United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Monday on member states to provide more female police, in particular French-speaking women to serve in peacekeeping operations.
“They can put communities at ease and stand as inspiring role models for local women,” he said on the eve of International Women's Day at the opening of the Fifth General Assembly of the Kigali International Conference on the role of security forces in combatting violence against women, held in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.
He expressed that the disgraceful problem of law enforcement personnel being involved in many violence against women and girls happens “too often,” and the UN remains firmly committed to a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Since I became secretary-general almost a decade ago, I have been a staunch advocate for ending violence against women and girls,” he said, noting that in 2008, he launched the UNiTE campaign aimed at raising public and political awareness for preventing and ending all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide.
Underscoring the importance of UN peacekeeping operations to empower societies, manage criminality, help rebuild safety and promote public trust, Ban referred to UN Security Council resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security.
He stressed also the need to implement strong laws to finish violence against women and affirms UN and African Union police operate for preventing sexual violence in the conflict areas which especially affects women and girls.
Although the head of United Nations aims to end sexual violence by recruiting more female staff, the number of allegations keeps increasing. UN peacekeepers had been accused of frequent rape and sex abuse cases in the conflict areas.
There have been 99 new allegations of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse against United Nations staff members in 2015, increasing from the 80 allegations in 2014.
Human rights groups have complained about the lack of accountability for peacekeepers serving in UN missions; many have avoided investigation altogether or received light punishment.
The UN will organize a Chiefs of Police Summit in June in New York to discuss with different parts to exchange views to analyse the pressing security issues and new rule of law challenges and to determine police personnel’s skills in the field.