India has sought more representation of women in high decision-making positions and in peacekeeping missions at the UN saying greater participation of women in areas of conflict prevention was particularly necessary for lasting peace and security.

“India attaches very high importance to ensuring concrete action in this area,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the UN during a Security Council debate on “Women and Peace and Security” on Monday.

“India has consistently held that greater participation of women in areas of conflict prevention, peace negotiations, peace keeping and post conflict reconstruction is the sine qua non for lasting peace and security,” he said

Noting that women, presently, comprise only eight per cent of UN police officers, and about two per cent of the military personnel deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, Mr. Puri said given the critical role of the UN, the world body must lead by example.

“Precisely for these reasons, India has contributed a female peacekeeping unit of 100 personnel, which is presently deployed in Liberia,” he said noting, “this mission in Liberia stands out as the only one of its kind among the ongoing UN peacekeeping operations.”

Hoping that mainstreaming the gender perspective in the UN recruitment process would be institutionalised at the earliest he said: “There is also much need for ensuring greater representation of women in high decision-making positions at the UN.

The promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls in armed conflict continue to pose a pressing challenge, Mr. Puri said demanding there should be no tolerance for gender based violence and all cases of gender based violence in an armed conflict must be investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted.

India, he assured will continue to contribute positively to United Nations efforts in protecting vulnerable sections, particularly women and children, in conflict and post-conflict societies.

Mr. Puri stressed that the international community also needs to enhance cooperation by providing new and additional financial resources, sharing of experiences, expertise and capacity building in areas of justice and rule of law.

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