London, Sep 8 (IANS) A senior UN peacekeeping official on Thursday said that the organisation is committed to increasing the number of female peacekeepers, urging worldwide efforts to make peacekeeping troops more gender-balanced.
“We are recommitted to the goal to double the total number of women troops in our missions by 2020,” Xinhua news agency quoted Herve Ladsous, the UN under secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, as saying.
The official made the comments at the ongoing UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial 2016 in London, a follow-up event one year after the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping was convened in the UN.
Ladsous lauded the role of women personnel in UN peacekeeping missions worldwide, saying they are critical in areas such as civilian military affairs, intelligence, community policing and raising awareness about gender issues.
He said the efforts to make the UN peacekeeping troops more gender-balanced are long overdue and the ongoing meeting provides a fresh kick-off for the long-term efforts to make progress.
“We have to make sure we prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead and are able to respond rapidly,” Ladsous said.
UN statistics showed that in 1993, women made up only 1 per cent of deployed uniformed personnel. In 2014, out of approximately 125,000 peacekeepers, women constituted 3 per cent of military personnel and 10 per cent of police personnel.
While the UN encourages and advocates the deployment of women to uniformed functions, the responsibility for deployment of women in the police and military lies with members.