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India for "zero tolerance" towards gender-based violence

United Nations, Dec 1, 2012 (PTI) 13:00 IST
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India has called for "zero tolerance" towards gender-based violence as it noted that protection of human rights of women in armed conflict continues to pose a "pressing" challenge.

"The promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls in armed conflict continue to pose a pressing challenge. There should be zero tolerance for gender-based violence," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri said during a UN Security Council debate on 'Women and Peace and Security' here yesterday.

"All cases of gender-based violence must be promptly investigated and their perpetrators prosecuted," Puri said. He said India has consistently held the view that greater participation of women in areas of conflict resolution, peace negotiations, peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction is the "sine qua non" for lasting peace and security.

The three pillars of lasting peace - economic recovery, social cohesion and political legitimacy - cannot be achieved without the active engagement of women, he said adding that the UN needs to support efforts of national governments in this regard. Puri said India is in favour of increased deployment of female military and police personnel in UN peacekeeping operations.

They women personnel should receive appropriate training to enable them to effectively discharge their responsibilities. India, the largest troop contributing country in UN history, was the first to deploy a full female peacekeeping unit of 100 personnel in Liberia in 2007.

"We support UN efforts to deploy greater number of women protection advisors and gender advisors in its Missions. It is necessary to ensure adequate geographical representation and experience relevant for deployment areas in selection of such advisors," he said.

Puri reiterated India's commitment to positively contribute to UN efforts in the area of women and peace and security. He said India believes that there are no "off-the shelf" remedies or "manuals" that can be applied to armed conflict and post-conflict situations and approach to each conflict situation needs to take into the account the specificities of that situation.

"As the concerned country moves from the armed conflict phase to the conflict resolution and post-conflict phase, there is a need to assist it, as required, in the key task of strengthening government institutions and integrating the gender perspective in government policies in areas such as security, justice, governance, public administration, economic recovery, basic services," he said.

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