New York. The UN Security Council adopted on Friday a resolution that encourages women’s participation in the UN peacekeeping force. The resolution was put forward by Indonesia, who holds the Council’s presidency for the month.
Resolution 2538 was passed by acclamation to promote the role of women as “peace agents” under the UN peacekeeping force.
It calls on UN member states, the UN Secretariat and regional organizations to promote the full, effective, and meaningful participation of uniformed and civilian women in peacekeeping operations at all levels and in all positions, including in senior leadership positions.
“Resolution 2538 is the first resolution adopted in the history of Indonesian diplomacy in the UN Security Council. It reflects Indonesia’s contribution to promoting the role of women as agents of peace, especially under the UN peacekeeping mission”, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.
The resolution is the first of its kind to promote women as members of the UN peacekeeping force. Initiated by Indonesia, the resolution has won support from 97 UN member states, including all current members of the Security Council.
Rarely has a resolution been sponsored by the entire members of the Security Council, the statement says.
The resolution encourages member states to develop strategies and measures to increase the deployment of uniformed women to peacekeeping operations. It encourages cooperation among member states and between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations in advancing greater participation and role of women in peacekeeping operations.
Resolution 2538 calls on member states and the UN Secretariat to ensure safe, enabling and gender-sensitive working environments for women in peacekeeping operations and to address threats and violence against them.
It expresses concerns over allegations of sexual harassment in peacekeeping operations and affirms its support for the UN secretary-general's zero-tolerance policy on all forms of sexual harassment.
It encourages member states and the UN Secretariat to enhance partnerships to support targeted training and capacity building programs for uniformed women personnel. It further encourages member states to nominate uniformed women personnel to participate in such training activities and to promote their deployment to peacekeeping operations.
Retno said Indonesia has been consistently promoting peace diplomacy and empowerment of women in peacekeeping tasks since it became member of the Council last year.
Indonesia’s role as “bridge builder” in the Council is evident in the unanimous passage of the resolution, she said.
“The overwhelming support for the Indonesian initiative is a result from our diplomacy, credibility and proven record in UN peacekeeping missions, in which we allow Indonesian female personnel to participate,” she said.
The UN peacekeeping force currently has 5,327 female personnel, accounting for just 6.4 percent of the overall peacekeepers.
Indonesia currently deploys 158 women to seven UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Darfur, Mali and Western Sahara. At least 570 Indonesia women have participated in UN peacekeeping missions since 1999.
The Friday’s meeting also adopted resolution on the extension of mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon and resolution on UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia (UNSOM).