May 28th, 2007 07:26 EST
Female Role Models in War-Torn States
Female United Nations police and military serve as role models in the war-torn countries where they are deployed, the President of the General Assembly has said.
“Peacekeepers not only carry out their mandated tasks; they create a lasting legacy by exemplifying how military and police can engage in humanitarian work while interacting respectfully with civil society,” General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa said in a message for the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, observed tomorrow.
“A shining example of this is the first ever all-female contingent of United Nations Police sent from India to Liberia,” she added. “These Blue Berets are not only helping to restore the rule of law, they are also serving as role models for Liberian women.”
Since the contingent's arrival, the number of Liberian women taking steps to join the national police force has increased, according to the President.
Sheikha Haya also hailed the contribution being made by UN military, police and civilian personnel across the world engaged in a broad range of activities, from disarmament to human rights monitoring. “Accomplishments last year – from helping organize the Democratic Republic of the Congo's first elections in four decades to taking Haiti's streets back from the gangs – are milestones of success,” she said.
“The overarching objective is to create space for individuals to resume a normal life, so that children can return to school, ex-fighters can join the workforce and farmers can use fields once infested with mines to plant crops,” she added.
The President emphasized that UN operations “do more than just silence the guns; they help to foster a culture of sustainable peace in countries that have been devastated by conflict, some for decades.”