are still being held in captivity.