UNITED NATIONS – Pakistan has underscored the need for addressing the root-causes of conflicts for promoting and safeguarding the interests of women in conflict situations and urged the UN Security Council to continue dealing with the issues of women, peace and security.
“As agents of peace, women also have a vital role to play in achieving sustainable development as peace and development are inextricably linked,” she said in a debate on Women, Peace and Security.
“Empowerment of women is, therefore, also essential for achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), including on poverty eradication, health, education and inclusive development.”
At the same time, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that millions of women and girls remained most vulnerable in situations of armed conflict.
The perpetrators of these crimes, she pointed out, included DAESH and Boko Haram as well as States that use sexual abuse as a weapon of war.
“In our region we have witnessed thousands of women falling victim to brutal oppression,” the Pakistani envoy said.
“Countless others have suffered rape and sexual abuse, the worst and the most traumatic form of violence.”
Calling for a renewed focus on those challenges, she said that women also had vital roles to play as agents of peace and achieving sustainable development.
Women’s special skills in mediation made them particularly suited as Special Envoys and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, she said, adding, that Pakistani women peacekeepers had also served as police officers, doctors and nurses in missions around the world.
In addition, as host to the largest protracted refugee population in the world, Pakistan had allowed Afghan refugees, including women and girls, unhindered access to free education, health care and secure employment, she added.
BAN HONOURS FALLEN UN STAFF: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tributes at a solemn memorial service on Wednesday to 210 men and women of the United Nations, including three Pakistani nationals, who lost their lives in the line of duty between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.
“The staff we lost never intended to be heroes.
But, in striving to do their best for others, they came to represent the best in us all.
They are the best heroes,” he told the annual Memorial Service that began five years ago to honour those who have lost their lives while serving the world body.
The fallen Pakistanis were: Ms.
Shabnam Khan of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Ms.
Meherren Abbas of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Havidlar Abdul Majeed Khan of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
“Like all of you, I have been deeply affected by the losses of friends and colleagues on the job.
In many ways, that feeling never goes away,” the Secretary-General said in remarks before a distinguished gathering of diplomats, including Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, UN officials and families of the departed men and women.
“The men and women we recognise today came from all corners of the world.
They served in difficult and dangerous conditions.
What drew them together?” he asked.
“Our blue flag and all it represents.
There are many flags in the world.
But only one represents all of humanity equally.
Others have tried to turn it into a target.
But that flag remains a beacon,” he declared.
“Those who destroy may think that bombs or bullets are the most powerful force.
They are wrong, simply wrong.”
Ban has attended staff memorials in many countries.
Today’s was an opportunity to speak of the solidarity that the UN represents around the world, and to reassert the Organisation’s conviction that working together can heal communities and make the world a better place.
“That is what summons us to work every day,” the Secretary-General said.
“And it is that calling for which our colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice.”