UNITED NATIONS, Oct 22 (APP):Reaffirming it’s support for the full and equal participation of women in UN peacemaking, conflict prevention and peace-building efforts, Pakistan Thursday called for protecting females in situations of conflict and foreign occupation.
“Women and girls in these situations are extremely vulnerable to sexual violence, including the use of rape as a weapon of war,” Ambassador Munir Akram said in statement submitted to the UN Security Council, which held a debate on women, peace and security.
The Pakistani envoy said that there was documented evidence that Indian occupation forces in Kashmir use rape as a means of targeting the Kashmiri women, whom they often accuse of being sympathizers of freedom fighters.
In perpetrating rape and sexual violence, Ambassador Akram pointed out, the Indian occupation forces aim to inflict punishment and humiliation on the entire community.
“This is corroborated by the two reports of 2018 and 2019 of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the international media and human rights organizations.”
In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy also emphasized that women must facilitate the Security Council in addressing the root causes of conflict and in creating an enabling environment for them to rise to their fullest potential to contribute to peace.
“This could be achieved by protecting women against all types of violence,” Ambassador Akram added.
While remaining committed to advancing the gender perspective in UN peace operations, he said Pakistan had taken practical steps in the field:
— In 2019, dispatch its first all-female community engagement team to Africa’;
— Increasing number of Pakistani women peacekeepers serving as doctors, nurses and police officers in some of the most challenging environments;
— Achieved 50 percent female participation across our community engagement platoons serving in various UN peacekeeping missions, and,
— A female Pakistani police officer appointed this year as the police commissioner in the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
The Pakistani envoy also emphasized that gender equality should be accompanied by continued adherence to equitable geographical representation of women from developing countries in leadership positions.
The principle of equal geographical representation of women must be ensured at all levels, including at the time of recruitment, promotion and selection for senior level positions at the UN Secretariat.