India asks UN to list terrorist groups involved in sexual violence

India has stated that it will extend full support to the UN Secretary General’s zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse, and a strong commitment to achieving gender parity in peace operations.

As requested by India, The UN Security Council has sanctioned a regime to “proactively” list terrorists and terror groups involved in sexual violence in armed conflicts.

According to reports, the first Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Paulomi Tripathi, said, “International cooperation for the prosecution of criminals engaged in trans-boundary crimes is pivotal in order to bring justice to the victims, a large number of whom are women and girls.”

She also spoke of how sexual violence, abductions and human trafficking are used as weapons of war in armed conflict by non-state actors and terrorist organisations, as women’s role and perspectives in peace processes remain largely neglected.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “Women human rights defenders, political leaders, journalists and activists play an important role in addressing the root causes of conflict. They are the ones targeted at alarming rates.”

Furthermore, he pointed out that programmes to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in countries affected by conflict is just 5 percent of the total bilateral aid that is planned for them.

India had 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.

“Despite the greater participation of women in building and sustaining peace and garnering recognition from all quarters, the realities on the ground show that so much more is yet to be done, Guterres said.

Ms. Tripathi asserted to 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 percent of military observers as women.

The fact that women represent only four percent of our military peacekeepers and ten percent of police is crippling to the credibility and protection capacity of the UN, admitted Guterres.

In a high-level debate earlier, the UN Secretary-General informed the Council that the participation of women in formal peace processes remains extremely limited, adding that UN documented more than 800 cases of conflict-related sexual violence in 2017, a 56 percent increase since 2016.

However, India has stated that it will extend full support to the UN Secretary General’s zero-tolerance approach to sexual exploitation and abuse, and a strong commitment to achieving gender parity in peace operations.

The Islamic State terrorist group is known for its widespread sexual violence inflicted on Yazidi women. In the past, terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, have been notorious for kidnapping hundreds of schoolgirls and holding them as sex slaves.

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