By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, June 24 (Diplomatic Star): UN Women Pakistan and the Centre for International Peace and Stability (CIPS) Friday joined hands to reduce widening gender gaps, besides motivating more gender-peacekeeping operation in the country.
Country Representative UN Women Pakistan Sharmeela Rassool and Major General (retd.) Muhammad Salim Raza, HI (M), Principal NIPCONS, NUST have officially signed an MOU to collaborate on advancing gender-responsive peacekeeping operations, ceremony held here at National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST).
The initiative aims at strengthening organizational collaboration on issues relating to Gender Equality and Diversity through reciprocated partnership and training mechanisms for peacekeepers.
Pakistan is the largest and longest troop-contributing countries for UN peacekeeping forces around the globe, having deployed 200,000 forces since 1960.
Pakistan also became the first country to achieve the goal of deployment of 15% female staff officers as nearly 450 women have served in UN missions.
“UNSCR 1325 is the cornerstone of our peacekeeping operations. We recognize the differential role played by women in making communities more peaceful and resilient,” said Brig ® Mirza Saleem Beig, HOD UN Peacekeeping Training.
UN Women leads the mandate on implementing UNSCR 1325 relating to Women, Peace and Security Agenda (WPS) that aims to ensure women’s priorities are central to peacebuilding at all levels.
To achieve this goal, it addresses social, cultural and political barriers and protection risks that limit women’s full participation in achieving and sustaining peace.
In the peacekeeping sphere, women involvement ensures greater access to marginalized communities, helps in promoting human rights and the protection of civilians, and encourages women to become a meaningful part of peace and political processes.
“UN peacekeepers from Pakistan embody the spirit and values of Pakistani society as peace ambassadors. This MOU is a first step in strengthening integration of gender perspective in the training curriculum and further increasing women’s participation at all levels of peace processes,” said UN Women Country Representative Ms. Sharmeela Rassool.