Bangladesh calls for increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping operations
Staff Reporter: Considering the role of women in peace from an overall perspective, Bangladesh has called for increasing women’s participation in peacekeeping activities. This was stated by Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, while addressing a virtual event titled ‘Leadership from the Front: Women Leadership in UN Peacekeeping’ on Friday. The event was jointly organized by the United Nations Mission in Bangladesh, Canada and the United Kingdom to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Security Council Landmark Resolution 1325. On 31 October 2000, the Security Council unanimously adopted the first resolution on the role of women in maintaining peace and security. This information has been given in a press release sent by the Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations.
Ambassador Rabab Fatima highlighted the pioneering role of Bangladesh in women’s participation in peacekeeping. She underlined various critical roles that women peacekeepers play in war-ravaged countries, particularly in addressing sexual and gender-based violence, building mutual confidence, and inspiring women in those societies to contribute in the nation-building efforts. However, she expressed regret that women’s participation in peace process including in peacekeeping operations remains very low.
Ambassador Fatima acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the UN and other member countries in trying to increase women’s participation in peacekeeping. Referring to the recent Security Council Resolution 2538 on ‘Women in Peacekeeping Operations’, she called for ensuring adequate training, women friendly space and environment in the mission setting to encourage greater participation of women, and implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. She called for accelerated efforts to implement WPS agenda at the national level, and its internalization in the UN system including in the country offices.
Other distinguished speakers included Under-Secretary General Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Defense Chief of Canada General Jonathan Vance, Charge d’Affaires of UK Ambassador Jonathon Allen, as well as several women leaders from the field, including Deputy Force Commander from MINURSO, Police Commissioner from UNMISS, and Regional Commander MINUSCA in Gao.
Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General of the UN and President of the UN Security Council (in March 2000) wrapped up and closed the discussion. Ambassadors and representatives from the Permanent Missions of Australia, Indonesia and Ireland also participated in the discussion.
The event gathered participation from a wide range of stakeholders including from the diplomatic missions, military establishments, academia, NGOs and civil society.
Bangladesh, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2000, played a leading role in the adoption of the Resolution 1325. The Government has last year launched a National Action Plan for implementation of WPS agenda.
Bangladesh currently contributes the largest number of peacekeepers including women to the UN peace operations.