Emphasizing the need to take collective action on sexual violence against women, India called up on United Nations Security Council to “proactively” list terrorists and terror groups involved in sexual violence. India highlighted that sexual violence and abductions continue to be used as weapons of war in armed conflict by non-state actors and terrorist organisations which disproportionately affect women.
First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Paulomi Tripathi, said that women’s role and perspectives in peace processes remain largely neglected despite the normative and operative frameworks relating to women, peace and security agenda having been considerably strengthened across the UN system over the last two decades. She voiced concern that sexual violence, abductions and human trafficking continue to be used as weapons of war in armed conflict by non-state actors and terrorist organisations.
Paulomi Tripathi noted that there is a large scale movements of refugees emanating from armed conflicts that increase the vulnerability of women to discrimination and exploitation. Underlining the need of global participation in this front, Tripathi said no country is in the position to effectively counter these challenges alone. She said that as the General Assembly focuses on gender sensitive and inclusive development to build peaceful and resilient societies, the Council must push for effective cooperation on countering terrorism that threatens peace and security.
Tripathi asserted that the Council must make all efforts to realise the full potential of integrating women, peace and security considerations in sanctions regimes. The Sanctions Committees of the Security Council need to address the issue of proactively listing terrorist individuals and entities involved in sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflicts. There is a need for international cooperation for prosecution of criminals engaged in trans-boundary crimes is important to bring justice to the victims, large number of whom is women and girls.
Earlier, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the Council’s annual high-level debate that the participation of women in formal peace processes remains extremely limited and the international community still has “far to go” as conflict continues to have a devastating effect on women and girls. He said between 1990 and 2017, women constituted just 2% of the mediators, 8% of the negotiators and 5 per cent of the witnesses and the signatories in all major peace processes.
Tripathi told the 15-nation UN body that India is committed to a higher representation of women in peacekeeping missions and has fulfilled the pledge to have 15 per cent of military observers as women. India has recently partnered with the UN Women toward a capacity building initiative. Under the initiative, the New Delhi-based Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUPNK) conducted the third UN female military officers course for 40 women military officers from 26 countries.
India also fully supports UN Secretary General’s zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse, and strong commitment to achieving gender parity in peace operations, she said.