NATION

UNMISS ComPol Vuniwaqa Becomes First Fijian Woman To Address Council

Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, our Commis­sioner leading the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has become the first Fijian woman to ad­dress the UN Security Council in New York. In
08 Nov 2018 10:27
UNMISS ComPol Vuniwaqa Becomes First Fijian Woman To Address Council
Police Commissioner to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Unaisi Vuniwaqa addresses the United Nations Security Council. Photo: United Nations Mission in South Sudan

Unaisi Lutu Vuniwaqa, our Commis­sioner leading the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), has become the first Fijian woman to ad­dress the UN Security Council in New York.

In a nine-and-a-half minute YouTube video uploaded by the United Nations, Commis­sioner Vuniwaqa spoke on gender-based vio­lence in Peacekeeping operations and efforts to improve the gender gap in the field.

She was briefing the 8393rd meeting of the UN Security Council.

Police Commissioner Vuniwaqa said that UNMISS had made great efforts to advance gender sensitive policing by introducing mixed Formed Police Units (FPU) where some 50 per cent were women.

“Evidence indicated that women Police of­ficers and mixed FPUs act as a catalyst that promoted confidence, encouraged survivors of sexual violence to report incidents, and enabled civilians to share strategic informa­tion that contributed to the early warning system of the mission,” she said.

She described UNMISS’ gender-responsive policing approach to its civilian protection mandate, enhancing protection for 200,000 internally displaced persons.

Despite those efforts, she said gender-based violence remained pervasive, requiring spe­cialised units.

In addition, she said support for national policing had been strengthened through a gender-based policing approach as well.

Increased deployment of women police was underlined by many speakers as a way of building trust with local populations, for which purpose the importance of the deploy­ment of ethnically diverse units was also stressed.

Commissioners present at the meeting were Ms Vuniwaqa of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Awale Abdouna­sir of the United Nations Organisation Sta­bilisation Operation in the Democratic Re­public of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Serge Therriault of the Mission for Justice Sup­port in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Increased deployment of women police was underlined by many speakers as a way of building trust with local populations, for which purpose the importance of the deploy­ment of ethnically diverse units was also stressed.

Some underlined pre-deployment training of United Nations Police, particularly in hu­man rights and gender issues.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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