Fiji has been part of the UN Security Council’s peacekeeping operations debate held on the women in peacekeeping. The meeting held last week in New York was chaired by the German Federal Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen.

The main objective of the debate was to provide Member States with the opportunity to exchange views and information on how the Council and the wider membership can best support and strengthen efforts to increase the number of women in peacekeeping operations.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out that “greater numbers of women peacekeepers leads to protection responses that are more credible and meet the needs of all members of local communities.”

Likewise, Fiji’s Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN in New York, Dr. Satyendra Prasad along with Military/Police Adviser, Col. Sapenafa Motufaga attended the debate.

Ambassador Satyendra Prasad during the open debate congratulated the President and Chair of the debate for the joint Germany and France Presidency, bringing forward women’s contribution to Peace and Security and enabling open discussions.

He also emphasised on the importance of women as peacekeepers in nurturing positive rapport with communities that build the prospects for reconciliation in situations of conflict management.

Ambassador Satyendra Prasad stated that Fiji is committed to strengthening gender perspectives across pre-deployment, deployment in peacekeeping operations and its support for the United Nation’s quest to improve the overall participation of women across peace operations.

Ambassador Prasad made special reference to Fiji’s reaffirmation towards Resolution 1325 (and 2015) on Women, Peace and Security to enhance participation of women in peace building and security.

In doing so, Fiji has developed a new regional partnership with Australia and New Zealand to reinforce these efforts and it’s also working closely with its development partners, namely Australia, New Zealand, China, US, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia and India in training and developing women peacekeepers.